The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin – Review (I finally finished it! 🤓🎉)

Guys, I finally finished the Inheritance Trilogy omnibus and I enjoyed it! This high/epic fantasy includes “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”, “The Broken Kingdoms”, “The Kingdom of Gods (+ Coda) and the novella “The Awakened Kingdom”. All together there are 1,462 pages. I started the book in September 2016 and for 9 months I read this book on and off. When I got a few chapters in the book #3, I decided to stop being stubborn and get the Kindle book version for when I’m on the go.

So before I get started, this review may be slightly spoiler-y. (I’ll try my best not to spoil too much.) If you haven’t read the series yet or are in the middle of reading it then you might want to stop here. I’m not going to give a summary of each book so I’ll just share my thoughts on them instead.

My weathered physical copy

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (#1)

Out of the entire trilogy, I enjoyed this book the most. To me, this book felt more character-based than plot based. I tend to go for plot-based books but since it’s fast-paced, I didn’t mind. In this book, we’re seeing the story from Yeine Darr’s point of view. After her mother dies, the Arameri (a high ruling class) quickly brings her into the Sky (one of the kingdoms). She’s given the highest mark that’s allowed and becomes one of the potential heirs to the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Following her train of thought and her trying to find out what happened to her mother is definitely a roller coaster ride but by the end, it all made sense. The world building in this book is absolutely magnificent. However, I did find myself wishing I knew a bit more about the other hundred thousand kingdoms. I kind of hope that this book gets turned into a movie or tv show. I have an idea of what the Sky, Yeine and the other characters look like in my head but I’d love to see how someone else views it. There are a lot of different terms and characters to get used to but thankfully there are appendices, one of which is a glossary of terms, to aid the reader.

Individual Rating: ★★★★☆

The Broken Kingdoms (#2)

The setting of book 2 takes place ten years later and the reader gets an expanded view of this vast world. This book seems so different from the first, it almost feels like a different story altogether. Not only is the storyline different and it’s being told from a different character, Oree Shoth. When I started reading book 2, I didn’t understand why the author was taking such a big detour. I wanted to know what happened to Yeine and the gods afterwards. I finally got into the flow of the story towards the middle. Since the story is being told from Oree’s point of view, you get a different aspect of the world through a different social status and a host of different senses. (Oree is blind.) Overall, this book was a bit slower at the beginning but it picks up in the middle. By the end, I really enjoyed book 2 just as much as the first (maybe a bit more).

Individual Rating: ★★★★☆

The Kingdom of Gods (#3)

I was not a big fan of book 3. The story is told through the point of view of one of the godlings, Sieh, who’s aging and becoming mortal. (Gods and Godlings aren’t supposed to age.) The book begins with Sieh giving a more in-depth view and explanation of the world, the Three and the godlings. It also ties books 1 and 2 together to give you an idea of where the Ms. Jemisin was going with the story. I found this book to be heavily character-based but unlike 1 and 2, the pacing was much slower. The story ended in an unpredictable way but that’s okay. In fact, I found the ending to be the most interesting part of book 3.

Individual Rating: ★★☆☆☆

The Awakened Kingdom (#3.5)

When I finally finished book 3, I considered it to be the end of the line. Trilogy complete. To be very honest, I didn’t read the novella and it may be a while before I do. So until then, that’s all I’ll say about it.

Individual Rating: N/A

Afterthoughts

This book has opened up my eyes to new kinds of story lines within the realm of high/epic fantasy. It’s one of the first h/e fantasy books that I’ve read that’s written by a black woman and incorporates characters of different races and colors other than white/light-skinned. I also noticed that the appearance of the characters was never an issue in the story. Each group of people was judged on their actions and past encounters with each other. If there are any topics that are relevant to us today, I believe that it’s the issue of socioeconomic status and politics. There is some language and sex scenes but compared to something like Game of Thrones it’s very mild. I would recommend The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms to anyone who’s not a newbie to high/epic fantasy. I would recommend The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms to anyone who wants to get into Afro-fantasy.

The last book in the trilogy may have been a ‘miss’ for me but I’m still interested in reading N.K. Jemisin’s other works. Side note: Many of her works have been Hugo and Nebula Award nominees. Just recently, The Fifth Season (2016) won a Hugo Award for Best Novel, making her the first black person to do so.

Overall rating: ★★★☆☆

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