Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

I have enjoyed books from the Fantasy genre for many years now, but over time I have noticed that too many of the books feel the same. They have heroes/heroines that are nearly identical in looks and powers, the overall plots are the same and even the magic feels far too repetitive. So when I came across The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms I figured it would be just like every other fantasy novel out there, but I was wrong. Oh I admit there are a few similar aspects to other fantasy novels but overall this book was refreshingly unique and while I hadn’t planned on starting up another series I was glad that I made the exception for this book.

Initially I found the writing style of this book to be a bit strange and because of this it took me some time to really get into it. The way things were broken up it felt like every time I was starting to fall into the flow of things the story would shift to the past, a dream or change in a way where I had to go back and reread things from the shift on to full figure out what was going on. However as things progressed I began to understand the flow of the book and realized that it really was the perfect way for the book to be written. As things switched back and fourth, the small amount of history that was given was just enough to compliment that current part of the story, to give some more back story as to how and why things are the way they are now, and then the story would continue on until it reached a point where another small bit of the past needed to be revealed.

I really enjoyed the world building in this book. This went well with how the past and present story were delivered along with the history of the kingdoms and the Gods story. As far as charcters go I liked Yeine, she was a great heroine character and what made me like her even more was that unlike many heroes and heroines in books theses days she came from a minority race among the hundred thousand kingdoms. It was so refreshing to not have a heroine who had long, perfect blond/brown hair, with those absolutely stunning blue/green eyes. Yeine broke the mold that far too many heroine fall into and it was one of the many reasons I truly enjoyed this book.

There was a great mix of characters as well as races in this book. I liked T’vril, though initially I thought he would play a much different role in the book and in Yeine’s story, but it turned out he was on the good side in the end. Scimina, I didn’t like, but then again I really don’t feel like she is a character anyone would want to like. Relad’s character wasn’t present enough for me to fully get a good understanding of who he was, however in the little that he was in the story it was obvious that he was lesser among the many evils that circled around the city of Sky. Dekarta, Yeine’s grandfather, was a strange character. He was obviously stuck in the beliefs of his people, but there was something else about him that showed he wasn’t a complete bastard in the end. Viraine was a character who hid much, and I could see that right from the start, yet even through what little was revealed about him I did not see his secret coming at all. I was pleasantly surprised by this little twist in the story.

The gods Nahadoth, Sieh, Kurue, Zhakkarn and Itempas, along with the distance presence of Enefa were really an interesting mix. They had a lot of qualities that are often seen in gods in many books and in history, the incest, power struggles, great fighting among them and of course the love.

The ranking within the family, through powerful marks on each individuals forehead, each showing how close or far that individual was from the Central Family line was a nice little addition. And with those marks also bringing a certain power to the bearer it was even more so unique.

Overall this book was really well written, with a nice flow to the story that mixed past and present together into a solid story that made me not want to put the book down. A must read for all Fantasy lovers. I cannot wait to continue on with the series. I really look forward to seeing what more happens to this story as it moves beyond the events of this book, I am hoping to see more of the kingdoms within this world, to learn more of the history of it’s people and their gods, and of course to see what will happen with Yeine, the Gods and the many mortals that inhabit the realms.

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