Thursday, 4 March 2010

YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: THe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - NK Jemisin


Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky - a palace above the clouds where gods' and mortals' lives are intertwined. There, to her shock, Yeine is named one of the potential heirs to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with a pair of cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history. But it's not just mortals who have secrets worth hiding and Yeine will learn how perilous the world can be when love and hate - and gods and mortals - are bound inseparably.


To be honest I was lucky enough to avoid the hype that surrounded this novel when it originally landed from Orbit in the US. What unfurled within was a tale of mystery, of magic and above all a fantasy setting that I really enjoyed spending a few hours within. However what really made this tale pop was the principle protagonista, she was telling the tale as she remembered it often going back to add more detail as it was remembered that gave it a more earthy and realistic feel than a number of static narratives that are out there already.

Add to the mix the twists and turns of the unpredictable gods tidied up with the sheer exuberance of the author and it’s a tale that really will please the adult alongside young reader. A great combination and one that will help bridge the gap quite nicely. I look forward to seeing what NK comes up with in future instalments.

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