Debut fantasy features an intriguing, well-drawn mythology.
At first glance, the basic plot may seem standard: A young woman, narrator/protagonist Yeine Darr, is named heir to the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which plunges her into a power struggle with two rival cousins. But Jemisin’s world-building and attention to detail raise this story to another level. In the novel’s complex but well-defined universe, a war between the gods took place in the distant past. The losing divinities were punished severely and forced to become the slaves of mortal humans. Yeine’s life becomes increasingly entangled with these subjugated gods as she navigates royal politics and tries to uncover the truth about her family history. Jemisin lavishes considerable care on her fictional universe, but she also creates a subtle, emotionally complex character in the thoughtful Yeine. Readers will definitely look forward to future installments of the projected Inheritance Trilogy.
An offbeat, engaging tale by a talented and original newcomer.