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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS: finished reading (*contains spoilers*)

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Here's a topic for people who are finished with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin].

Careful - may contain spoilers!


message 2: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 187 comments I didn't get around to a writing a formal review, but on the whole I found this a compulsively readable book. I slammed it in one sitting, then wished I had the second book on hand to immediately go into the next one.

That said. . . the further I got from the book the more things I found to quibble with it. It was great fun, but. . . I wanted more from it at a whole bunch of different points. I wanted more world-building, especially of Yeine's matriarchal homeland. I wanted more about the gods, especially about Naha's fluid gender. I wanted more character development overall. Pretty much I wanted the book to be twice as long. ;)


message 3: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I read this last month and here's my review. I had (and still have) mixed feelings about this book. It was a fast read, but like Phoenixfalls said, I wanted much more from the characters and the world-building.


message 4: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2360 comments Mod
Overall I really loved this book. Loved the characters (especially Sieh!), loved the idea of the imprisoned gods as "weapons", loved the moment when I suddenly realized that the little interludes of narration were Yeine and Enefa's soul talking to one another within their shared body.

However, I, too, would have liked to know more about Yeine's homeland - there were so many tantalizing hints that it was a REALLY interesting society and I wanted to know more about where she came from.

I still gave it 5 stars, though. Definitely will be picking up the sequel.


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) I would have really liked more character development.Yeine at certian point became very flat.


message 6: by Jane (new)

Jane (hippygoth66) | 101 comments Read it very fast and loved it. I have been doing an accountancy course and haven't had as much time for pleasure reading since September. Also seem to tossed about half the books I have started recently.
This one was for me at this time perfect, a quick but engrossing read. I agree that I would like to know more about the characters and world, which is why I bought the secod in the triology before I'd even finished the first.


message 7: by William (new)

William (williamjm) Chris wrote: "I would have really liked more character development.Yeine at certian point became very flat."

Yeine is a very passive character for most of the book, which I found a little bit frustrating at times.

In theory, I don't think I should have liked this book, and yet I found I did. A plotline about an extremely naive young woman in a deeply corrupt court surrounded by cartoonishly Evil enemies who ends up having a God fall in love with her and then finding out she is herself the resurrection of a Goddess sounds like it would normally make for a pretty bad book, but Jemisin's writing was good enough to save it. I did find it very readable, I particularly liked Yeine's narration and I think it did good of portraying how out of her depth she was and although I do agree she could maybe have had a bit more character development, I thought Jemisin did a good of making her likeable. I did like the imprisoned Gods, both as a concept and as characters, I think they were the most interesting part of the world-building.

which is why I bought the secod in the triology before I'd even finished the first.

What's the second book like, I haven't read it yet.


message 8: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (newtomato) | 22 comments I didn't really care for this book at all. I felt a huge disconnect with Yaine, and that might have to do with what William said about Yaine being a passive character.

I read a short interview with the author who admitted that her favorite characters in the book are the various gods in descending order. And, oh yeah, Yeine - at the end of her list. Perhaps I just felt those conflicting emotions of the author barreling through the text... her nifty mythology was like fun, loving children, but the protagonist herself was only a vehicle for the story.


message 9: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) Put me in the "loved" it category. It was an extremely compelling read for me (1.5 days). I really liked the use of the first person narrative and especially loved when you realized that one of the voices was Enefa's soul. The interspersing of the gods mythology and Yeine's personal journey really worked for me. I did not find her too passive as the story only took place over 2 weeks and she was trying to unravel the mystery of her mother's death.


I was definitely sad when the book was finished and read the second one within 3 weeks of completing the first one. I did want to understand a bit more about some of the other kingdoms (given the title), but since it was expected to be a series, I just thought we would find out more in the future books.

One of the things that I liked was that Jemisin made the gods have their own personalities, but at the same time they would do things that's weren't likable or very "human" (just so you didn't forget that they weren't human).


message 10: by Brennan (new)

Brennan Griffin Fast and good read. I'll be looking for more from this author - I already read the sequel. There is something missing, maybe. If she could add a layer of complexity, she would land in my top ten of current fantasy authors, but its not quite there.

That said, it is many, many steps above much of the writing in the genre, and well worth the time.


message 11: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments I finished this last night. I can honestly say I loved it, and I am not a big reader of epic fantasy. (I read more SF and other sub-genres of fantasy.)

I really liked Yeine; she was sensible, strong, and sensitive, and she retained human vulnerability and foibles without becoming a stereotypical "fantasy female". She seemed to me to be a well-rounded person, and I found her very refreshing. (At times I agree she did come across as a bit passive, but honestly, what else could she do? I think it was less passivity and more resignation and/or biding her time and gathering information at those points. I liked reading a character who didn't batter herself bloody and senseless against a wall just to show she won't go quietly. She picked her battles.)

I'll have to think more about what I've just read and then comment in the "the gods" thread. I really, really appreciated this conceptualization of godhead/primal force.


message 12: by Lurple (new)

Lurple | 12 comments I honestly wasn't fond of the book.

My biggest problem with the book is that I didn't much care for any of the characters (aside from Sieh, who is cute and dangerous at the same time). I found Yeine to be a pretty bland heroine, wasn't much interested in her relationship with Naha, and didn't really care if she died. The same goes for all the other characters; I couldn't have cared less what happened to them.

The book has been touted as being original, but any number of mythological pantheons of gods have similarities, and I just didn't see much that was truly original here.

The book isn't badly written and maybe the author will continue to improve, but I'm not sure I want to pick up book 2.


message 13: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 11 comments For the most part I enjoyed the book. I have not been reading much epic fantasy lately (I usually read crime fiction now) and I thought the first person narration really helped me get into the story at the beginning.

My favorite characters were Yeine and Sieh but part of that may be because I listened to the audio version and the narrator Casaundra Freeman did a bang up job with their voices. I felt the story bogged down a bit during the romantic interludes and would have been happier if that part had been pared down some. I too really wanted to know more about Darr and wished that characters like Relad and Scimina had been a little more well rounded.

My library does have the second book available on audio so I am sure I will listen to it sometime in the future.

Overall I would rank this as a promising debut that, while not perfect, was entertaining and worth the listening time.


message 14: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) I had a problem with the romantic interludes too. I couldn't figure out if they were there to appeal to a romance minded audience or what, but I just didn't buy the relationship.


message 15: by Paul (last edited Feb 19, 2011 01:45AM) (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 221 comments i absolutely loved this book. i thought it had one of the best cosmologies i've come across in years; the gods reminded me somewhat of The Worm Ouroboros, although that might be as much to do with the influence of hinduism on both as any direct influence.

i don't really agree that Yeine was passive or there was a lack of character development; after all, the whole book takes place over the course of a few days.

i found the glimpses of the world we got intriguing, and i think we'll get more in the next volume. the way this ended suggested to me that the major gods - Naha and Yeine/Enefa had left, so won't be directly involved in the next book. although as the godlings are still around and Itempas has been 'grounded' i'm sure something could happen to get their attention. my expectations are that the rest of the trilogy will be about how the empire and the world changes, but i guess we'll have to see.


message 16: by Jacen (new)

Jacen | 11 comments Plant me firmly in the dislike category there were some great ideas in the book a war between gods is always a point of interest, it would have helped however if the gods where interesting. In all i found the things I disliked about this book to far outweigh the things I could say were good about it which is unfortunate as I had high hopes from the synopsis.


message 17: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments I've read 44% and don't like enough to continue.


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