In the acknowledgments of a different book, N.K. Jemison says a writer needs readers who will grab other readers “by the arm and say… read this book right now.”
Okay. If you are a fantasy buff, read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms right now. There is a depth to the world, to how she has thought about it, that is rare in fantasy. She has a big rep these days, and this book supports that. Yes, she has mysteries that are not easily solved. Yes, she has character conflict that is believable and leaves you cheering for the heroes, hissing at the bad guys, and not always knowing which is who. But what I like about this book best is the vulnerability of nearly everyone, even the villains, to their own brokenness. How they are doing the best they can with what they have, and sometimes that’s not much.
I like hope, and sometimes that’s in short supply here, but it never vanishes entirely. That last reliance on goodness, at the end of the tale? It matters, and she displays a sensitivity about using it that gladdens my heart.
It’s a different world, not a cliched one, and that’s pretty fun as well. I am looking forward to reading her next book.
Happy Reading, Happy Writing,
P M F Johnson
Call of the Labyrinth, the next novel in my fantasy series, Saga of Sinnesemota, follows Rev and his fiancée Stara as they brave a deadly jungle to hunt the Labyrinth, a magical Artifact that may help reestablish an empire of peace in a world at war. You can find it, as well as Disk of Dragons and Trollen Rose, the first two novels in the series, on Amazon. See if you like them.