Musings: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
I adore this book. I could not sleep after reading it – after staying up ridiculously late to finish reading it – my mind was too busy. I bought the trade paperback of the book and read it again within two months because I love this book so much. It was even better the second time through, knowing what I knew now about the events and characters.
Perhaps one day I’ll write a proper review for this, but for now, I can only tell you that I give this book five stars and I recommend it to everyone.
For now, some of the many thoughts inspired by The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. (SPOILERS)
First and foremost, there is NAHADOTH. I might as well get him out of the way. He oozes sexuality and seduction as much as he does darkness and inspires thoughts and reaction GIFs, but, while I appreciated the tastefully done erotic moments, I loved more the tenderness, the pain, the loss, the loneliness, the heartache. The rage and violence had their place too, but it was the moments that Yeine coaxed out of him that had that much more meaning for me and the image I hold in my head is of him comforting her through her tears.
“…and when I lift my head to scream out my fury, a million stars turn black and die. No one can see them, but they are my tears.”
Second only to Nahadoth is SIEH. He so perfectly embodies both child and god and his relationship with Yeine is beyond words. I loved that Yeine, to the end, loved him, but never truly replaced his mother. And he understood that. But I loved too that he could offer her as much comfort as she him.
“He is a child, mind you – not in age, but in nature. He acts on impulse. He has a child’s creativity…a child’s cruelty. And he is Nahadoth’s, blood and soul. Just think about that, Lady. The Nightlord, living embodiment of all that we who serve the Bright fear and despise. Sieh is his firstborn son.”
I did think about it. But strangely, the image that came most clearly to mind was Sieh’s utter contentment when I’d put an arm around him that first night. Later I would understand that I had already begun to love Sieh, possibly in that very moment.
MOTHERS: Both series (the other being Game of Thrones) that I blog my musings for have included my thoughts on mothers and how they are presented. Both series recognize the cruelty a mother can do to a child even as they love them. Such power we wield over creatures born to love us unconditionally. How easily we can corrupt and bend and destroy them and yet they would still look up to us. And then I hugged my own children close because simply writing these words disturbs me to my core even as it inspires a future blog post….? (also see Regina and Cora, OUAT …).
“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.”
“We can never be gods, after all–but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.”