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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Read-Along {FINAL!}

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin Read-a-long

Final Week!

Wow, this has been such a great read-along all! I’m so happy that I have finally read this book because I was seriously missing out before. Gah, that ending was simply amazing. I went out and bought the next two books the day after finishing this one >.>. This week is hosted by Lauren from Violin in a Void!

1. Yeine shows us the meaning of esui when she summons Nahadoth, makes an offering of herself, and asks him to make love to her like the god he is. What did you think of her decision and the scenes that followed? Cosmic sex or verging on comic? What importance does sex has for their relationship?

Hehe, oh these scenes. I definitely understood Yeine’s decision at that point. She was going to die anyway, so really what was the risk. I don’t think I’d ever want to try to explain out loud what happened in that scene since I would inevitably sound ridiculous, but while reading it I was just fine with the descriptions. I was happy to get a better idea of why Nahadoth was an amazing lover and why mortals tended to die in the process. It seems likely that their brains just couldn’t handle what he exposed them to, whereas Yeine had Enefa’s soul to help her process. And honestly, good for her!

2. Relad makes a last-minute play for succession by offering to help the Darre. Are you satisfied with his role in this book or do you think he should have had more of a presence? What do you think of his strategy to get Yeine to choose him over Scimina?

I was totally fine with Relad’s role. It makes sense that he was hiding away and in a drunken depression for much of the book, so he couldn’t do much anyway. He was clever in the end since he figured out what was the one thing that Yeine would want (if she didn’t have the gods promising to protect Darre already). Of course, I think that Yeine wanted to side with him all along since Scimina is just so wretched, so he just needed to give her some reasonable defense of Darre. Too bad it didn’t seem to work….

3. The final chapters show us more of Dekarta’s character than the rest of the book. How do you feel about him now, knowing the truth of his motives and of Kinneth’s death?

He’s still an evil bastard, but I liked that we saw the deeper aspects of him. He was obviously shaped by the culture he was raised in and acted accordingly, but turns out he does have feelings! I appreciated the intelligence he showed when he realized what would happen if Enefa really was destroyed and the commitment of trying his best to save the stone despite his physical weakness.

4. The Succession Ceremony: Absolutely nothing turns out the way anyone thought it would. Did any of it match your expectations? What are your thoughts on what happened?

Woot, loved this scene so much! Definitely did not see that twist coming at all and am still a tinsy bit confused about how Itempas was chilling out inside Viraine, but that’s okay ;-). I knew that things would go crazy because it’s kind of required for a book with so many people scheming for nothing to work out. I want to smack a certain traitorous goddess in the face for almost mucking up the whole world, but that’s fixed now, haha. I really loved how Yeine ended up describing everything after dying, that was a really nice touch.

5. We finally meet Itempas, a mad god whose overpowering love and hate caused all this suffering. What did you think of him?

Once we moved past the whole Viraine disguise thing, I really loved the sudden revelations we got about what is going on with Itempas. The pain and conflict that he feels and that has twisted him so much really came through for me. It was interesting that even the god of order can be corrupted by pain and hate, though I love that there isn’t really a “good” god and “bad” god, they both have both positive and negative sides!

6. As a goddess, Yeine makes some dramatic decisions and changes, like altering Sky, killing Kurue, and trapping Itempas in mortal form. How do you feel about this new goddess-Yeine? Would you have done anything differently?

Go Yeine!!!! I like giant trees much more than weird mother-of-pearl palaces anyway ;-). I was surprised that she killed Kurue since now I’m wondering if another god/dess will take up the mantle of wisdom (she was wisdom right?) or if it’s okay for there to be that gap in the pantheon. Just look at all the damage not having dawn/dusk did! I loved the punishment for Itempas partially because it sets things up for a flipping phenomenal sequel and because it makes a lot of sense. Itempas is obviously seriously mentally damaged and needs time to heal and fix everything he messed up. I also really love the symbolism of Enefa dying for Yeine to take her place since that works really well with what that goddess role stands for.

7. Wrapping up: What did you think of the book as a whole? Any loose ends you’d like tied up? How might the world be changed by these events? Will you read the next book to find out?

Loved it! It got a titch slow in the middle for me, but I think that’s more due to where I’ve been mentally this month than anything else, haha. I really enjoy intricate fantasy that doesn’t pull punches, so the darkness and that ending were just awesome. I’m definitely going to be reading the next book (have you read that description, it sounds so awesome!!!!) though not with the read-along, sorry :(.

Whew, what an awesome ride! I can imagine this is a great book to re-read since there are so many twists. This has been such a fun time, thank you everyone who participated and those of you who chuckled at me knowingly as I read!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. For all of Relad’s belated efforts, he still ends up dying a horrible way. Gutting isn’t quick unless you hit a major blood vessel and the victim can bleed out in minutes. I kind of felt sad for him……but then it might have been a relief for him, to have it over.

    Yes! I love the ending to. And now we have a big, beautiful tree looking over Sky City. Itempas is walking around as a mortal. No Scimina or ruling messed up Arameri. Yeah, set up perfectly for Book 2.

  2. 4. I’m also wondering about Itempas/Viraine. Was Itempas inside Viraine all the time, or just sometimes? Did he control Viraine’s speech and actions, or just watch and maybe instruct Viraine to do something every now and then?

    6. Kurue was known as Kurue the Wise, if I remember correctly, so I don’t know if she was the goddess of wisdom, or if she was just a wise goddess. Like Sieh isn’t the god of childhood, he just take the form of a child. So they could probably leave that gap, and anyway there are supposedly a ton of other godlings who took Itempas’s side in the war. We have no idea what their roles/powers are.

    Can’t wait to see how Itempas’s punishment plays out in the sequel!

    • 4. Excellent point, I suspect that they were doing the timeshare thing and could communicate with each other at least since it sounded like Viraine did have some bargaining power.

      6. Ah yes, true! I really hope we find out more about the other godlings eventually :D

  3. I only picked up the book after week 2, intending to play catch up and participate, but I couldn’t put it down long enough to answer the questions. I loved this book, especially the ending. Goddess Yeine is awesome, so thoughtful and conscious of her decisions and actions. I can’t wait to see what happens with Itempas.
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    • Haha, I hear you! I’m not joining in the official RAL for book 2 since I like to take a break between series books, but I might still finish in time to join the questions because they are so good :D

  4. I loved the twist at the ceremony! Totally didn’t see the Viraine/Itempas thing coming. Makes me want to go back and read some of those Viraine scenes again. And wow I bet that pissed of Nahadoth and the other gods, that they couldn’t see anything “godly” in Viraine all this time.

    and speaking of Nahadoth, can I be so happy for Yeine that she got to hop into bed with him, and that it was totally hot? because just, DAMN.

    Such a good book! I won’t be able to keep up with the read along for the next book in the series, but I’m looking forward to reading it.

    • I was completely surprised and loved it! I love being surprised :D This is totally why Nrlymrtal was laughing at us since it was a re-read for her I think, haha.

      I’m not doing the ral for the next one either since it’s already a busy start to 2014, but I already bought the next two >.> Let me know when you think of reading book 2 and we could still read together :D

  5. I see Relad’s role a bit differently. We’re only seeing him from Yeine’s perspective, and I think that he plays up the drunkenness and debauchery as part of a plan to be underestimated by his opponents. He is an Arameri, after all, and surely he knows that Scimina wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice him at the ceremony. He plays the game extraordinarily well.

    • That’s an excellent point! I gotta remember the unreliable narrator thing, haha. Too bad it didn’t work out for him >.>

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