Back in high school, I devoured fantasy and science fiction novels like they were popcorn. Unfortunately, I haven’t made as much time for them recently. I don’t remember how I first learned about N.K. Jemisin. I have not knowingly read a fantasy novel written by a woman of color, so my interest was peaked. So I dipped my toe into The Inheritance Trilogy.
Luckily my library had a digital copy of book one, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Usually I write a quick summary but I don’t think I can do the book justice. Here’s the official blurb:
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 with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate – and gods and mortals – are bound inseparably together.
The first few chapters felt very disorienting. I had a rough time getting into the novel. After a few rough starts, I was able to grasp the complex and intertwined world that Jemisin created. It’s very clear that the author put a lot of thought into Yeine’s universe. Everything from each kingdom’s religion, characters’ social standing, history of each nation, and their creation myths is full of rich detail.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms gave me an opportunity to completely immerse myself into the city of Sky and her inhabitants. The plot unwinds in surprising and satisfying ways. I could not put the book down!
Books like this one is the reason why I read fantasy books.
This post contains affiliate links.