In view of what’s been happening in the world lately, I thought it would be appropriate to amplify the works of a Black writer. Today I’ll talk about N.K Jemisin’s debut, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Book 1 of the Inheritance trilogy.
Jemisin is one of the most respected speculative fiction authors of our time. This book won the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel, and it was a contender for awards like the World Fantasy, the Hugo, and the Nebula.
So, you know, it’s good.
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.The blurb on Goodreads
Okay, so the world is ruled by the Arameri royal family, who are as mad as they are powerful. Yeine comes from a clan of matriarchal warriors (!!!!), and to her surprise, is named as one of the Arameri heirs, along with the murderous Scimina and aloof Relad Arameri. She also meets a group of slave gods, a concept that still continues to blow my mind.
Chief among them is the Nightlord, Nahadoth, with whom Yeine cultivates an intense and fascinating relationship, one of equals, despite their strange power dynamic.
But while you may think this is a novel about political intrigue, it’s actually more of a love story. Because the relationships in the book take centre stage, and the politics and world serve as a well-woven backdrop. I was pleasantly surprised by this. (I am a sucker for THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS kinda stories, you should know by now!)
I was very satisfied by the ending, and I’m still not over all the god characters, like Nahadoth and Itempas and the lovely Sieh. I’d like a novel on each of them, separately.
I just purchased the sequel to this book, The Broken Kingdoms, and I’m very excited to start reading it! If you haven’t picked up an N.K Jemisin novel yet, you need to. Buy it (please don’t steal), and support Black writers!