The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Whoa! This cover is Dramatic with a capital D. But it is really pretty, and intriguing. Don’t you want to know what is up with the spire city and the scary-haired person?
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.
Yes! Although I guess it’s more like two more novels in the same universe, but I’ll take what I can get!
Oh, yes. Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is wonderful. Beautiful writing and some great twists help elevate it beyond court intrigue or paranormal romance (the two sub-genres it could conceivably fit into).
Paranormal Romance (that doesn’t make me want to stab myself in the eyeballs)! This probably owes something to the fact that the romance is not really the focus of the novel (although I wouldn’t call it peripheral, either).
World-Building! Jemisin is of the school of fantasy writing that jumps right into the middle, hits the ground running, and lets you figure out the world, culture, backstory, etc., slowly. I love it.
Diversity! The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms are made up of many cultures. Only a few were covered in detail in this book, but I have high hopes for others in the sequels.
Court Intrigue! I love fake court politics.
I had heard nothing but good things about N.K. Jemisin, and this book blew me away. I pretty much loved everything about it. Yeine is a strong, bold, heroine (she’s a warrior at home), the gods were complex, interesting, and frustrating, the Arameri were…the Arameri (you’ll just have to read it). Jemisin’s technique of alternating narrative, dreams (or are they?) and conversational flash-forwards (or are they?) is employed very effectively. I would like to pat myself on the back for mentally pronouncing the heroine’s name correctly, backed up by the author’s own website (don’t ask about how many of the other names I got wrong).
Bought it, baby.