Sunday, June 12, 2011
The hundred thousand kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
The second Hugo nominated book I have read this year. The book was pure fantasy. I am not usually too keen on fantasy as I prefer pure science fiction, but this book was surprisingly readable in spite of that.
The world is ruled by a powerful family who has been able to enslave the gods of the realm to help them to maintain power. The daughter of the ruler, who was supposed to inherit the power had abandoned her position about twenty years before this story. She had married a minor nobility and moved with him to a desolate and unimportant province. After she was murdered, her daughter, Yeine, has been asked to appear in the court. To her surprise, Yeine hears that she has been selected as a contender for the throne. The are two other nominees who aren't too happy to hear that there will be more competition. But it is more complicated than that... And the captive gods have their own plans, also.
The first half of the book was excellent, especially the first few chapters (this seems to be common for the first books). The main character was interesting and original, especially on the first half of the book. For some reason she seems to turn stupider during the story. This might partly be due to the fact that I didn't like the later half story as much as the beginning – there was too much paranormal romance and too many plots going on. The writing also seemed somewhat clumsier. This is the first part of a trilogy. However, I feel that story was fairly well finished in satisfying matter as it is and I don't have any urge to read the last parts as the most relevant questions were answered in satisfying manner.