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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, #1)
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Group Reads Discussions 2017 > "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" Finished Reading *Spoilers*

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Sarah | 3877 comments So what did everybody think about Jemisin's first published novel? Feel free to use as many spoilers as you'd like.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments I enjoyed it quite a bit!


David Holmes | 449 comments I liked it. Not as much as her newer books.

What I didn't like: the "romance" subplot. I'm not sure who the target audience of this stuff is, but it's not me. "Teenage girl has the hots for all-powerful supernatural being who is also mostly crazy and mostly evil" is bad enough as it is. That he falls in love with her and she somehow brings out the best in him is just awful. It's tropey and stupid, in a novel that would otherwise be fairly fresh. I have to assume this is fanservice for... somebody?

I didn't really care for the ending, either. The betrayal was fine, but Yeine becoming a god is... hm.

Fortunately I liked the rest of the book a lot, and I managed to compartmentalize the "romance" somehow.


Sarah | 3877 comments I mentioned it in the other thread but it drove me crazy that it kept talking about her perfect control of her emotions and expressions even though she was frequently losing her sh**.

I did like the world building. Like David, I was rolling my eyes at the romance. I'm actually not sure why I gave it three stars instead of two. The world building was the only cool part.


message 5: by MrsJoseph *grouchy* (last edited Mar 15, 2017 09:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments You know, I never saw that as a Romance. At least, not on the side of the Naha. As someone who read a lot of romance, to me it felt more like the pushing of Enfra's soul.

ETA: I also had an issue with Yeine becoming a god. It felt like the endgame instead of the beginning. What are the next two books supposed to be about if Yeine is already a god??


message 6: by Sabrina (last edited Mar 15, 2017 09:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sabrina | 249 comments I read this series during my «Jemisin frenzy”, but it was pretty average to me and I liked it the least of all her other books (love “the fifth season”, like “the killing moon”), still liking it though.

As to the previous comments:
The romance wasn’t bothering me too much, but I don’t remember it precisely. And like David and MrsJoseph, the ending felt surreal to me. I seldom enjoy books were mortals become Gods and this one was no exception.


Sarah | 3877 comments What about the breaking the bed sex? And as a friend of mine put it, the octo-hands during the sex scene? It was such an unrealistic teen fantasy! I don't think I could have made it through without a few eye rolls.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments Sarah Anne wrote: "What about the breaking the bed sex? And as a friend of mine put it, the octo-hands during the sex scene? It was such an unrealistic teen fantasy! I don't think I could have made it through without..."

Yeah, I don't remember much of that. I either put it out of my mind or something. All of the destruction only served to show (for me) that Yeine was not (or no longer) fully human.

Especially when you add in the fact that they all had sex with each other - but when Nahados(sp?) had sex with the "children" it was "pity sex."


David Holmes | 449 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "ETA: I also had an issue with Yeine becoming a god. It felt like the endgame instead of the beginning. What are the next two books supposed to be about if Yeine is already a god?? "

Yeine had a line to Itempas near the end where she implied that the gods would not be so directly involved in the world any more. She also ruminated earlier in the book about whether it would be better if the gods left the world to its own devices. I'm guessing Yeine and Nahadoth won't play a big role in the next book. I guess I'll have to read it to find out, but it might have to go to the back of the TBR pile...


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments David wrote: "Yeine had a line to Itempas near the end where she implied that the gods would not be so directly involved in the world any more. She also ruminated earlier in the book about whether it would be better if the gods left the world to its own devices. I'm guessing Yeine and Nahadoth won't play a big role in the next book. I guess I'll have to read it to find out, but it might have to go to the back of the TBR pile... "


Hmmm, you're probably right. I kinda hate that in series, though. I already have book 2 and the novellas so I'll get to it...one day.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1319 comments If I read this book before The Fifth Season I might skip NK Jemisin altogether. Just okay, two stars
Don't like the main character, don't like the gods, hated the romance and stupid sex scenes (I swear one of them turned into an episode of Cosmos). Good and interesting worldbuilding and slavery commentary, plus easy to read narrative. Not enough to make me want to continue the other books.

Onwards to The Killing Moon.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments Wow. I'm surprised at the of the reactions. A good friend told me to skip this series because the next two were better (but she rated this as a solid 3) ...

...but this read made me more anxious to read more (esp since I already own book 1 of Moon, etc). She also told me that one of the next series "ripped her heart out" and that is high praise indeed (from that reviewer).

I also recently read a short by Jemisin in Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue which I adored as well.

Different strokes and all that...


Sarah | 3877 comments There's a huge improvement in her writing in The Fifth Season. I didn't care for it for irrational reasons that I can't even explain but it was a huge improvement on this one.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments I've been thinking about this.

Maybe the reason the romance didn't even register for me is that I usually consume massive quantities of Romance. The stuff that happened in this book wouldn't even be a blip on the radar, lol.

But I first learned of Jemisin from Romancelandia and the first short I ever read by her was a Romance short. Maybe (and this is just a thought) the romance happened because Jemisin knew she already had readership in the Romance community?


Deborah | 6 comments I absolutely devoured the book over the course of two days, and enjoyed it immensely, but was left without any particular desire to read more by the author. Part of that was the teen-fantasy sex (actually, I prefer books without any explicit sex, but if you are going to have it, having it be this ridiculous doesn't help; actually, almost everything related to sex in the book was messed up enough that it makes me wonder about the author), part was the ending, which I found weak.

What I can say more than anything about the book is that I almost loved it. It was so close in so many ways to capturing me long term, but it ultimately just didn't. How to describe it? A lack of deep foundation. It was surface-level enjoyment for me, without it really hooking into my heart.

This is echoed in the court intrigue, in some ways: it only deals with a couple of characters who only have one or two personality traits. They're interesting while they last, but although we know there must be more to it, we never see it. It's all very simplistic.

That's rather rambling, I'm afraid. Sorry.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1319 comments Deborah wrote: "I absolutely devoured the book over the course of two days, and enjoyed it immensely, but was left without any particular desire to read more by the author. Part of that was the teen-fantasy sex (a..."

The court intrigue was actually readable for me - it reminded me a bit on the novels like The Goblin Emperor (same vein, mix breed heir to the throne thrown into a tricky situation) and I did enjoy reading some of the characters such as....er the chief servant guy whose name escapes me.

MrsJoseph wrote: "I've been thinking about this.

Maybe the reason the romance didn't even register for me is that I usually consume massive quantities of Romance. The stuff that happened in this book wouldn't even..."


What's Romancelandia? I did not know she had a romance readership base, that's interesting. Romance (or whatever it is) in The Fifth Season felt alright to me.

Sarah Anne wrote: "There's a huge improvement in her writing in The Fifth Season. I didn't care for it for irrational reasons that I can't even explain but it was a huge improvement on this one."

Yup, yup. But I guess this will be my example on how an author can grow.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2090 comments Silvana wrote: "What's Romancelandia? "

It's kinda the Romance community + the romance landscape together. Sort of "Things like this only happen in..."

I'm not sure if she had a large readership base in Romance but it is where I heard of her first. This book doesn't have enough romance to qualify as a Romance, however.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 261 comments I agree with what a lot of people are saying. I read this last year and it was my first, and probably last, Jemisin.


message 19: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris (Nakor) | 17 comments I'm actually going to mostly echo Deborah. I read through the book in 2-3 days or so. The world was really interesting, and I liked the kind of intrigue and mythology going on... but like she said, I'm not the most interested in reading a sequel at this point. I read through the preview of the second book (at the back of the first one) and the themes being discussed rather turn me off a bit also. Nothing in that preview particularly interested me.

Deborah also mentioned the court intrigue... and as I mentioned in the first impressions thread, I had been looking forward to reading a lot more about the politics and intrigue of the world. Sadly there just wasn't a lot there. It was one of the more interesting parts of the world; it's a pity that it wasn't given the chance to be shown off more.

I think everyone already covered the sex scenes pretty thoroughly, so I'll be brief. The only reason I can think for them to be there is to express something primal about the gods. But they really weren't; they were over the top and supernatural. And the whole "literally barely/not able to resist" thing rubbed me the wrong way from very early on.

I want to come up with something positive to say, because I really did enjoy the book, and it hooked me in, but I'm having trouble pinpointing exactly what. I suppose to some extent it's because it was something like a mystery for me, working out what was going on and puzzling out the universe. I'm not sure.

Perhaps I will follow some of the advice (or thoughts at least) in this thread and skip the rest of this series, and, at some point in the future, consider taking a look at The Fifth Season instead.


message 20: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil Jensen | 25 comments I liked it more than most of you. I compartmentalized the romance angle. I recently read Jane Eyre, so I just put the romance stuff in the same box as Rochester and looked past it.

I really liked the world-building and the cosmology. My problem was that when I got to about the 60% mark, I realized that I didn't particularly care. I didn't care who killed Yeine's mother. I didn't care who inherited the kingdom. I didn't care if Elpheba came back to life.

I finished reading it, and it was a decent read. It just didn't grab me, and I'm more likely to read the Fifth Season sequels than to come back to Inheritance Trilogy.


message 21: by Anna, Circadian heretic (last edited Mar 27, 2017 12:19PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna (vegfic) | 2882 comments Mod
I decided to read this now after all. I'm not sure if it was a good decision, because I didn't enjoy it very much. I'm going to be reading The Fifth Season soon, and since I'd already heard that it's much better than this, I should've sticked to starting with that. I didn't hate this, but it didn't make me squeal with happiness about the fact that all of her books are on my TBR for this year.

I agree with everyone about the sex. I seem to have bad luck at the moment with reading books that have unpleasant couplings and this had a whole slew of things in the "no thanks" category.

I'm probably going to continue with the rest of the series right away. Not because I want to, but I want it off my TBR. I did contemplate leaving it at the first book, but I hate DNFing series. And since the next book isn't a direct continuation, maybe it'll have less gods having destructive sex with relatives.


Sonja Lindsey I have to agree with most of the points/opinions made here - the world building and mythology created was very good and intriguing. The character creation left much to be desired, however, and the sex scenes/romance subplot was very awkward to say the least. I do intend to read the entire series because I am interested to see where she takes this story - where will she go since the main character of the first book already ascended to godhood? I read this in physical form but opted to "read" the sequel in audio format. unfortunately my audio book version was scratched so I have to wait to finish it. To be honest I'm not in any hurry to finish it. Maybe I will read the newest series by her, since many of you seem to like it better, but I'm not in any hurry to read anything else by this author either.


message 23: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna (vegfic) | 2882 comments Mod
I finished the second book yesterday, I liked it much more. It's still not amazing though. Just started the third one and so far I'm avoiding reading more because of the annoying main character and the fact that it's over 600 pages and not available on audio.


Donald Shepherd | 240 comments The difference between this and The Fifth Season's series which I also just read is night and day. She's come so far as a writer. Having said that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in this series because I'm really curious to see how she carries from that ending.


YouKneeK | 919 comments Although I didn't vote for this during the re-read voting, I did have it on my TBR list and the timing worked out well. :) I finished earlier today and enjoyed it quite a lot. It grabbed my attention on the first page and held it through the end. I enjoyed Jemisin's Dreamblood and Broken Earth books more, but I still enjoyed the time I spent reading this and I plan to start the next book later today.

In retrospect the story maybe didn’t have a lot of meat. We spend so much time in Yeine's head obsessing over her past, her future, and her current relationships, but she really doesn't do much. I thought it was reasonably realistic for a 19-year-old girl, no matter how important she was in her homeland, to be freaked out by her sudden and unwanted change in situation, alone in a place completely alien to her, only a month after her mother had died. On the other hand, I also thought she could have reacted more pragmatically. I agreed with some of the characters in the story who thought she should have been focusing more on her immediate situation while she still had the chance, especially earlier in the book when she still believed she had a chance.

I see in the comments above that the sex scene between Yeine and Nahadoth was bothersome to many people. It really didn’t evoke much reaction from me either way. At the time I read it, I just saw it as further demonstration of Yeine’s influence on Naha since she survived where others hadn’t. Now that I’ve finished, I also see it as setup for her taking the place of Enefa. That whole relationship did seem a bit overly romance-trope-ish, though.


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