Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

This review was originally posted on Buried Under Books.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
N.K. Jemisin
Orbit, February 2010
ARC from Creatures ‘n Crooks.

I knew that once my people had been heretics. That was why the Amn called races like mine darkling: we had accepted the Bright only to save ourselves when the Arameri threatened us with annihilation. But what Nahadoth implied–that some of my people had known the real reason for the Gods’ War all along and had hidden it from me–no. That I could not, did not want to, believe.

There had always been whispers about me. Doubts. My Amn hair, my Amn eyes. My Amn mother, who might have inculcated me with her Arameri ways. I had fought so hard to win my people’s respect. I thought I had succeeded.

When Yeine Darr is summoned to her ailing maternal grandfather’s royal court, she is shocked to hear herself named one of three potential heirs to the Arameri throne. She is a half-caste, the product of her mother’s rebellious marriage to a tribesman from the barbarian north, her dark skin and hair clearly marking her as an outsider in the capital city of Sky. Court intrigue abounds, however, and Yeine quickly learns nothing in Sky is what it seems – not even Yeine herself. With only days left until the king announces his final choice as heir, Yeine finds herself at the center of a power struggle between her world’s gods that stretches millennia into the past, far beyond the range of mortal reckoning. As she marshalls all of her resources to keep up with the ever-changing scenario, Yeine is forced to decide whether she can make a very personal sacrifice that could alter all life on her world forever.

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