Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin Skip to content

Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin


“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.”

Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

What I thought:

The tales of the Arameri’s weapons are full of them slaughtering whole armies. There are no stories of crazed barbarian girls fighting back.

There are now, and her name is Yeine.

How do I begin to review this marvel? I scrapped my original review because it was far too long, and you don’t want to read through my rambling for that long (hence why I’m wasting time now, obviously), but this isn’t easy to review! I’ll try to keep it short.

At first I didn’t get on with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, for a number of reasons. The writing style is very different to anything I’ve read before (more on that in a moment) and it confused me a little at first, but then I got used to it and loved it. There was a lot of information given on the first hundred pages or so, and I felt a wee bit overwhelmed with all this history. And there was no map. Jemisin has created a rather large world, many of the countries are mentioned several times, and the lack of a map meant that I couldn’t orientate myself properly.

Despite all that, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is now one of my favourite reads this year/ever.

One cannot argue with madness. But sometimes, with luck and the Skyfather’s blessing, one can understand it.

Yeine has been elected one of three heirs to the Arameri throne, and she couldn’t want it less. Everyone is watching to see how she’ll embarrass herself and her heritage next, her cousin is trying to kill her (or at the very least emotionally blackmail her), and the Gods ask her to die so they might escape enslavement. Yeine is not impressed.

In Jemisin’s world, the Gods aren’t beings who live in heaven. They are slaves to the Arameri, their weapons, and they need Yeine to help them get revenge. She isn’t impressed by that, either.

Despite what she wants, she stays, and soon her struggle to survive in this power-hungry world becomes personal.

Yeine’s voice is a very honest, sarcastic one, and she interrupts the flow of the story to ramble a little, tell a related story to offer background info, or generally to make her dislike for her situation known. While her interruptions confused me at first I grew to love them pretty quickly.

The characters are excellent. There’s a family of gods, a power-mad cousin, and the truth behind Yeine’s mother’s murder. And – best of all – it had an antagonist I loved to hate! I’m beyond happy that she’ll get what she deserves.

The writing is fantastic. I made so many notes of phrases and paragraphs that stood out to me, and it made me want to write. Next time I’m in need of an inspiration surge I’ll be leafing through it.

Yes, I struggled in the beginning, and I wasn’t convinced that I’d enjoy it, but it has more than earned its place on my Forever Shelf!

Here’s another quote, in case my review (I was going to keep this short, wasn’t I? Sorry.) wasn’t enough to convince you:

So there was love, once. 

More than love. And now there’s more than hate. Mortals have no words for what we gods feel. Gods have no words for such things.

But love like that doesn’t just disappear, does it? No matter how powerful the hate, there is always a little love left, underneath.

Yes. Horrible, isn’t it?

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  1. It always takes me a while to get into a story when the writing is different from usual, I am glad you enjoyed this one. The premise sounds interesting and the world building rich enough to grab your attention and keep you immersed! Fab review!

    • Thank you! This one was quite hard to write because there are so many things I want to say, but I don’t want to spoil anything!

  2. Great review, Sarina! This was definitely one of my favourite reads of the year as well because it’s so unique and the characters are wonderful! One those books I can be inspired by <3

    • Definitely! <3 I'm not sure yet when I'll read the sequel, but I'll probably include it in my next book haul 🙂 I just have a small mountain of books to get through first!

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