The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms


Okay, who wouldn’t be interested in picking up this book based on those words alone?  Combine that with the killer cover and the jacket description and I was sold before I even started reading it.

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north.  But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky.  There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king.  But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

This book was interesting.  It was very different from what I thought it would be like.  I was expecting an easy read that was predictable with run-of-the-mill characters.  Basically, I thought that the entire book would be relying on the plot alone (which has been my experience with newer adult fantasy).

WOW.  I was not expecting Yeine to be so complex, nor was I expecting how much her character develops as the story progresses.  From her initial meeting with the rest of the Arameri to the final showdown and Yeine’s transformation, this book keeps you hooked.  I especially liked how much of Yeine and the rest of the main characters we are allowed to see.  Jemisin does an amazing job of digging deep into the character’s emotions, the reasons behind their actions, their fear of failure.  Wonderful.

I have had one student who has talked to me about his experience in reading this book.  He did say that he found it difficult to understand Yeine’s character in her “I’m just a pawn” attitude.  However, he did say that he liked the book overall… he just wouldn’t re-read it.  I on the other hand…

My all-time favourite character: Sieh – one of the Enefadeh (Gods) chained to serve the Arameri family by the Bright Lord Itempas.


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