Category Archives: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Read-Along Week One

hundred-thousandAs The Republic of Thieves read-along came to a close, several of the participants involved decided to keep the spirit going.   But without a new entry in the Gentleman Bastards series coming from Scott Lynch any time soon, the big question was what should be read next.

Enter N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

I’ve had the novel on my to be read pile for quite a while now.  The read along seemed like a great chance to finally move it off the pile and maybe find out what the buzz surrounding the book is all about.

So, here’s my first entry in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Read-Along.   For the first week, the conversation covers the first nine chapters of the book.  This week’s questions were kindly provided by Dab of Darkness.   And if you want to know more, the read along is hosted by On Starships & DragonwingsLittle Red Reviewer, and Violin in a Void.  You can even find the schedule for reading HERE if you’d like to join the fun.

1) We’ve met our narrator, Yeine. What are your first impressions? Do you like the chosen form of story telling so far? 

My first impression of Yeine is that she’s not quite as innocent as she appears or wants us to believe.   While she’s a novice in coming to the world of her grandfather and doesn’t quite yet understand why he sent for her, I have a feeling she is far more ready and able to play the game of politics than she’s lead us to believe so far.  It’s nothing I can necessarily put my finger on yet, though Yeine has dropped a few hints that she knows more than she’s revealing to us just yet.  So far, I like her but I am not necessarily sure I entire trust her

Interestingly, I was able to download the audio version of the book and listened to a chapter or two this week.  Part of it was to get the recommended pronunciation of  names is this universe and part of it was that I was curious to see if the novel’s conversational style worked better as a spoken narrative.  I think it does work a bit better there — it certainly makes the short asides that Yeine gives us at several points in various chapters feel a bit less awkward.   I am hoping that as the novel moves forward and I become more accustomed to the style of the book, these will cease to  be as much of a distraction on the printed page as they were in this first section

2) Yeine essentially has two families – the Darre (her father’s people) and the Arameri (her mother’s people). What do you think of her two halves? Do you think one will win out over the other within Yeine?
I think we’re going to find that Yeine is the best and worst of both worlds.  I have a feeling that early on in her interactions at the court, that her mother’s influence is the largest on her. But I believe that as we continue to delve into her father’s world and just why her grandfather summoned her that some conflicts will begin to arise.  (And I say this not having read past chapter nine yet…so if you’ve read ahead, please don’t tell me if I am right or wrong).

3) We meet the Enefa, the enslaved gods. Which do you wish to know the backstory to the most? What do you think of their enslavement?
I’m remind of the old adage that history is written by the victors.  I’m curious to see what led to the Enefa becoming slaves, especially given that they’re gods within this universe. As for the backstory, I’m not sure who I’m most curious about just yet.  Lots of mysteries abound, so far.

4) Nahadoth finally catches up to Yeine and his first words and actions are mysteries to her. Gibbering or meaning?
I have a feeling that it’s a bit of both.

5) We’ve met the competition for the unspoken throne – Lady Scimina and Lord Relad. How do you think they will complicate Yeine’s life?
I get the feeling that Scimina and Relad are two ends of the spectrum in terms of how they act and that Yeine may be more of a “middle” person.  She is clearly a bit confused and overwhelmed by her new situation and status.  I get the feeling that Scimina or Relad could influence her over to their way of thinking or choices if Yeine is not careful.   Or that they could become an ally long enough to discredit her or betray her.

6) The Enefa obviously want something from Yeine. What do you think that is and how do you think Yeine will react to their wants?
It seems like everyone wants something from her at this point.  The question I find myself asking is should she give it to them and who is the right party to give her loyalty to.

I will admit that, so far,  I am intrigued by this novel and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else thinks and discovering the secrets.


Filed under Read Along, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms