Yeine Darr is the very young leader of a barbaric northern kingdom, but after her mother mysteriously dies, she’s named one of the heirs to rule the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She travels to the capital city Sky and is quickly thrust into a complicated and deadly game of politics. Her cousins, the other heirs, are not keen on allowing Yeine to ascend to the throne. Practically everyone in Sky is against her, but luckily she finds a few people she can (sort of) trust. As she learns more about the history of the kingdoms, Yeine finds that there may be more at stake than just the throne.
I really enjoyed this fantasy book. It managed to keep me sane while hosting family members at my house, so that’s always a positive. The plot was engrossing and kept me guessing while the characters were unique and interesting. I get tired of fantasy that pretends to be an accurate representation of the middle ages (you know, except for all the dragons and wizards running around), but was pleasantly surprised by the world building in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. People of color exist, women aren’t chattel, customs are interesting but not too reliant on pseudo history, and the magic is not a rehashing of the Tolkien books. That doesn’t seem like much to ask for, but you’d be surprised. Anyway, this book did a great job of meshing personal character desires with geopolitics and magical beings. I got a little confused by the structure of the novel which flashes forward occasionally, but I suspect that had more to do with the e-book formatting on my phone. All in all, this book was a great read that I quickly gobbled up. I’ve already moved on to the (excellent so far) sequel.