Bradley's Reviews > The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
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I am and always will be a huge fan of Godpunk fiction.

There's a bit of it floating around out there, but most of it is hidden behind the cloudy minds and bodies of mere mortals, only occasionally poking its bright sunny head out to dazzle and amaze.

Sometimes it's the sun. Sometimes it's not. At the moment, I'm feeling the blaze.

Fortunately for us, we've also got authors with great and deep understanding of the greater and lesser mysteries, the writing chops to pull off an entirely new mythos that can turn those mysteries into something brand new again, even if they've been so very, very old. Jemisin has taken us right back to our very beginnings, with the worship of the sun and the void and the great life goddess and given us a truly fantastic tale of revenge, freedom, and most importantly, of love.

I sit in awe. I've been fortunate to read a number of really fantastic novels recently, and this one stands tall and proud among them, like a worldtree within a shining forest of worlds.

The opening of the novel was unfortunately the weakest part for me, but I was able to feel our heroine's hopeless plight pretty much right away, enjoying her progression of defiance to acceptance as it all became so clear that her life was forfeit no matter what happened. Did I say enjoy? Actually, that part made me squirm quite a bit, but the fact that she was able to come to grips, retain her sanity, and even lose a little more of it in the process, was, in fact, truly enjoyable. I can't believe how tight the romance was, or how cleverly it managed to pull on my heartstrings. (I'm generally not that susceptible to romance on the page. So much of it is unbelievable crap.) In this case, I sank right into it and rooted for them both with all my heart.

After finishing the novel, I can't quite see where else it might go except far away from the characters I've just enjoyed, but I've got the entire omnibus sitting right here. I was very satisfied by the end and truly floored by it. I almost want to leave it be and enjoy everything that this novel will eventually become to me.

Can anything truly top this ride?
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Reading Progress

March 25, 2013 – Shelved
September 25, 2015 – Started Reading
September 26, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 26, 2015 – Shelved as: fanboy-goes-squee
September 26, 2015 – Shelved as: cthulhu-goes-ph-nglui-mglw-nafh-ct
September 26, 2015 – Shelved as: reality-bending
September 26, 2015 – Shelved as: worldbuilding-sf
September 26, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

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Gergana It's one of my first fantasy books I've ever read and I blame it for my current obsession with the genre XD


Bradley Ah, you started with the heroin first, I see. :) Decided to skip the gateway drugs? I keep thinking of this whenever I want to hang out with a bunch of gods. :)


message 3: by Tim (new)

Tim Martin Good review. Utterly unfamiliar with the term godpunk though. Any information or links on that subgenre?


Gergana I began with Harry Potter and Eragon, but 100000 Kingdoms was the one that convinced me that fantasy is far more than just magic, dragons and elves


Bradley Indeed it is, Gregana. :)

And Tim, no, to the best of my knowledge there's no established tradition on the internet about Godpunk, but there should be. :) I just made it up in the tradition of Cyberpunk, Steampunk, and Biopunk. :)


message 6: by Tim (new)

Tim Martin So how would you define Godpunk then?


Bradley An explosion of gods filling the tale, usually as downcast gods fighting for their place in the sun. Usually the gods have a huge disadvantage over the believers, but more often than not, they just want freedom or are experiencing penance for some misdeed.

There's not a huge selection of books that do this, but there are a few notable ones like American Gods and of course this one by Jemisin.


message 8: by Sud666 (new)

Sud666 Brad, would you consider something like the Avatar Trilogy wherein the Gods (of the Forgotten Realms) fell to earth during the Time of Troubles and fought amongst each other as Avatars...would this be godpunk? Or is there is need for a modern setting? The trilogy I mention is set in a standard fantasy setting.


Bradley I think the name can fit any setting as long as the characters are actual gods even if they're using sock puppets. I might even go so far to say that the Iliad fits this category, too. :) There's a number of authors that come close, like Steven Erikson, but the hardcore titles I think of first are going to be this one first and foremost and American Gods second. I generally think of thieves and the seedy underbelly when it comes to the "punk", but I don't think it needs to stay there. :)


message 10: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Iliad as godpunk ... American Gods, yes, without a doubt, but The Iliad? THE Iliad?!

But now I'm curious about that Avatar story.


message 11: by Sud666 (new)

Sud666 Brad wrote: "I think the name can fit any setting as long as the characters are actual gods even if they're using sock puppets. I might even go so far to say that the Iliad fits this category, too. :) There's a..."

Interesting...especially the Illiad...but to be fair to your definition that would apply :)


message 12: by Sud666 (new)

Sud666 Trish wrote: "Iliad as godpunk ... American Gods, yes, without a doubt, but The Iliad? THE Iliad?!

But now I'm curious about that Avatar story."


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

here ya go Trish


message 13: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Thanks, but for once I had already managed to find it on own.
*sticks out tongue*


message 14: by Sud666 (new)

Sud666 you should also talk to Sean about this series...I'm pretty sure he has read this one (we've read a lot of the same TSR books growing up)


message 15: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Last time I talked to Sean I was buried in D&D references I couldn't dig myself out of. *lol*


message 16: by Sud666 (new)

Sud666 Trish wrote: "Last time I talked to Sean I was buried in D&D references I couldn't dig myself out of. *lol*"

here is a shovel...strangely I have every single one of the books (there are dozens) they are entertaining, but not great works like Lord of the Rings


message 17: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish You know, a little help with the digging would have been nice (not to mention chivalrous). *sighs* Oh well. *starts digging herself out*


Miriam Not sure how you feel about manga, Brad, but you might be thematically interested in Noragami. If you try it, give it more than one book; it takes a but to settle down into the larger plot arc. (But these take like 1/2 hour to read, so not a bug commitment).


Bradley I'll check it out, Miriam. I'm always down for awesome manga, and when it comes to those I generally give it a full Volume to decide. :)


So, starting with Shadowdale? I've had a real hit or miss experience with most D&D books. I love to play, but reading them doesn't thrill me as much as I wish it would. And to make it more difficult, there's so many of them. Would you recommend it as a short series or is it a really huge one?


message 20: by Tim (new)

Tim Martin The Avatar tales in the Forgotten Realms, wow that takes me back! I played the adventures but never read the books.

American Gods, excellent example!


message 21: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Brad wrote: "Would you recommend it as a short series or is it a really huge one? "

As far as I can tell, it's only a trilogy.


Bradley I might consider it, then, even if I generally (mostly) avoid large franchises. :) I've been known to be surprised pleasantly.


message 23: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish But is this really a large franchise? With only 3 books? Am I missing something here?!


Bradley D&D books in general are a HUGE franchise. Where I come from, it often takes up an entire bookcase in a bookstore, dedicated, like Star Wars books. I'm not talking about this single story, but the entire kabob.


message 25: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Oh ok, now I know where the problem lies: I wasn't talking about D&D books.


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