The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Why this book?
Jemisin has *absolutely deservedly* gotten a lot of attention in recent years for her Broken Earth Trilogy, even being called “the most celebrated science fiction and fantasy writer of her generation” by the New York Times, but my favorite book of hers is still her debut. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms tells the story of Yeine, a young woman trying to make her way in the confusing political landscape of Sky, who stumbles upon the plots of both gods and man.
Throughout the story, Yeine comes into her own, and in doing so, finds the sharp-edged brutality that she will need to survive. Mixing Game of Thrones level political weavings with Kushiel’s sexiness, Jemisin sets the pages on fire. Yeine is violent when she needs to be, brutal when she has to be, and this story can live in my head rent-free for an eternity, if it wants to. (I’d also recommend the other two books in the Inheritance Trilogy. Still spicy, still brutal, still totally awe-inspiring).