Siria's Reviews > The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
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Apr 19, 10

bookshelves: 21st-century, american-fiction, by-poc, fantasy
Read from April 16 to 19, 2010

Okay, so this is not a perfect novel. The final few chapters run out of narrative steam a little, and I didn't find the political machinations entirely convincing. However, it is the first book I've read in a long, long time that made me stay up past my bedtime for the sake of one chapter more... okay, maybe two chapters more...

Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is engaging, creative, imaginative, and I think avoids all the tropes of fantasy fiction which normally make me want to beat my head off the wall. It's not your usual Lord of the Rings retread. There's an awesome, active black female protagonist; matter-of-fact bisexuality; matriarchies; subtle but scathing critiques of colonialism, imperialism, slavery and racism; female desire and sexuality not treated as something shameful; a complex cosmology and mythology; examination of the role of history—and that's not even getting into the stuff that I can't name without spoiling the best parts of the novel. It's like a book that was tailor-made for me, and I'm eagerly waiting the second volume in the trilogy. (Though don't worry: this trilogy is a loosely connected arc, not one book split into three, and Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a standalone story.) Emphatically recommended.
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