The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin

Now this was an interesting fantasy book. Just amazing world-building. One of the yearly challenges I'm doing requires me to read a "mythic fantasy" book and this felt like the epitome of the genre.


Again, it starts with a death. Yeine's mother was the daughter of the ruler of the Arameri clan which rules over the hundred thousand kingdoms. Her mother was exiled when she ran off with a lower-class lord from one of the kingdoms. When the mother dies, Yeine is summoned to Sky, the Arameri castle where the family lives and is proclaimed to be one of the three possible successors to her grandfather.


While she has grown up as nobility in her father's country, the two societies are different and she finds herself out of her element as she tries to survive and learns the secrets of the past.


Where this book really excels is the world building. The mythology of the world is its strength. The Arameri are the chosen people of the Sky Lord who was one of three gods which basically represented Order, Chaos, and Balance. The goddess who represented Balance created the world and the people who populated it. The three gods always existed in a state of constant war and peace. Eventually the Sky Lord (Order) killed the goddess of Balance and imprisoned the god of Chaos.


The book picks up millennia later with Yeine's arrival. She finds herself drawn into the battle between the two gods and I was in constant anticipation of what would happen in the end of the book. There were a lot of plans but I had a good feeling that none of them would work out as planned.


The way the book ended was fantastic and having read the summary for the next book I look forward to reading it and seeing where the story goes next.