jesse's Reviews > The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
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Jul 06, 2010

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bookshelves: series, fantasy, tough-heroine, series-i-ll-continue, kick-ass-heroine, reviews, authors-to-watch, abuse, tomboy, immortals, creatures-of-the-night, dark-fantasy, high-fantasy, non-caucasian-character, odd-writing-style, oddities, outsider-underdog-pariah
Recommended to jesse by: Roxane
Recommended for: people wanting to try something fresh & original
Read in September, 2010

i found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, gripping, weird, magical & creepy. written in a beautifully refreshing narrative style which emphasized the story (and ultimately its narrator as well), --sometimes easy, often difficult for me to follow--, it is about a girl trying to find a place in the world... in a story centered on (fallen) nobles & all the other people serving those nobles it has many intrigues, conspiracies, playing off people against people and so on, but with lots of space for world building & character development.

since i wasn't able to understand many of the things that happened, i wasn't sure how to rate the book.
   2.5 stars for not understand all of it & thus also not being able to enjoy the story in its entirety? or
   3.5 stars for being utterly fascinating, never mind I didn't grasp the whole book?
my conscience battled throughout the night and decided to settle on ...
~~ dramatic music ~~... 3 stars.

conclusion quote
it is blasphemy to separate oneself from the earth and look down on it like a god. it is more than blasphemy; it is dangerous. we can never be gods, after all—but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.
still… I could not help drinking in the view. it is important to appreciate beauty, even when it is evil.



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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Penny I started reading this two days ago. Even though I'm liking it so far, I'll admit that I 'm confused sometimes because the narrator jumps around and does
***
this a lot.
***
it's incredibly distracing, don't you agree?

Otherwise I'm loving it so far.


message 2: by jesse (last edited Sep 19, 2010 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

jesse At first I thought so as well, but I changed my mind about that after I just read on. Let me use this opportunity to quote Nikki (whose reviews I'm following):
" The style of the narration is quite oral, in the sense that the story unfolds as if someone is telling the story aloud, and can't go back and edit themselves, but goes backwards and forwards, pauses to give extra information, etc."



message 3: by Trish (new)

Trish Heinrich I'm picky about my first person narratives because in my opinion the narrator has to be interesting, emotional, open. To me Yeine is boring. It's all tell, no show. Perhaps I'm spoiled by Jacqueline Carey's Phaedre, but Yeine feels bland to me.


jesse Trish wrote: "I'm picky about my first person narratives because in my opinion the narrator has to be interesting, emotional, open. To me Yeine is boring. It's all tell, no show. Perhaps I'm spoiled by Jacqueli..."

Yah, can't say I blame you. It was kind of lengthy and confusing and frustrating and a lot of other things too.


message 5: by Krista (new)

Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews) I see this book is being promoted as an adult fantasy novel, do you think it has cross over appeal to teens as well?


message 6: by jesse (last edited Mar 14, 2012 01:58PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

jesse Krista wrote: "I see this book is being promoted as an adult fantasy novel, do you think it has cross over appeal to teens as well?"

good question. maybe. at least i'd like to think so. i mean i read mostly ya, some adult & middle grade --that could be seen as an indicator, i'd think.
teens who like series with medivial settings (LORD OF THE RINGS, SONG OF ICE & FIRE etc.) should have no problem settling into THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS and finding the way. it's a very ... unique series, i've never encountered a book quite like this ... so keeping that in mind and letting go of your presumptions and prejudices concerning high fantasy, you should start the book with your mind being a blank slate (view spoiler)


Roxane I'm sorry this didn't completely win you over! I was totally captivated by the story and its characters and devoured the book! Same goes for book 2 actually.
As it certainly sounds like you enjoyed bits of it anyway, perhaps you should give this author another go. I think she's just published the first book in a new series so maybe that's worth a go?


message 8: by jesse (last edited May 20, 2012 12:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

jesse Roxane wrote: "I'm sorry this didn't completely win you over! I was totally captivated by the story and its characters and devoured the book! Same goes for book 2 actually.
As it certainly sounds like you enjoye..."


thank you roxanne, actually i was planning on starting her new series in a month or so!!

:)


Roxane Great! I look forward to reading your review then!


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