The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
Title: The Inheritance Trilogy
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Published Date: December 9th 2014
Length: 1442 pages
Genre: Fiction, Cultural, European Literature, British Literature
Rating: 4 /5 (*Overall rating)
In this omnibus edition of N.K. Jemisin’s brilliantly original award-winning fantasy series, a young woman becomes entangled in a power struggle of mythic proportions.
A REALM OF GODS AND MORTALS.
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.
The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus includes the novels: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and The Kingdom of Gods.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms- ★★★★
As an introduction to the author’s writing, this book was the best. It immediately dragged me into a world where a ton of kingdoms are essentially being ruled by one family. The family has such a big influence that it has gods at its disposal. The way it’s written made me feel a bit too confused in the beginning, especially when Yeine corrects herself constantly after starting to talk about something.
Yeine comes to the city of Sky at the invitation of her grandfather. Her mother abdicated when she married Yeine’s father and her coming to Sky is sort of a revenge like move on her grandfather’s part. The family politics are seriously screwed enough to entice readers who love family dysfunction. From the very start, Yeine is smart enough to realise that she’s only there as a token heir who is likely going to be killed off in order for the right heirs to take their place.
However the Aramari family has gods at its disposal and luckily for Yeine, they sort of take a liking to her. From the Nahadoth who’s the god of darkness and chaos to Sieh who’s god of mischief and trickster of sorts (also he’s willingly taken the form of a nine year child, btw) and these gods are enslaved to the Aramari family because of the god who won the Gods war gifted them to the family. Yeah, talk about messed up situations on many, many levels.
In any case, I loved the way it’s slowly revealed as to what actually happened and how Yeine tries her best to not die. There’s politics, there’s plotting behind people’s backs and some really repressed gods. You can imagine what happens. It’s just as explosive as it sounds and I loved every moment of it.
The Broken Kingdoms-★★★
The second book takes place after a decade or so has passed after the happenings of the first book. I really loved the first half of the book and the main character too. However it’s the second half that really disappointed me.
As a lead character, Oree is a great one. She’s blind, she’s an artist and she can see the magic of the gods. It’s absolutely a fascinating mix of things in a person, to top it off, she’s realistic about her own fate that she’s just this perfect level of pragmatic. That doesn’t mean that there’s no emotional connection to people but it also shows that she’s aware of certain limitations as far as her interactions with godlings and gods go.
Her arc started off so well. She’s taking care of Shiny (who she thinks is a godling but he’s not quite that), she’s still somewhat in love with a godling called Mad and how that’s messing her up even now because the trouble is, he’s in love with her too. Then her ability to see magic gets her in trouble and the story kinda of goes downhill from there, in my opinion.
While this book paints a great picture of what can happen when after a millennia of having just one religion is taken out and numerous religious bodies suddenly pop up. How extremism can take place and how a freedom of expression can easily and swiftly turn into something far more dangerous. That part was done really well, it also showed how cultist tendencies can develop too.
However the whole mess with Shiny and how it all ended really bothered me. It seemed excessive in its cruelty and I am not saying that it should be happy endings all the time but there could have been a better ending because it also seemed like taking the easy way out. I also wish that despite this book being set in the same world, Jemisin had taken a different way of telling this story. It didn’t work the same way it did for the first one.
The Kingdom of Gods-★★★★
I had hoped and hoped that I would have more Sieh in these books. Remember that god of mischief? Yeah, well, my wish was granted and not granted. In a way. This book gave a whole new meaning to the saying ‘Be careful what you wish for.’
It gave me a glimpse into Sieh’s mind and his life and it was, frankly, a treat but somehow I just wasn’t super happy with it. I haven’t yet figured out why that is. Despite this weird feeling, I still gave this four stars because it’s totally worth that many stars. Reading the book from Sieh’s point of view was seriously a great experience.
He is one of the most complex characters I encountered in the trilogy and I love him for that. His childishness and his cruelty but also his fondness for children to a certain degree and his weaknesses….it all turned out great. However something is wrong with Sieh and he’s starting to grow up despite him not wanting to do so. He’s slowly turning into a mortal, he realised to his horror.
It’s the story of how everything unravels in Sieh’s life and it could have been so much more and what we get is pretty great but something left me wanting for more. The plot was much better than the second book too, which was a blessing. The ending seemed a bit rushed and almost as if Jemisin was done with the world and just wanted to leave the room already. (Yeah, I have feelings about this, clearly)
I read the novella as well but I don’t really have much to say about The Awakened Kingdom so I won’t.
Overall, this was a great trilogy and I am so glad that I finally read it. It gave me a chance to read a backlist read, it introduced me N. K. Jemisin and trust me, I will be reading everything she put out in the market because her imagination and her writing is just that good. It’s not traditional fantasy, she subverts a lot tropes and I loved her for that. So, overall, if you are a fantasy fan and if you haven’t quite checked out this one yet, then please, go and do so.