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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS: the gods *SPOILERS LIKELY*

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

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
What did you think of the concept of the gods in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms?


message 2: by Random (last edited Feb 11, 2011 09:36AM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 809 comments I found the gods to be the most fascinating portion of the book, especially the bits and pieces we got of the war. I'm hoping we'll get further insight into the events in the second book.


message 3: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (narknon) I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know how it works out. So far it's really interesting how the gods are restricted by their imprisonment and are the captives who are being used for the whims of the humans. It's definitely a different take on gods and their powers over the worlds and people they are gods of. I'm interested to see how it all turns out.


message 4: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 187 comments I really enjoyed the gods. . . particularly the balance Jemisin maintained with making them human-like but more than human nonetheless. . .

I also really liked what Jemisin said on her website about being unable to stop herself from making Enefa more explicitly female and what's-his-name the bad day god more explicitly male (even though I'm tired as heck of the moon/healing/empathy = woman and sun/justice = male dichotomy) but creating Naha as right smack in between them, able to balance them because s/he was able to switch roles. . . I just really wish there had been more than a hint of that in the book.


message 5: by Random (last edited Feb 11, 2011 10:34AM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 809 comments What I found unique was the dynamic between the three.

Nahadoth is basically chaos/night. His mutability was a nice way to illustrate this.

Itempas is basically order/day.

Enefa as twilight and dawn/creation is pretty much midst between the two.

However, in the social dynamic between the three, it is Nahadoth who is the fulcrum which the others balance upon where normally you would expect it to be Enefa.

I get the impression from the blurb in the second book that this should get better filled in from Itempas's point of view. Perhaps. I hope.

I don't know if others did as well, but I definitely got the impression from this book that it was the gods who were the main characters. However, as they are gods, seeing things directly from their POV would I think make them seem less. It would be difficult to portray this and still make them gods beyond the concept or normal people. Hence the POV is from a normal (or semi normal) human, but the focus is on them.


message 6: by Random (last edited Feb 11, 2011 10:04AM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 809 comments Phoenixfalls wrote: "I also really liked what Jemisin said on her website about being unable to stop herself from making Enefa more explicitly female and what's-his-name the bad day god more explicitly male (even though I'm tired as heck of the moon/healing/empathy = woman and sun/justice = male dichotomy)"

I have to admit, I'm sick to death of that as well. I would love to see someone come along and mix things up a bit.


message 7: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) I also thought that the gods were one of the best aspects of the book. I really liked that fact that they are multi-dimensional. I think that we are often taught that there is good and evil --- which is very black and white --- but the world is really about all the shades of grey.

In the book, my original perception was that Naha was evil, but as you move through the story, you develop some empathy for him and in the end, he came to be one of the favorite characters. I think it also makes you think about the balance that is needed for us to experience the whole range of human emotions (example, if there is no sadness, then you can't feel happiness or joy either).


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) I think the gods really made the book as well as the two different reactions to them.


message 9: by Lurple (new)

Lurple | 12 comments I honestly wasn't fond of the book. Sieh was my favorite character by far, I didn't much care about anyone else. The bulk of the god stuff isnt much different than Christianity in my opinion; god (itempas in this case) fights with and casts down the angels who disagree with him. Pretty similar to the dynamic here, though the gods are enslaved by humans instead of just being cast down.

My biggest problem with the book is that I didn't much care for any of the characters. 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 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 10: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 187 comments Lurple: I hear that Sieh is a fairly prominent character in book 2. . . in case that sways you one way or another. ;)

I didn't see the dynamic between the gods as particularly Christian though; I mean, I suppose you could argue that maybe Itempas' order of human priests was trying to shape the world into seeing things that way, but my impression was that the sort of truest, rightest way for the world to be was with all three gods as equals; Itempas casting his siblings into chains was a perversion of the natural order. He was first born, true, but not in any way above Enefa and Nahadoth.


message 11: by Lurple (new)

Lurple | 12 comments Phoenixfalls wrote: "Lurple: I hear that Sieh is a fairly prominent character in book 2. . . in case that sways you one way or another. ;)

I didn't see the dynamic between the gods as particularly Christian though; I ..."


Oh, I don't mean that it's meant to be Christian; I'm mainly saying that I don't find the concept particularly original; most other people seem to think it is original. Check out To Reign in Hell for a similar but more interesting concept, at least in my opinion.

Also, Nahadoth was the firstborn, followed by Itempas and then Enefa. Doesn't matter much, just thought I'd mention it. ;)


message 12: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 187 comments Lurple wrote: "Also, Nahadoth was the firstborn, followed by Itempas and then Enefa. Doesn't matter much, just thought I'd mention it. ;) "

He was?!?

Damnit, now I've gotta go and skim. . . always the problem with discussing books read months ago. . . ;)


message 13: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) Phoenixfalls wrote: "Lurple: I hear that Sieh is a fairly prominent character in book 2. . . in case that sways you one way or another. ;)

I think it's the 3rd book where he is prominent. He is in the sequel but not in a large way :-D


message 14: by Hélène (new)

Hélène (hlneb) | 89 comments Phoenixfalls wrote: "Lurple: I hear that Sieh is a fairly prominent character in book 2. . . in case that sways you one way or another. ;)

I didn't see the dynamic between the gods as particularly Christian though; I ..."

Yes, I agree that's probably what the priests want the people to believe. The balance between the trio, as it should have been, isn't Christian at all. I'm no specialist but some of it reminds me of Hinduism with the goddess aspect as the active player.
I like the way Jemisin write the story with jumps and skirts. It gives depth to the novel and let us perceive this is not only a young women telling her story.


message 15: by Jacen (new)

Jacen | 11 comments Not quite finished the book yet but I must say the interaction between Naha and Yeine is rather tiresome. Ok Naha is a big bad seductive dude that makes the women tremble at the knees *yawn* I got it the first time and the second and the fiftieth time....
The chapter starters of Yeine having a conversation either with herself or the reader (hard to tell because there are sometimes answers) are annoying and detract from the flow of the story in a major way, the author seems to almost delight in jumping back to her talking and leaving a cliffhanger like some bad television show at commercial time.


message 16: by Random (last edited Feb 18, 2011 09:19AM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 809 comments Actually Yeine is not talking to herself or the reader, but to Enefa (or that portion of Enefa that is within her). That distinction becomes clear by the end of the book.


message 17: by Jacen (new)

Jacen | 11 comments That makes more sense but it doesn't make it any less annoying, to me at least.


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