As I laze here, 4 double margaritas in, I’m forced to wonder a few things:
- Will grocery-delivery culture be the springboard that plummets American culture fully into its sedentary nadir?
- How precisely is it that I have had a crush on River Song for so long, and after not watching Doctor Who for like a year?
- How could I possibly deign to create a world as full detailed and expansive as NK Jemisin did in the Inheritance Trilogy? I pretend to wanna be a writer, but HOW, SWAY?! How could anyone? We are but mortals, grasping in vain at the afterimage that divinity leaves us in spring afternoons, and a decadent meal, and sex. if we’re lucky, we’ve enough godliness leftover to read from her and learn. Jemisin has it— the godstuff that fuels good fantasy, IMO– by the gallon
Yeine, our protagonist is a half-Arameri heiress with none of the coloring or tact of her mom’s people, and she’s in town for a great occasion: to battle her siblings for the right to be the next ruler of the world. The Arameri have massive stick-up-ass syndrome, but it’s cool because they have all the power in the novel’s world; specifically, they have GODS. Nigga. Enslaved divinities. Whole ass galaxy-shapers on retainer. Entire palaces are so rife with magic the walls glow, and keep the impossibly-shaped edifice from toppling. How it happened is a long story that we get to eventually, but, like, suffice to say, similar to many privileged groups, the Arameri abuse their power. Yeine ain’t with the bullshit, cuz her non-arameri half is a “barbarian” tribe and has been under the Arameri boot for centuries. She’s curly headed, short, and wiry, and willing to do whatever to avenge her murdered mother. Luckily she befriends the trickster god, Sieh, and the rest of the gods come to know her and follow suit in their own ways. Eventually we find out more about Yeine, and why she is the way she is, but them shits is spoilers, bruh, and I aint got time for that. It’s not like I’m Nahadoth, enslaved and tortured by the Arameri for millennia (shrug emoji) and I’ll just tell you what you want. Dicks.
I look back, and i think I’m doing a shit job of giving you a reason to read these novels. so boom: In 100k Kingdoms we get: royal succession and devious politicking, a truly fantastical universe of gods, half gods, and humans who murder for ataste of that power. These beings lust and fuck and plot and kill and Jemisin writes it to fullnesss; I read, and am scared and aroused in equal measure. As much as anything, she complicates our notions with the possibility of immortality. What does it mean to love if you must die but your opposite may never? To have spent millennia enslaved, and desire revenge? Are there limits to forgiveness? And what would a god do, with a grudge?
I like so much about this novel (and its sequels), particularly how well Jemisin captures various voices. The characters are unique and fun, even when they’re scary and/or sexy (and, in my favorite moments, both.) Jemisin has an amazing way of luring you into the mythology of the universe, dosing you with the physical needs of humans and juxtaposing these with gods’ illegibility. It’s addictive and awe inspirring, through and through. Her world is diverse in myriad ways, including differently aged and abled characters, a kaliedscope of pale to brown-skinned peoples; it’s a world where divinity is genetic and physical sex is donned by gods at whim, like a cloak. A dick shaped cloak. (Editor’s note: lol)
Yeine: bad bitch, wariior priestess, nice with a knife, def watched #beychella front row and got her whole life
Scimina and Relad: Yiene’s Arameri cousins, who have to die for her to “win”the right to succession. I forget their names,but they are great character foils, vehicles for the extremes of Arameri excess.
T’viril: a half blood like Yeine, he’s kind of a nice guy, pero like, why tho? Is he plotting? Trying to smash?
Nahadoth: god of night, scary as fuck, chaos, change, got a BBC
Itempas: (god of order, light , structure), kind of a doucher.
Sieh: god of childhood, lil tricky bastard. loves yeine as a mommy tho, its cute, I stan
Other niggas: they irrelevant, some of them are gods, some mortals, some live some die, idk, I’m tired, read the books dummy
Rating: 5/5 shots. no question.
Pairing: Absinthe: I may or may not be hallucinating but/because I just banged a goddess, and my toes, back, and pelvic floor are all cramping. This is all normal tho, we’re used to this. Nothing to see here.