Crazy Hugo Project ’11: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Another Hugo year, another 5ish books and a cat.

This is one of the two Hugo nominated books I had read ahead of time but not for the same reason. Way long ago I was puttering about and decided to pick up a book because I wanted to read something new and different. Having seen The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms on Scalzi’s Big Idea I decided to pick it up. Sometime’s I’m all spontaneous like that. Also, I’ve had a really good track record of picking out fabulously awesome books which show up over at the Big Idea. In fact, a lot of Big Idea books have had a good track record of being pretty fabulous. 4 or 5 of them have been Hugo nominees that I can think of off the top of my head.

ANYWAY! So I picked this up and plopped it in my ever growing pile of “books I have picked up to read which I haven’t because I don’t read as fast as I buy books that I think I’ll really like to read”. It’s a rather big pile and I should to go through it logically and in order but realistically, Illuminati will probably always be on the bottom as I pick up the more immediate shiny! books to read. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was one of the shiny! picks.

100K Kingdoms (my shorthand) the story follows Yeine, the granddaughter of the current high ruler of the world (that being the 100,000 kingdoms). She has been summoned from her back water land to participate in the ascension festivities as the current high muckity muck is very old and on his way out. The problem is that our heroine’s mother disowned herself from the capital city and society, and the cousins who are also in line for the throne have been raised in the city and know their way around the politicking. One of them is also a devious backstabber bent on winning at all costs so there is that to contend with.

Yeine gets some help from the trapped gods who take a liking to her and starts poking into her history. Why did her mom leave? Who knew what? Who killed her mother? These questions lead to even bigger questions concerning the gods and how they came to be the playthings of the ruling class.

I was reminded of Scalzi’s The God Engines in that 100K Kingdoms dealt with religion, enslaving of gods, and the slow reveal of the truth of things. It’s amazing how history is rewritten by victorious people (in this case the dominant religion after the ‘Gods War’). This book is not as creepy as God Engines but both have an important lesson: Don’t fuck with vanquished gods. It never ends well.

I have to say that I loved the slow reveal about the Gods War. I also read this book in one day so I am pleased to have read back to back page turners. I do wish that I hadn’t stayed up until 5 am Sunday morning but since I couldn’t sleep anyway I rationalized that I ought to do something. And I had a book. I would highly recommend this book to all my peeps.

Since this is the first Novel read, I’ll give it the top spot by default. It was also a really good story so the other novels are going to have to work hard to deseat 100K Kingdoms.

Still to read: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, Feed by Mira Grant.

1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

2010: Pooh Bear is also the size of a toddler. Pooh Bear scares me.

2009: BOOKS!

2008: Black and white with no posting for you.

2007: I wants to read them.

2006: JSFR: Crepe Chocolate

2005: and a whole stack of empty manila folders in all sorts of pretty colors (away with th-wait! Pretty! Shiny! OK, keep them but get rid of any and all of my boring banged up manila folders. Yes! Away with the boring!)

2004: I also found another beetley bug on the night stand and on top of some receipts (on the night stand) so I came to the conclusion that I did NOT snot out an African Brain Eating Bug the other day, but in fact snotted ON the poor bugger. Ew.

2003: Last time I tried that my critter came out looking like a pissed off beaver. It was supposed to be a goldfish.

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