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I miss you, Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
 I'm suffering the melancholy that happens when you finish a really good novel. I'm sure everyone knows what I mean, that sense of loss because you've been evicted from the author's universe by "The End". In this case it's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison. Really a lovely book, and the fact that it's a debut fills me both with awe and seething envy. I seethe at you, N.K. Jemison, as I order book two on Amazon.

In her acknowledgements Jemison cites Octavia Butler as an influence, which in my opinion is quite right-minded of her. I too am a Butlerite, heart and soul.

As I'm considering "Kingdoms", I find myself comparing Jemison's Yeine Darr to Butler's Anyanwu from Wild Seed.  Butler's legacy is clear in the composition of "Kingdoms", although Jemison certainly hasn't just mimicked our shared idol. Both main characters have been bred as goddesses, in effect. But Yeine's future is so divergent from the more sober ending for Anyanwu at the close of the Patternist series, I wonder if it isn't both a reflection not only of the natural differences between the two stories, but also a function of the times that shaped the authors?

Jemison is a great new writer, although I'm not saying she's Butler's equal. That is probably an impossibility for anyone. But what better tribute to Octavia Butler than that her influence is so beautifully represented in Jemison's novel?  What higher praise can I give Jemison except to say, "Yes, you did Octavia justice - she would be proud of you."

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Ooooh I can't wait to see what you think of Broken Kingdoms!

I loved 100k Kingdoms too. It's the perfect action/adventure book with just the right amount of sublayers to stop and make you think. For me, I wasn't sure where Jemisin was going to go at the end of 100k, but after Broken Kingdoms I think I have an idea of the overall arc she is going for with this trilogy. Can't wait to see what you think:)

You know, another thing I realized about this book as I'm thinking about it - some of the technical things Jemison has done effortlessly are really quite difficult. For example, the wild love scene between the protag and Naha, Jemison was all over that. A good love scene is tough enough to write, but a good love scene between a mortal and a god - Jemison is, quite simply, a total writing badass.

Is there art in the paper copy of Broken Kingdoms? I just got in on my kindle but it seems that there are links to images of paintings in the chapters, but of course they don't render on the kindle.

Nope, no pictures in the paperback as much as I wish there was.

Yes! Jemisin definitely has that accessibility thing which looks easy and sucks you in as a reader, but is so definitely not.

And yes that Naha-Yeine scene was just incredible. It just kept building and getting more awesome with every paragraph.

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