Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

I actually bought The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms about a year ago, back when I thought the only thing I liked to read was fantasy, but just now got around to reading it. I read a review that said something like this is the best new voice in fantasy, and so I assumed I would like it. Since then, I've realized that I'm pickier about my fantasy books than I thought, and this one just wasn't up my alley.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is narrated by Yeine, a barbarian from the North. Her mother, who used to be heir to the throne of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms until she ran away, is mysteriously killed. Then Yeine is summoned by the king to Sky, a majestic floating city, and named as an heiress to the king. Yeine must learn to how to live among her crazy relatives and the gods that inhabit Sky, as well as fight for the throne and search for the secrets behind her mother's death.

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would say weird. Odd, unreal, and bizarre would also fit. It was just a strange story! Everything about it was weird: how it was told, what it was about, the characters. From the description on the back of the book, I was expecting more political intrigue kind of stuff, but instead it focused more on the relationships of the gods and goddesses. Not really my thing. Also, the whole tone of the book was a little too evil and hopeless for me. Basically, I just really didn't like it.

I don't want to give the wrong impression though. The book was actually a pretty well written book. It was interesting enough to keep reading. And the writing style was a little unique, but it worked. And one thing that I really liked it that even though this book is the first in a trilogy, it is self-contained enough that you can read it by itself. (but maybe I just like that because I don't want to read the next books..) So, this book is definitely not a horrible. It's just not my cup of tea.

I am pretty proud of myself for finishing the book, and for finishing it in 3 days. I sort of feel like I deserve a prize. So I'm allowing myself to read a young adult, sci-fi dystopian book next. Definitely my kind of reward. :)

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