A couple of weeks ago I was having a “Best Reads of 2009” conversation with a fellow book enthusiast; and while on most titles we disagreed (She loved the “Blue Bloods” series, while I wanted to chunk them out of a car window while cruising down the interstate at 70mph) we did agree on 1 thing… “The Mortal Instruments” series finished leaps and bounds over the rest of the competition in 2009. The series had all of the components to keep a reader captivated, separation, angst, deceitfulness, and arrogance (to name a few) but after I closed book 3 I was slammed with the reality that THIS was the series that would ruin my optimism for any and all fantasy series that would follow it.
I found “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” while updating my Shelfari page last month, and was immediately intrigued. A relatively unknown author was stunning the literary world into silence with her “brilliant” (to quote about 10 articles I read on it) creation of not only a new world, but one that was so amazing it had already been named as a top pick for several awards for 2010. With such promises as “War of the God’s” and “the ultimate battle for power” being tossed around like dirty laundry it was almost impossible for me to NOT read it.
One word: WOW
After the first couple of pages, my faith in the ability of another fantasy novel intriguing me so fully was restored, and by chapter 2 I was sucked in.
The Sky world is ruled by 1 family, and to deny them or betray them means certain death, but when a lost heir to the thrown suddenly reappears, plans and conspiracies start to unfold. Who is this rugged warrior girl? When the God’s suddenly take notice of her so does everyone else, what Yeine doesn’t know however, is that she is just a pawn in a really large game of chess. While the clock ticks, Yeine rushes to find answers, but when the answers she seeks so intently turn out to be more horrific than she first imagined can she handle them? Who can she trust? Who can she love? And who is the real leader of humanity?
“NK Jemisin” floored me with her ability to create a world that only a true master of imagination could. Her writing was fluid and the plot, though easily followed, twisted and turned creating surprises and confusion at exactly the right moments. Her ability to capture the thoughts and actions of so many different cultures and personality types was impressive, and the fact that this was her debut novel and a start to a new series, not only shocked me, it impressed me in ways other authors never have.
There was an evil cousin willing to destroy her surroundings for power, a desperate chase at the first moment of darkness, a little boy who loved disappearing walls, a very bitter grandfather, an empire in the sky, a scary moment between 2 gods, a beautiful man who had forgotten how to be gentle, and several fight scenes that brought a whole new meaning to “brotherly love.”
If you love stepping out of yourself and into a world that is fueled by jealousy, love, deception, acceptance, and pure unadulterated hatred then this is a novel you do not want to miss.
If you are a fantasy lover and relish in the details of a God’s inevitable mortal flaws, then this is a book for you.
If you…like to read…this is a book for you.
I cannot wait for book #2!
Happy reading my fellow Mortals and remember: if there is a will there is a way, sometimes it just takes a little self control.
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