I made a joke on Twitter yesterday about “the FAQ I’ll never post”… and then I thought about it, and tried to decide whether I needed an FAQ. I think I might; I do seem to be getting a few basic questions over and over in interviews. A few examples:

  • Why is the book called The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms when we see only a few of them?
  • Which mythologies were your inspiration in creating the cosmology of the book?
  • Is this your first novel?

I haven’t yet gotten a lot of questions about the plot or characters of 100K, though, which would be the basis of this FAQ. So I’ll ask you guys: should I post a 100K FAQ? What questions about the plot and/or characters of the book would you like answered?

(Reminder: I’m in crunch mode on book 3, so my replies — if any — will be a bit slow. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves, though!)

18 thoughts on “FAQ?”

  1. Hm. I can see good reasons to resist the pull to over-explain and lay out the One True Explanation for Everything and How It Got That Way, but I think a few things could be reasonably rounded out. For instance, I can imagine for myself that the book’s title comes from the fact that the events do affect the whole world, even if they only take place in a few locations, but I’d also be curious to know things like, for instance, which of those kingdoms came up with “100k” as a synonym for “lots, don’t even ask,” and how many kingdoms there actually are. (Unless there really are 100k?) And, I don’t know, maybe a few things like what Yeine’s typical day as ennu back in Darr was like. That would add some more detail about where she came from, which we could use to contrast with what happens in the book, but wouldn’t (or wouldn’t have to, anyway) fall into the “And This Explains Yeine’s Motivations Perfectly” trap.

  2. I answered “where do you get your ideas” for the Q&A Orbit asks you to write up for the back of the book. But I stole the answer from something my spouse once said.

    I wonder what that other FAQ looks like, the one with the questions we would never actually answer, or at least, not in public.

  3. Well, I think a few of my questions were over at Barnes and Nobles site and if I didn’t ask them someone there did.

    I did want to thank you very much for taking the time with us at B&N. I have really enjoyed your insight in the mythology, characters, and plots. There is a lot in the book to take in, and at first didn’t realize there was so much. It is always great to have the author around to help shed light on the areas me missed in reading.

    Thank you again, and hope we didn’t wear you out to bad. ;)

  4. Oh, I think you answered this already but it might be good in a FAQ:

    was the novel always written in first person, or did you try a draft in third?

  5. I did decide to do an FAQ on my site because you do get some questions over and over and over and it can help interviewers who look you up before interviewing you (so they don’t ask the same questions!) I think a book FAQ would also be cool for your readers/fans. :)

  6. You said in an interview that Sieh had charmed you as he had charmed Yeine, is there any other character that surprised you through out the book or series?

  7. Yeah, I figured lots of people would figure out that the book’s title is figurative, but I still get asked the question again and again by people who are apparently counting the kingdoms for some godsawful reason. Or something. I don’t even know.

    And no, there’s nowhere near a hundred thousand kingdoms. :) Might be a thousand, tops. The Amn are the ones who have a tendency to grandiose naming (e.g., Sky, as if one palace covers the whole sky).

    So you would add, “What are the duties/responsibilities of the Darren ennu?” to the list? (Quick answer: she’s mostly a figurehead; her youth and vigor and intelligence are supposed to represent the Darren people and make them look good in negotiations, etc. The Council of Warriors, which consists mostly of older men and women selected for wisdom or reputation, is what really rules Darr, because they’re not stupid enough to let a teenage girl make the biggest decisions. So Yeine’s day consists of paperwork and making appearances in places where The Youth And Vigor And Intelligence Of the Darre needs to be seen.)

  8. That “other FAQ” is what we share with each other at World Fantasy, while drunk at the bar. =P

  9. No problem, Melissa! That was a lot of fun, actually, and I’ve already offered to come back for book 2. :)

  10. ::moment of fangirl:: I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE GASLIGHT DOGS!!!

    ::cough:: Sorry. OK, I’ll take a look at your FAQ and see how you did it. :) Thanks for dropping in!

  11. Hmm… so far, no. I’d expected Nahadoth to be my favorite character, but he’s really not. (Ten years ago, when I first wrote it, he was, but I’m a different person now.) Sieh really was a surprise, though.

  12. You are KIND haha! Thank you. <3 I think I should be fangirling you, everything I've read about your book (especially the excerpts) has only intrigued me more. Which is why I took a look around your site! I'm in research mode though so I'm trying not to deluge myself with too much 'pleasure' reading. I'll likely fail and come back here with a lot of gushing.

    My FAQ is VERY SLIM (my site's still not totally built), I think your readers would love a robust one from you because of your world. :)

  13. Hey!

    I’m not quite sure whether to put this here or in the general book discussion thread, but this one is more recent and active, so here goes. I rarely write reviews about the stuff I read, but having just finished your book and seeing that you asked for opinions on it repeatedly, I thought I might just ramble a bit.

    I got the book because of the recommendation at PodCastle and I really enjoyed it. My favorite character is probably Sieh (the idea of a child god is great and really well worked out), followed by T’vril (just liked him ;-) He’ll probably become a tough ruler himself, though). Yeine is a fine main protagonist, though I agree that she’d probably be a lot less sympathetic it we’d only see her from the outside. Nahadoth is interesting, though not so high up in my favorites – perhaps because the brooding dangerous lover archetype is bound to get so many fans that I remain sort of reserved for balance.
    Most, even minor, characters were vividly drawn – Ras Onchi, for example, was great.
    But some, I think, could have been fleshed out some more. My biggest nag is Kurue – considering the role she played in the end, you don’t really learn much about her, other than that she disdaines humans. It was never really shown why she was the ‘Wise’, but I think knowing her a little better and perhaps making her a little more sympathetic would have heightened the impact of her betrayal. Relad, too, could have used just a tad more characterization – I wondered in the end how he even managed to be choosen heir and survive for so long. Scimina was just too unambigously evil for my taste (Dekarta was *much* btter in that regard! Viraine, too.).

    I got a little confused over how the sucession rules really worked (might be my sloppy reading, sorry!). That’s what I understood: When there’s one candidate, he has to choose a beloved person who has to die in the act of making him family head. When there are two or more candidates, some person has to make the choice between them and die. Just any person the current head of the family chooses? This seems so much easier for the candidates involved – they don’t have to sacrify a beloved, just to get some person to choose them (by pressure, for example, like Scimina does).
    Also, what were the rules to win the competition? Just to have leverage on the other contestants? Did Relad have that? If not, why did he not loose, too? Just because he was more established in general?
    Don’t get me wrong, those are just minor nags. Especially regarding the last question it felt right in a way that the rules for the competition were never explained and everybody just somehow knew at a point that Yeine had lost. It fitted with the obscurity of Sky rules in general.

    As a closing remark, I liked that the story has a proper ending and stands on its own. I was a little worried that starting an unfinished trilogy would let me hang dry for months. The next volume will shift the perspective entirely from what I understood, which sounds like a good thing to do at this point. I’ll most likely check out how the story goes on. :-)

    All the best and good writing!


  14. I always feel that next to a FAQ should be a FUQ.

    What? Whaaat?! Why is everyone looking at me like that?

    “FUQ”: eff-yew-kyew.

    It stands for (wait for it) “Fucked-Up Questions”.


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