ambyr's Reviews > The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
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I liked this pretty much exactly as much as I expected. I loved the writing style, poetic without being overburdened, the cultural descriptions, the cosmology, and some of the secondary characters. Sieh, in particular, stole the show for me. Neither Yeine nor Nahadoth did much for me, alas, and the politics never came across as subtle as I think they were supposed to be. But both were well-worth dealing with to have a chance to explore Jemisin's world.

As a non-linear reader (yes, I tend to read the ends of books first, as well as skipping ahead to read chunks from the middle in random order), I really appreciated the non-linear storytelling style, which kept doubling back to discuss events forgotten about or misperceived earlier in the narration. It filled my need for non-linear reading so well that this was actually the first book in an age where I didn't read the ending until I got there naturally. In retrospect, I think that was a little unfortunate; there were aspects of the ending's metaphysics that confused me, and I think if I'd had the ending in mind as I read earlier chapters, I might have pieced together a better understanding. But that's a reason to someday reread, I guess.

Sidenote: I was mildly bemused to see my library has shelved this in its "African-American Fiction" section. Jemisin is African American, of course, but so are Hopkinson, Butler, and Delany, and they all somehow manage to get shelved under "General Fiction - SF&F," even for their near-future titles with African-American characters. Why is Jemisin--whose book, while full of characters of color, definitely doesn't have any "African-American" characters on account of it being secondary world fantasy--not tagged as SF&F, too? Weird.
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