Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Open Chat Thread

OK, since the book has now been out for more than a week, I think it might be fun for me to create a space here where readers can chat with each other about the book’s characters or content. Spoilers will abound necessarily, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the thread to make sure things stay civil, but other than that I will be hands-off here. Want to speculate about future books of the trilogy? Rant about characters who should’ve gotten more story time, or characters you just want to hate? Rave about characters who surprised you in a good way? Have at it.

Going to see if I can find a way to put this as a permanent link somewhere in the sidebar, so people can add things to it on an ongoing basis.

Tagged as:

69 Responses »

  1. I so wanna see how T’vril deals with running things!

    Hated Scimina, of course.

    And I wish I could have seen a little through Yeine’s mother’s eyes. Maybe a prequel someday!

  2. About halfway through the novel (devoured the first several hundred pages in one afternoon). Have very much enjoyed the plot, pacing, and the twisty flashbacks/expositions.

  3. Ms. Jemisin is now happily among my fave writers. An amazing read. Thanks N.K!

  4. I couldn’t help but think of certain aspects of Nahadoth as similar to Dream from “Sandman” while Sieh reminded me in many ways of a nicer Sprite from “The Eternals.” Are you a Neil Gaiman fan or is this a coincidence?

  5. Samantha,

    I read the Sandman series recently (about a year ago), but 100K was done by then. (And I first came up with Nahadoth about 10 years ago.) I haven’t read “The Eternals”, or even heard of it before you mentioned it (though I’ve Googled it now) — I read more manga than American comics. It sounds interesting; I’ll check it out. =)

  6. I couldn’t help but notice some similarities between the structure of your cosmology and that of Louise Cooper’s Time Master Trilogy, which, of course, probably draws its influences from, inter alia, Zoroastrianism and Daoism. Is the late Ms. Cooper an influence of yours?

  7. Yep, Louise Cooper is one of my favorite authors! (I was so sorry to hear of her death last year. ;_; ) Hers is dualistic while mine’s a trinity, and it’s true that she namechecks different religions as her inspiration (I seem to recall her mentioning Marduk and Tiamat, Babylonian)… but I think we both play with inversions of the expected roles for each religion. Another strong influence was Tanith Lee’s Flat Earth books, and Storm Constantine’s Wraeththu.

  8. Hi! Just finished the book…Can I be your designated #1 fan from Athens, Greece? ;-) It`s been quite a long time since any fantasy-fiction book had my full, undivided attention..Thank you!

  9. Just wanted to pop on to say I loved your book! I saw it highly recommended on some blogs and started reading it immediately once I got it. I was a bit worried that it would be a cheesy fantasy from the title but by the 2nd page I was hooked. Its fantastic and I’m passing it around to all of my coworkers urging them to read it as well. Thank you!

  10. I have to say, I loved your book Im reading it again just to make sure I didnt miss anything. I enjoyed each and every charater and I cant wait for the next one, just to see what is on the agenda for Yeine and Nahadoth…. they have such great chemistry.

  11. Just finished the book this morning. I thought it was great. I found the Darr culture intriguing, care to fill us in on any details that didn’t make it into the book? Also, when is the movie coming :)

  12. Your novel sounds interesting. Can you provide me a link with a complete spoiler plot summary start to finish, rather detailed. You see, nearing my seventh decade I don’t have decades to read every book that appears interesting. So I screen them by knowing the plot line before I read the first paragraph. Does such a link even exist?

  13. Nope, sorry! Though maybe someone else here would be willing to write that up for you, if you ask them very, very nicely.

  14. Tobias,

    When I’m done with book 3, I’ll consider whether to release the wiki that I use for keeping notes, which contains lots of minutia that never made it into the book. It won’t happen soon, though — if it happens — since the wiki contains spoilers for all three books.

    Re: movie — from your lips to Hollywood’s ears, as long as they’re willing to cast a brown girl as Yeine. :)

  15. I am not surprised. My 30 year old son likely will read your novel for me and fill me in, but I shall have to wait on him. He is behind in his reading. Thanks for the quick reply.

  16. You can indeed be the designated #1 Athenian fan, since I don’t know of any others. Congrats! ;)

  17. A very gripping story and I marvel at your craft. Congrats and I look forward to seeing more from you.

  18. Nora,

    I hope it’s ok to contact you here. My friend Robert R. asked me to remind you to supply him with a copy of “The 100,000 Kingdoms” for immediate review.

    Thanks so much on his behalf.

  19. Ooo, what a role of a lifetime (and a great reversal/stretch) for America Ferrara! I could SO see her as Yeine!

  20. I have to say that I have enjoyed the book even though it involves some tropes that I am very much fed up with, i.e.:

    A demonic lover, who is terribly dangerous, but whom Our Heroine manages to happily get together with, because she is so special. Sigh. Female fantasy writers have been really abusing this trope recently.

    Romantic plot being the crux of the overall plot. Why do female authors so often do this? Particularly if the main character is also female? I mean, fantasy has sadly become very predictable already – why make it even more so according to the gender of the author? And yes, I am a woman and that’s why I particularly dislike this tendency. We don’t need even more stereotyping.

    Death and shoe-horned resurrection of the main character. Done to death. Give me a honest tragedy instead. Yeine should have really died as the captive gods intended. Which would have only made the book stronger and also removed my objections above, BTW.

    Implausible matriarchy. I am all for believable matriarchies (I am tired of all these lazy copy-cat “medieval fantasy” settings) – and IMHO conscious control over fertility and reproduction by women could have resulted in such. But a society where women are primary fighters? Doesn’t make any kind of survival sense unless they have magic.

    I have to reiterate that I enjoyed the book a lot – and it is a testimony to the writing and the skillful handling of these tired tropes that I did.
    Worldbuilding is great and so are the characters. The plot has several surprising twists, too. But I really hope that the next book isn’t more of the same, only with Itempas this time. It would be a such a waste of great potential. The short summary at the end of the Thousand Hundred Kingdoms doesn’t give me much hope, though…

  21. Hi Isilel,

    Sorry to hear the book disappointed you so much! I understand that not everyone’s going to like it, though. I’ll be posting the first few chapters of book 2 here when it’s close to publication, so you can decide whether you want to read further then.

    Nora

  22. Per “I have to say that I have enjoyed the book even though it involves some tropes that I am very much fed up with, i.e.:

    A demonic lover, who is terribly dangerous, but whom Our Heroine manages to happily get together with, because she is so special. Sigh. Female fantasy writers have been really abusing this trope recently.”

    I was just thinking of this, driving home from the dr today. Jay Lake (a male, very much so) has Unusual Love as the topic of his latest book Pinion. Well, within it for sure. There, a (magically gifted) female falls in love with, and he with her, a Mechanical Man. No man bits either… unlike with Nora’s.

    This, along with all the other unusual lover stories (Twilight, etc) brings me to agree with the statement the poster gives “Romantic plot being the crux of the overall plot. Why do female authors so often do this? Particularly if the main character is also female? I mean, fantasy has sadly become very predictable already” except for the part about ~female. It just seems to be in the wind anymore. And yes, I’ll be glad when it’s not. After all, it does seem to foster our youngsters towards unlikely mates (or expectations for same).

    The matriarchy I have no problems with… the Irish women would fight right alongside the men (and some of the Greeks too, I believe) and were considered MOST ferocious, prob because of defense of children and home.. they didn’t care for the politics of the battle; it’s more like survival of YOUNG. :D

    I haven’t finished it yet, but yes, have figured out that she didn’t die as planned.. isn’t that what the trilogy is about ;)?

  23. I wasn’t disappointed by the book – as I said I have enjoyed it a lot _despite_ the tropes that normally put me off. It is a testimony to it’s quality in my eyes. However, in my humble opinion, the book would have been even better without those tired and overused cliches.
    You have it all – the writing, the setting, the characters, interesting plots. No need to fall back on central casting stuff that hundreds have already exploited before you. IMHO, YMMV as always.

  24. “The matriarchy I have no problems with… the Irish women would fight right alongside the men”

    Alongside, yes. But a warrior culture where women fight _instead_ of men? Like in Darre of old? Surely, it makes the survival of such a society implausible?
    I would love a matriarchy that I could believe in or anything other than the faux medieval patriarchies that so many fantasy authors lazily plug in despite having, you know, world shattering magics and stuff that should have changed everything from the ground up. And IMHO it wouldn’t be difficult to think up one that makes sense. But that isn’t it.

  25. Based on Darre’s terrain, I’d say woman warriors would be quite feasible. If they’re surrounded by such thick forests set with traps, their fighting style wouldn’t require as much physical hand to hand combat where men would have a size advantage. I imagine more defensive strategies, sneak attacks, catching invaders off guard and slitting their throats or something, along with long range attacks from women perched in trees.

    One of the best things about this book is the rich world building, which we can still play with after finishing the book. :)

  26. Well, I’m not going out and totally researching this just for a good post, BUT>>>>

    the Amazons have a great rep.. and hey, I believe the men didn’t fight for their little homesteads.. :D

    As an Irish American, I can tell you this: if I had to fight, I wouldn’t care if men were beside me; if it came down to defending my life and/or child’s life, I wouldn’t look around me for a man to save my ass.

    Just sayin’.

    Women, in most cultures, have been kept apart, down, safe…. by CULTURE… if they’d been kept in total equality, I think today’s world would be different.

    I still don’t think having a country in which the women are the fighters is that much of a stretch. This IS fantasy, after all.

  27. Isilel,

    Just got some free time to respond to this.

    Note that Darre men do fight (and work, and hunt; Yeine’s father died in a hunting accident) — they just don’t charge off to war. They stay home and care for the kids, and fight on the homefront if the battle should ever come there. I have to say I don’t see how that would make survival impossible. Outside of mid to late pregnancy, women are perfectly capable of performing demanding physical labor, especially if they’re fit to begin with. Just ask the very pregnant women in my Cardio Sculpt class! Though Darre women don’t go to war when they’re pregnant. Outside of the first few months or so of nursing, human babies are capable of surviving without mother’s milk as long as they’re given food that’s appropriately softened by chewing, etc (and as long as the babies don’t have allergies, etc.) — and anyone can do that, male or female. So basically aside from pregnancy and early nursing, there’s really no part of human childrearing that absolutely requires that the mother be present.

    The Darre were partly inspired by the Amazighs (also known as Berbers, though I believe the Amazighs are a particular tribe of Berbers — and they may have also served as the inspiration for the Amazons of Greek mythology), a real-life culture in northern Africa. According to their oral traditions — which many Western scholars scoff at, but that doesn’t mean they’re not true — ancient (pre-Islamic) Amazighs were matriarchial and very much a warrior culture. Their women used to ride into battle at the heads of armies. They were expected to utter a bloodcurdling scream — the men couldn’t do it as well as the women could — to frighten their enemies; they were famously good archers; they would mutilate any enemy warriors who fell by, uh, cutting off bits; and they would take male slaves from among the survivors, whom they marked with henna tattoos to show they were property. They didn’t fight in place of the men, but they had an accepted and common role in war. Basically, you didn’t mess with the Amazighs, because the whole tribe including any children old enough to sit a horse would come after you!

    I’ll use another real-life analogy, which wasn’t exactly a wartime situation but was certainly hostile: slavery in the American South. Slave women were not coddled. They could be whipped or raped or otherwise treated violently while pregnant; they subsisted on poor nutrition and no kind of health care yet were sometimes whipped if they failed to deliver a healthy child (for losing the master’s “investment”, and because common belief at the time held that black women were like animals and should be hardy enough to still bring a baby to term despite privation). They were required to go out into the fields alongside the men even in late pregnancy, and often they gave birth right there in the field. Sometimes they were required to return to work as soon as the placenta had been delivered. In many cases these women were working instead of men for certain tasks, such as picking cotton — women (and children) were preferable to men because they had smaller, more nimble hands and could work faster. (Men did the plowing and heavy-lifting, like toting bales and so forth.) Oftentimes a single nursing woman would stay in the slave quarters to take care of multiple babies, while the rest of the new mothers went out to do backbreaking labor all day. Sometimes those mothers (and fathers) wouldn’t have the energy to spend time with their smaller children; usually an elderly slave would look after all the children collectively. The parents sometimes wouldn’t see the kids for months at a time.

    It seems to me that Darre women have it easier than this — and given that the black population in the South grew steadily from birthrate even after slave importation was banned, even those horrid conditions didn’t impede the group’s survival. Darre women don’t fight when they’re pregnant unless they have to; they have access to healers and decent food; they can at least stay home with the babies for the first few months if they want; they have husbands (sometimes more than one) at home to help out. There is little to no rape among the Darre, and they don’t particularly venerate penetrative sex versus, say, oral sex, so the women choose when they want to have sex and can thus avoid it when they don’t want to be pregnant.

    Note, though, men and women in the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms have been able to control their own fertility for at least a thousand years. The scriveners long ago developed a sigil that suppresses ovulation and sperm motility in men, and although most poor people can’t afford to hire a scrivener for things like that, knowledge of the sigil has leaked into common knowledge and is applied illegally by herb-healers and midwives. (These kinds of healers are called “bonebenders” — you’ll see some of this in book 2.) So it’s even easier now for Darre women to plan their pregnancies for times of peace, or stagger them so that they’re not incapacitated for very long.

    I did do a lot of thinking about the Darre and several of the other cultures of this world, though of course I could never have put all this into the story. I didn’t do the research about the Amazighs for this book, note, but for an earlier novel I wrote several years back. It just came in handy here.

  28. As mentioned in a previous comment, AMAZONS ! Works for me ;-)

  29. Glad I could be of some help ;)

  30. Ok, I have to jump in and defend N.K. here. I thought there was a great deal of unique world building, engaging characters, and unusual perspectives. As for “trope” my highschool english teacher once told us this: “that which is most personal is also the most universal.” There is a reason that certain themes or ideas show up in popular writing: because they are popular,and the readers identify.

    I’m looking happily forward to the next installment and wish NK a long and prosperous career!

    Oh and imo Naha is hot :)

  31. “I have to say I don’t see how that would make survival impossible.”

    Because they would have had very hard time recovering from any significant war losses – almost any non-bloodless victory would be a Pyrrhic one.
    Fertile women are far less expendable for the tribe’s survival than men.
    And just kidnapping some from the enemy tribes as patriarchal cultures liked to do iRL when they ran short, wouldn’t work here either.
    Also, it wasn’t made clear whether the women actually face significant risks to their life in childbirth in this setting. If they do – well, it just ups the ante, doesn’t it?

    I could imagine a minority of women being professional warriors and young women needing to prove themselves worthy of being considered adults as well older women who have already had their kids showing up alongside the men to fight as needed. But having women fighting exclusively while men remain home (which seemed to be the case in the old Darre, while not so much in Yeine’s time anymore) just wouldn’t be feasible in a warlike culture unless they have some exclusive magic.

    I know that we are dealing with fantasy, but personally I prefer when things remain plausible for these changed premises. Not that many authors manage it to my complete satisfaction :).

    But generally I felt that the worldbuilding in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was very interesting and has loads of potential for future stories.

    None of the generic faux medieval stuff that many writers like to plug in without any thought how the usually flashy and impressive fantastical/ speculative elements would have changed _everything_ in societies from the ground up.

    Sorry for sounding a bit critical, but I wouldn’t have been commenting at such length if I didn’t like the book a lot and didn’t hope for even better (IMHO YMMV) things in the future. You certainly have the talent for it.

  32. N.K. I use to work with your mother in Mobile and she spoke very proudly of you and promoted your book. I am not correction was not a big fantasy fan before reading 100,000 Kingdoms–I am becoming one. I took my time reading the book to make sure I didn’t miss any details. By the time I got to the last chapters leading up to the ball I could not put the book down. I loved the way you developed and revealed the characters. My favorite characters are Sieh–I love his innocence and of course Yeine. Keep up the good work. By the way, when can we expect book 2—I am on edge to see what happens next.

  33. I really loved this book. It felt fresh and new while still having the wonder, grandeur and excitement I read fantasy for. One thing that intrigued me was the very Christan ending. (A willing sacrifice who is both essentially human and essentially God gains power over death through her death and resurrection.) I wonder if that was something that you were conscious of during the writing or that just came out naturally.

  34. I should read during the day more often because i found this confusing. Mainly what was meant to happen at the top of Sky how did that ritual work and what exactly happened at the end with the gods? To me there didn’t seem to be any cliff hanger tension rather just curiosity with now what especially with Yiene. I will give book 2 a go and see if it does any better for me.
    Thats my 2 cents.

  35. I’m only halfway through the book so I haven’t read the comments yet (afraid of spoilers) but I’m loving the book so much that I wanted to stop by and say this book rocks! I’ll be back for a more detailed read when I finish. Can’t wait to read what others are saying!

  36. I finished this book over the weekend and what a delight! If real life had not interjected itself I’m pretty sure I’d have read it cover to cover. The pacing was fantastic which really kept up the suspense for me. I also loved the characterization! I was able to get attached to almost everyone from the get-go.

    Sort of sticking with the discussions already in play… I also found the structure of the narrative to be pretty predictable due to certain tropes but it didn’t bother me at all. I thought that the world-building, characterization and themes were so well done that it gave a fresh feel to a predictable narrative. I didn’t think twice about the “dangerous” relationship because it seemed perfectly obvious that it would occur once you knew about the second soul. In fact, I would have thought it odd otherwise. I began to view Yeine as a dual character (which just made her more interesting to me) and I had a lot of fun parsing out the actions I thought were determined by her and the ones that might be attributed to the goddess. (I also found her survival to be a foregone conclusion once you learn of the other soul so that didn’t feel odd to me either.)

    As for the female warrior culture. Was every fertile woman required to go to war? Were they really all that crazy warlike? I got the impression that they were a culture that valued the strengths of a warrior but not that every fertile woman had to join the army and make never-ending war. It did seem like in extremis the entire army went to the front line and the men protected the home but again was that every fertile woman? Even half? If these extremes did not often arise then the culture probably didn’t have the pressure to switch to a system where less (numerically speaking) fertile women risked their lives. Interesting to think of in a sort of evolution of culture way.

    I swing back and forth regarding romances as central themes. On the one hand, I do like stories that feature strong character bonds that do not necessarily have to become romantic or sexual. But then, in real life (and literature really) it’s the oldest theme in the book. It’s hardwired into our biology. If I take a little time to think of the huge diversity of cultures on our planet the one thing we invariably have in common is romance! Thinking of it that way, it’s almost weird to exclude such a thing. It does annoy me though that it’s supposedly a female thing. Love and sex are universal. They are not the exclusive property of women (for which I’m sure many men are grateful) and their appearance should not mean we all have to default to “this is here because the author/protagonist is female.” It’s there because it’s life!

    And maybe this can be another discussion question. Scimina fell a bit flat for me as a character. I was so impressed with the characterization in the book that she stood out in stark contrast. Everyone was so layered but she was just evil. After a while it felt like she was evil simply for the plot’s sake, like we needed an embodiment of all the Arameri stereotypes. Any other readers out there have a different reaction to her? I’ll definitely be re-reading this book and I’d love to have some new perspectives to bring to her character when I delve back into the story.

    Thanks for a wonderful experience, Ms. Jemisin! I can’t wait for book two.

  37. Picked up a copy of your book at the Lady Jane’s Salon. Awesome. Read it in one sitting. So lovely to read a fanatasy novel that uses a mythos other than Celtic. And ’twas done so well. More, please!

  38. Before I read the interview in the back suggesting we leave comments I knew I was going to write you a line of thanks. The book was beyond my expectations. When I picked it up the title intrigued me, when I read the story line I thought to myself “this is gonna be good” How wrong was I. The book was beyond good, beyond great, beyond magnificent. I was captivated. I almost didn’t sleep in my need to read it all at once. I really had to force myself to put it down. The only reason sleep found me was my need to wake up and read the rest. And the crazy part? While I slept I dreamed of your book. I fell in love with the characters so easy, as well as hating some of them. It was written so well I was there with them, experiencing the ups and downs of all their emotions. I saw all you described, now captured in my heart. Now my only regret in reading it is I have to wait for the next two. Such greed, I know. But my want is so great to know the rest. Thank you for writing one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I look forward to reading the rest of your books.

  39. I just wanted to say I Loved your book, and I am excited to read the rest of the trilogy (if a bit sad that I ran across your first book so soon after it came out heh). I have now bullied my boyfriend into reading it and he seems to be enjoying it as well. It’s been awhile since I have been as excited to read about world development as much as the storyline.

    Basically, I am squee.

  40. Dear Ms Jemisin,

    Just finished the book, in time for a WisCon fawn. Wow. Thank you for your art.

    Found myself thumping the armrest of my chair because frankly if I got turned into a goddess, one of the first damn things I’d do is run a freaking huge tree up the nearest cold oppressive skyscraper. Talk about fantasy fulfillment!

    The earlier discussion of tropes and historical antecedents made me smile because, as a historian as well as a writer, one of the qualities I like best about your book is that sense of old and new intertwined: a re-telling and a new-telling both.

    I’d like to add more references for readers who doubt female warrior cultures: the archeological evidence of the Scythians, most accounts of the earliest Celts, and many African cycles–as well as any ten-year-old girl with summer-hard feet and a pocket knife… Thanks for the note on the Amazighs. Cool!

    Finally, I really appreciated your thoughts on both the complex reactions to and the plain injustice of oppression. Bein’ white and female, educated and disabled, I’ve had a look at both sides, but there’s so very much more for me to learn, and I’m glad of your help.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to the next.

  41. Hi-
    I was looking for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in ebooks, specifically fictionwise, don’t kindle capability – yet :)- and couldn’t find it. Can you please publish electronic? I mostly don’t read fiction in any other format now, I might think there are at least few others like me.
    Thanks
    Kathy

  42. Hi Kathy,

    Like most authors, I have no control over the format in which my books are published. To my knowledge it’s available in Kindle and the B&N Nook formats, but I don’t know what format Fictionwise prefers/requires. If there’s a different format you’d prefer to see, you should contact my publisher, who makes those decisions. =)

  43. Thank you so much for replying to me so promptly! I will ask the publisher and, either way I’m buying your book.
    Kathy

  44. NK, I enjoyed the story. The setting was cool, the characters interesting, but what I enjoyed the most was the intellectual play with the meaning of godhood. The idea of existing before time, of creating time – I like stories that think through a plausible story for how that all comes about. Of course, the must be some deus ex machina because nothing to something is a big leap. But what the heck, you’ve got the license, use it. :)

    As for the romance with demon lovers, I love that stuff. At least when it is well done, as it is here. :)

    Jake

    PS – read the story in Kindle for iPhone. Works great!

  45. Okay, wow.

    In all honesty, I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I read a lot, but my tastes tend to be too fickle for even me to predict. But I have been reading and learning much about the whitewashing of SF/Fantasy, most of which made me realize I can only name a handful of SF/Fantasy writers of color that I’ve read. So I put my money (or, rather, my library card, as I am a poor grad student) where my big activist mouth is and picked up your book.

    And, wow.

    I think my heart was pounding through the final hundred pages or so. Last night, I laid in bed trying to predict how it would end. Dozens of scenarios twirled about my head and I was unable to sleep. I was so captivated by every character’s multidimensional aspects that I didn’t even trust that the reliable-seeming ones (such as T’vril) would follow through.

    But mostly I was truly impressed with your world-building. It felt like some ancient map and text that you discovered in a library in Morocco and turned into something new and breathtaking. I was curious to read in your interview that you pulled ideas for The Three from Hinduism, but I do also see some of your Freudian influence in the three godlings? Sieh as Id? Anyone?

    I kind of wish I’d found the pronunciation guide before reading, as one of the reasons I usually dislike fantasy novels is wondering constantly if I’m pronouncing everything correctly. It’s a cross I bear, I know. But I found I cared little as I became more and more involved in the story.

    Anyway. The point of this long-winded comment is simply to say I am truly looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing what happens next.

  46. I am not much of a sci-fi/fantasy fan but bought your book at a book sale for a friend who is, and before mailing decided to read it myself. I read it in two days, barely able to put it down. I love the characters, the story line…I was riveted.

    I was also pleasantly surprised when I got to the end and saw that you were a black author. I know this may sound incomprehensible to others, but as a black woman myself, it made me smile and think, “way to go!”

    I look forward to the next book, I have already pre-ordered it on Amazon.

    Thank you for hours of enjoyment!

    Nancy

  47. Whoops, very belated! Sorry. I’m glad you liked Sieh! He’s going to be the protagonist of book 3, which I just finished. And book 2 will be out in November. :)

    Mom’s been my biggest marketer, since this book came out!

  48. Hi Alia,

    I didn’t intend a Christian ending, but if it works as such, cool. The mythology of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is partially mooched from Christianity (the Holy Trinity), and also Hinduism (the Trimurti), Egyptian mythology, and Greek mythology. I meant for it to resemble all those religions to some degree, and a few others besides.

    Glad you liked it!

  49. Michael,

    I’m not really sure what you’re asking, here. It sounds like you basically want me to recap the whole plot of the book? If I can suggest, maybe just reading it again would help. To recap it here would force me to put spoilers into this thread, which I’d rather not do. Maybe you can ask someone else who read the book for a private recap?

  50. Hi Diana,

    I hadn’t intended to insert a Freudian vibe, but you’re not the first to note that there’s an obvious connection there — Nahadoth as Id, Enefa/Yeine as Ego, Itempas as Superego. Sieh’s definitely got some Id to him too, but that won’t get developed ’til book 3. :)

    Anyway, glad you liked the book!

  51. Nancy,

    ::chuckle:: Did you ever get around to sending the book to your friend? Or did you bogard it for yourself? :) Thanks for the comment!

  52. I AM currently bogarding because I keep wanting to go back and re read parts for clarification and since it is a trilogy, I really don’t want to send it to him now. LOL But I will and will probably end up buying another copy for my library, which says a lot as I am a “less is more girl,” and usually recycle books when I am done to make room for new ones. I read a lot ;-)

    Thanks for responding, all the best!

    Nancy

  53. I just finished the book! Literally.
    It was pretty awful because I couldn’t focus on my classes just thinking about what was next, and when I came home I just took the book to my couch and emerged until dinner time. I must say no homework was done around this last week :)

    It’s also kind of funny that I took this book when I was in a rush on B&B, I just looveed the title, and then the cover. I hadn’t read any review or summary :) Result: Best purchase ever!

    I absolutely loved it! I has been so long since a science fiction book caught me so fast! I can’t believe what an amazing world you created, and the characters! I loved and hated and cried and… well, all the things one does with an amazing book. I must said I peeked a little into the second book description halfway through the first book and thought I wouldn’t read it since it didn’t follow (mainly) the same characters, but now I’m hooked. I HAVE TO HAVE IT! The last 100 pages were epic. It was just so unexpected. It was the most unexpected thing, and I pride myself with knowing how the book ends in its first 50 pages! Just joking. But I truly liked how you created all this cultural differences and took time to explain the character’s pasts and upbringing and how it affected them.

    So… after reading your blog and trying to google you in search of more fans (I feel compelled to create a fansite or something, except I have no idea how) and realizing “the hundred thousand” is your debut, I just feel like thanking you. And congratulating you on your amazing first book. I will be your fervent fan from now on.

    Greetings from Mexico!

  54. Dear Ms. Jemisin,

    I loved your first book in the Inheritance Trilogy, and cannot wait for the second to be released! You truly are a spiritual heir to Octavia Butler. May your writing career be long and well-rewarded —

    Peace,
    Evie Shockley

  55. I just want to say that I’ve read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms a couple of times already, and that it completely swept me off my feet (and still does each time). I am waiting with bated breath for the second installment to come in the mail, and I just want to thank you for putting such a delightful protagonist into the world.

    Best,
    Emily

  56. Just received the second book…can’t wait to crack it open! Thanks for giving me some exciting reading to look forward to ;-)

    Nancy

  57. I just finished reading “The Broken Kingdoms” yesterday; wonderful book! But it has been so long since I read “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” that I didn’t remember what had happened in it AT ALL! So I went to the library, picked it up and just finished rereading it. Fabulous! Now I’m going to reread “Broken” so I can pull all the threads together again. I’ll buy all 3 books when I can afford them; they MUST go into my personal collection. They are so rich in texture, so magical in flavor, so beautiful in conception… Thank you for writing them–and I can hardly wait for the 3rd to be published!

  58. Thanks so much for this book–the best I’ve read in a long, long time. Every time I picked it up, it made the rest of the world fall away. It made a long commute into something I looked forward to. I’ve ordered Broken Kingdoms, and can’t wait for it to arrive.

    I loved how surprising and yet totally right the ending was–from the moment I discovered the truth about Viraine onward, I could hardly breathe.

    I just ached that it had to end. I loved how satisfied I felt, though, and was so glad that Yeine was able to remain herself through everything.

    While reading the book, I’ve been obsessively visiting this site looking for trivia about it. I loved the post where you talked about how you came to write it–deciding to write the book that you really wanted to write.

    I wish I had more coherent praise, but I just finished the book a couple hours ago. I’m beside myself waiting for the rest, and found out you have two more books coming out in 2012! I’m so excited for that!

  59. Norah, I promised you a pic of my Pom reading your book.. well, you’ve had two out now, so I have two different Poms reading them.. can you send me an email with a place (your email or a site) that I can give you those pics? They’re kinda funny :D

    Meran

  60. I’m so happy I finally heard about this book. Shows how little SF/F I have time to read these days I guess )= I was doubtful about getting it at first but…it ended up being a real struggle to put it down and go to sleep last night, and then going back to reading it was all I could think about when I woke up.

    I absolutely adored Sieh, but Nahadoth was my favourite character by far =) Glad to see there’s another book out, but I think I should get some work done first before I let myself lay my hands on it ;)

  61. ok i scrolled down the site fast n then found this link , having just finished 100,000 kingdoms, i wanted to post. 1st i never even thought about the writers race , that’s just me , but i read a lot (since i quit smoking)and i LOVED this book ! well done , finely crafted , and hard to put down . I have a wide varitey of authors in my library and now add N. K. J. to the greats ! i have every Anne McCaffrey book, and many Tad Williams , Robin Hobb , Charelain Harris , Laurell K. Hamilton , and recently added Patricia Briggs and Shanna Abe and so many others . once again HIGH PRAISE and looking forward to the next book .(i now have) this 50 year old MWM from Mich is a fond fan ! More Please , n thx

  62. hi Nora, yeah i’m on first names term now … just wanted to say that i’m a fan… i don’t know how many fans from the middle east you have.. but i’m working on increasing the number

    i’m a member in a group in http://www.selfari.com which slects books evey month to discuss them… we read both of your books and it’s safe to say that everyone who read them loved them…
    i just wanted to invite you to check our discussions in the group.. having your input is most appreciated.. it might even useful for you when making you FAQ

    the hundred thousand kingdoms
    http://www.shelfari.com/groups/48977/discussions/297703/December-Theme-BotM-b-The-Hundred-Thousand-Kingdoms-by-N-K-Jemis

    The broken kingdoms
    http://www.shelfari.com/groups/48977/discussions/336293/March-Series-BotM-b-The-Broken-Kingdoms-by-N-K-Jemisin-b-

  63. Hi! Sorry if I’m resurrecting a dead thread. I just read the first two books. Since you mentioned earlier that you read manga, I have to ask, are the Trinity inspired by Naruto? Specifically, Team 7. A lot of the dynamics seem similar, if twisted around, and I don’t think OT3s were as prevalent before Naruto….

  64. Just finished reading “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”…and I’m so happy that there is more to this story and I get to eventually read two more books set in this world! :)

    It almost seems like you’ve somehow taken a recurring dream of mine and found the best words I couldn’t put together coherently to tell the story I’ve been wanting to read. Thanks for writing it!

    – t

  65. I’m French and I’ve just finished the 2nd book which was released two weeks ago in France. I really appreciate your trilogy and I find it’s sad that your books are not famous enough in my country so I recommended it to my friends and my family and they loved it!

    I think the world you created is really interesting. I like fantasy writers who try to invent something fresh and new. Your characters are fascinating and I became attached to them. The twists and turns of the plot are surprising and I’m really eager to read the 3rd book !

    I’m currently trying to write a fantasy book and I have to admit you are a role model to me. I hope I could write as well as you.

    Thank you very much for your books and keep up the good work !
    Cécile

  66. I have just finished reading “One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” and loved it!! Like Diana (above) I was very impressed by your world-building. This book (and perhaps the series, once I read them all) might be up there with my two favourite speculative/sci-fi/fantasy novels: Xenogenesis trilogy by Octavia Butler and The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.

    I think what fascinated me most about the book however was the very palpable sensory and emotional moments in the novel. These are not normally aspects of novels that I tend to pay close attention to. However, while I was reading the book, I was writing about emotional geographies. So I read One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms paying attention to Yeine’s (the main character’s) physical and emotional interaction with other people, events and places. I think the very palpable descriptions make the emotions, sensations and feelings emerge out from the book; they make you engage more deeply with the Yeine’s story as well as the story of the gods and godlings.

    The storytelling is incredible and I love the novel seems to have many aspects of contemporary ‘reality’ (as any good speculative writer does, in my opinion) and challenges us to think about the taken-for-granted categories, discourses and ways of being in our everyday. Love the book and cannot wait to read the next in the trilogy.