walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms_, N. K. Jemisin (kindle)

This is another of my attempts to see if I can be a sf fan again. It got nominated for just about everything and I would swear I read a review of it over on Smart Bitches but I can't find it which makes me suspect I am confused. It is the first of The Inheritance Trilogy. The author is a woman of color and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.

It almost never happens that I read a book and have no issues with it whatsoever; my goal is to read books where my issues don't become Issues. And surprisingly (surprising because the longer a book is, the more opportunity there is for me to develop Issues), this book worked for me. I believed in the characters (they acted consistently while developing as individuals). I believed in the world (the Risk TM like elements of the politics were supposed to be board-game-like given the relationship between the characters who were the focus of the book and countries so far beneath them, literally and otherwise). The ending was emotionally satisfying.

If you got here via the googley, I believe in SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS RUN RUN RUN AAAAUGH!

That said, there are some seriously disturbing themes: slavery, institutionalized rape, dad killing mom to become king, their kid plotting revenge using her own child, Main God turning out to be a Seriously Bad Dude, etc. Did I mention the homosexual sibling incest? No? But the author handles them with enough sensitivity and, this is important, humor, that they are manageable.

This thing is awesome. It's like a 400+ page well-written, emotionally compelling graphic novel without the pictures. It's an origin story for a goddess, only it's the rebirth of a goddess. If you like your sex and violence with mythic import, this is Candy. I ripped through it and plan to read the rest of the series altho I must admit to some trepidation because it's hard to image the sequels living up to the beginning.
Tags: book review, sf

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