The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Yeine Darr is only 19-yrs-old and already a chieftain among her people, the Darr. They are the outcast and barbarians of the north. Yeine's father is Darr but her mother is Arameri. The Arameris are a powerful people. They have gods on their side, literally. The Arameris have four gods enslaved since the gods' war to ensure their continued influence. Yeine's mother was the rightful heir to throne, but she left it all behind for Yeine's father. After the sudden death of her mother, Yeine is called to the City of Sky, home of the Arameri.There she is named heiress to the king, (her grandfather), along with two cousins. The three will fight amongst themselves to see who will succeed the king. Yeine has Arameri blood but none of their characteristics. She must learn quickly in order to challenge her cousins. Yeine needs allies fast to protect herself and her people, the gods are an option.
Yeine's voice is quickly established. Through her we begin to understand the world, the author's created. It's a world where gods were once its sole inhabitants and their bickering lead to their downfall. Now the gods belong to the Arameri. At first I couldn't grasp gods being imprisoned by man though the author is very convincing. It didn't take long for me to believe it and lose myself in the world she created. Jemisin's writing is straightforward, visually appealing with the right amount of action and the unexpected. I was captured by it.
This is one of those books, once I started, I couldn't stop. I simply had to keep turning the pages. This need to keep reading was do it part to wanting to know if or how Yeine would establish herself among the Arameri people. Then there were the gods, my heart went out to them, for their loss and enslavement. Yeine's relationship with the gods is fragile and undefinable. With one god in particular, Nahadoth, this is especially true. Nahadoth is power; he will do an Arameri's biding though the question must be worded correctly otherwise he won't stop until all is destroyed. There are layers of tension, sexual being one of them between Yeine and Nahadoth. Their relationship is complicated, the dynamics always changing.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is book one of the Inheritance trilogy. Jemisin has written a lovely foundation with this first book.She manages to establish the past the and present at the same time. Though readers will be drawn to Yeine, the gods, and the battle to rule Arameri, they will first be drawn to the wonderful cover created by Cliff Nielsen. I am of the opinion that the cover art is as important if not more than the words themselves for first time authors. The cover of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is eye-catching. Nielsen has given readers a reason to stop and take notice. The story's premise will hold them and Jemisin's writing won't let them go.
Doret knows YA and more. She's bookseller, reader and reviewer. When she's not helping me with lists,"What Do I Read Next?" and any number of other features here at Color Online, she's blogging at Happy Nappy Bookseller. Check her out.