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Writers of Color 50 Book Challenge

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1. N. K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
and such a long journey, the heart expands to claim this world, bring me that horizon, anywhere but here, I need things on a grander scale
wordsofastory wrote in 50books_poc
1. N. K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

I have been excited for this novel to come out since I first heard of it quite some time ago, and I am here to tell you: it lives up to all its promises. IT IS THE BEST THING EVER.

Okay, granted, this novel basically plays into every story kink I have, so understandably it may work less for people who are not me. But come on: superbly done court politics, which are actually complicated and confusing and dangerous (as opposed to what so many novels do, which is have a lot of people talk about 'ooo, intrigue!' when you figured out who the bad guy was on page three); class politics; a warrior-women matriarchy; a smart protagonist who is dealing with a mystery; amazing world-building, which is actually a world of different cultures and races and history, as opposed to one city or country; mythology that feels real and features gay divine incest! (is that a plus for other people? That's totally a plus for me). I really, really love the gods in this book (considering that the two who feature most in the plot are a trickster god and a god of chaos and change, which are basically my favorite things ever, that is unsurprising. But they're still legitimately awesome). You know how every now and then a fantasy writer manages to come up with gods so believable and detailed that you wish it was a real religion? Totally happens here. But these gods are also written as dark supernatural beings and not sparkly vegetarian immortals: these are seriously dangerous and uncontrollable creatures.

Okay, so what's the book actually about? Yeine, a distant relation to the ruling family, is summoned to the palace and named heir to the throne. The other heirs are not too happy about this, as only one will actually get to be ruler- whoever can beat the others before the coronation. Also, this is a competition over not just one country, but the entire world, as the ruling family controls the power of a family of gods and thus is pretty much invincible. Long ago, you see, there was a war among the gods, and the winning deity enslaved the losers, forcing them to obey the whims of mortals. These gods are, understandably, a bit bitter, and are constantly looking for any loophole to rebel or lash out. There are questions of power, of right and wrong, of the nature of the divine and humanity, of the way stories can be twisted and retold, of revenge, of familial power struggles, of free will and destiny, of what shapes a person. There is so much I want to squee about here, but I don't want to give too much away; after all, some of the fun of the best elements is the surprise. Also, this is definitely a page-turner; I read the whole thing in about two days (while not reading anything related to archaeology, of course).

Basically, you should read this book. It's the first of a trilogy, but this storyline is pretty well wrapped-up; you don't have to worry about cliff-hangers with huge waits until they're resolved.


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You had me at "superbly done court politics" :)

That's basically the detail that will get me to read any fantasy novel, too. :)

You had me at "warrior-women matriarchy".

It's now on my to-buy list.

*grins* In fairness, there's not too much plot-time spent at the matriarchy's location, but it is the main character's background, and informs a lot of her personality and actions.

I loved this book- though what is with the tag system here? "Women's fiction?" I understand she is a black writer, and a woman, but I would say the themes of the book are more race/sociology with lgbtq themes. And it is, of course, a fantasy book.

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