The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Sometimes a book comes into your life at just the right moment.

When a friend of mine recommended The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I was struggling with a bout of depression brought on by the winter holiday season. I’ve struggled with depression my entire life, so I’ve learned a lot of techniques to keep me above water during the bad times. But the holidays always trigger periods of severity for me, and this past December was my first without antidepressant medication in many, many years, so it was hard.

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was exactly what I needed to get through that time. The first of a trilogy, THTK serves as the introduction to a world that is a pleasure to get lost in. It’s hard to believe that the novel is the debut of author N.K. Jemisin, who shows a mastery of characterization, world-building, and stunning prose usually only visible in later-life works. I slipped into the city of Sky like a warm bath and was enthralled the entire time the book was in my hands.

I particularly loved the main character, Yeine. She’s a driven young woman who is strong, but not because she’s perfect. She suffers from the stress of being thrown into a strange, dangerous situation; the self-doubt that comes from not being completely sure of one’s identity; and the pangs of loneliness that come from being far from home. In other words, she’s emotionally vulnerable, and I loved her for it. Because that emotional vulnerability didn’t keep her from doing what she needed to do. And though it made her human, it didn’t make her weak.

I highly recommend The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms to anyone who enjoys fantasy. It has elements of both high/traditional- and urban- fantasy, so everyone has something they can enjoy. The best part? Despite its epic feel, it’s only a trilogy. And the whole trilogy is out right now for your binge-reading pleasure!

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: An Amazing Faerie Tale for Children and Adults

I have an on-again, off-again relationship with Goodreads. It’s a very handy website that’s great at what it does, but for some reason, I tend to always drop off after periods of heavy use.

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Fortunately for me, during one of those periods of use, I ran across Patrick Rothfuss’s review of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. After reading it, I was intrigued, and threw the book onto my TBR list. Next time I was at the bookstore, I picked it up. Three years later, I finally read it.

I am so mad at myself that I waited so long, but so happy I found this book. Everything Rothfuss says it’s true, and my feelings about the story are pretty much summed up in his words: “This book is beautiful. The language is lovely without being pretentious. The story is careful and playful and smart. This book made me tear up in places.”

If you like faerie tales, especially those with some teeth beneath their surface, definitely pick this one up. It’s gorgeous and so much fun that I want to start reading it out loud to my husband, even though I just finished it myself.

Here’s a link to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland on a Ship of Her Own Making’s Goodreads page if you want to learn a little more. But trust me, go to your closest bookstore and get a copy or snag it from the library immediately.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: An Amazing Faerie Tale for Children and Adults