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Looking Forward To: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

April 1, 2010

Who isn’t happy to have stumbled upon a book that sounds genuinely worthwhile but had previously been eluding them? Unfortunately, with the number of talented authors out there penning their hearts away I hate to say that I’m probably missing out on ‘a heck of an awful lot’ these days. Several times a week it seems that I pull up my “Books to Get” file and add a book or two to the list in the hopes of remembering to track yet another great author down — but despite the effort I shudder to think how many great stories I end up missing. Probably shouldn’t think about it.

Whatever the case, it feels good to have eliminated the possibility of missing out on this one: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Book 1 of The Inheritance Trilogy, the debut full length fantasy novel by N.K. Jemisin.

But first a little about it:

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, seat of the ruling Arameri family. 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 a pair of 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.

I don’t know exactly what it is that’s attracting me most about the novel. Maybe it’s the possibility of a rich mythology to dive into, perhaps it’s that compelling cover, and I’d reckon that more than a part of it is the refreshing female protagonist whom we meet in the first chapter of the novel, but whatever the reasons, this is one of those books whose possibilities are simply pulling me towards it and heck if I’m going to fight it. Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven has my complete attention once my (graciously given) advance reading copy arrives, but following that, I suspect The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms it is!

FYI – N.K. Jemisin’s Nebula nominated short story Non-Zero Possibilities can be read (or listened to, as narrated by Kate Baker) here at Clarkesworld Magazine. An extremely interesting piece of work that almost requires introspection at the stories conclusion. I can definitely appreciate that.

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