>> Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.I don't read as much straight fantasy (as in, fantasy outside the romance genre) as I would like, and this one sounded interesting. Yeine Darr's mother was cast out by her powerful ruling family for marrying the wrong man. Her mother has now died, and her grandfather has commanded her to come back, intending to name her as one of his three potential heirs. The rub, however, is that only one can inherit, whichever one can survive being basically hunted down by the other two.
I read about a quarter of this before I gave up, so I gave it a good shot. On the plus side, I was quite intrigued by the mythology Jemisin creates, which has very real gods mingling with the humans. The gods have been enslaved by Yeine's family to be used as weapons, and from the bit I read, it's clear that they are not content with this situation and that their struggle will involve Yeine in some way.
The negative side was bigger, however. My main problem was that I just couldn't settle down and enjoy Jemisin's voice. It's very distinctive and different. I'd be the first to note that there's nothing objectively wrong with it, but I just didn't click with it. It meant that I found it a struggle to get into the story. It also felt very distancing, even though the book was narrated in the first-person by Yeine.
It also didn't help that I find books where everyone is evil a bit of a bore. Yeine is, from the very first moment, plunged defenseless into a really horrid situation, where the people around her would just as soon kill her as look at her, and I didn't want to spend any more time there with her. I might have waited a bit longer to see if things improved if Jemisin's voice had been more to my liking, but with both those things together, it wasn't worth it.
So, DNF. There are too many potentially great books in my TBR for me to waste my scarce reading time on something I'm not enjoying.
MY GRADE: DNF.