The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Read Along Part III

Picabuche sacked out in front of the fire.
Picabuche sacked out in front of the fire.

Welcome back everyone! Little Red Reviewer is our host this week, so make sure to swing by her place to see what everyone else thinks.

This week we covered Chapters 17-22 and we covered some incredible stuff! So beware the spoiler-full discussion questions & answers below!

1. T’vril takes Yeine to the servant’s party. What did you think of that party, and of Sieh’s part in it?

Mostly, folks seemed to be having a good time, and not at the expense of someone else’s hide. And Sieh, while a little maudlin, was there of his own free will and could leave when he desired. It wasn’t the backroom brawl & ball that I was expecting, but it seemed a decent enough party.

2. Yeine presents herself as such a nice, compassionate person. Did your feelings about her change after the meeting she and Nahadoth had with Gemd?

We’ve had plenty of foreshadowing that Yeine has a strong, ruthless inner core. Well, this is probably the first time we have seen it. But her words that she would willingly kill 2 people, or all those in the room, or all those in Sky City to keep her people safe rang true. They plotted and planned unprovoked war in the first place, so Yeine’s actions make sense to me.

Nahadoth enjoys a challenge. So when Yeine instructs him not to kill anyone, he must be creative in order to get the point across. Essentially, he made those two wish for death, which Yeine, in her mercy, did grant them at the end.

Did my feelings change? Not really. I was waiting for Yeine to start playing hardball. I knew Nahadoth desired to play hardball. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

3. On page 230 we learn about the Darre concept of “esui”, of attraction to danger. Have you ever experienced esui? Did it help you, or hurt you? Do you think it will help Yeine, or hurt her?

Such a dangerous question. Yes, I think most humans have experienced ‘esui’, and I have in various forms. My pursuit, or sometimes stumbling upon to it, has always taught me a lesson or two about life. From riding a run away horse at full gallop in sliding mud (I was laughing my head off at the exhilaration), to facing a break-in with a large mag light, to occasionally chasing after a questionable character of a man, yes, ‘esui’ has been in and out of my life.

As to whether or not Yeine’s pursuit of ‘esui’ will help her or hurt her, well I will simply say that she learns some life lessons too. (I’ve read the book before and don’t want to spoil anything for others).

4. What did you think of the reveal regarding Ygreth’s (Kinneth’s mother) death? Was it something you expected?  How does being forced to do something like that (or knowing you’ll be forced to) shape a person?

I had totally forgotten about this nuance to the book. It explains so much about Kinneth’s choices as a young lady, and then how those choices shaped Yeine’s life. Now that Yeine has more of an idea of the depth of ruthlessness of the Arameri, I think she is just that much more motivated to keep her bargain with the Enefadeh in order to protect her people.

In some ways, this explains some aspects of both Relad and Scimina. They grew up in this culture, knowing they would have to sacrifice someone close to themselves if they ascended the throne. So why get close to anyone? First, that could be used to eliminate you from the competition, and secondly, if you win, you may very well have to sacrifice that person you care so much for. Yeah, it would lead to a fucked up society from the top down.

5. If I’m reading it correctly, the ceremony can require a human sacrifice (to show that the heir is strong enough to kill anyone, if asked).  Who might Scimina sacrifice? Who might Yeine sacrifice?

Knowing Scimina, she probably has a few lovers she has cultivated just for this. Relad might sacrifice his own sister as he seems to have some unhealthy attraction for her. Or either one of them might sacrifice Dekarta. But he’s dead anyway in order for this ceremony to take place, right?

I am concerned that Dekarta or Scimina, or perhaps Relad, will bring someone from Yeine’s city, like her grandmother, to attend the ceremony.

If Yeine had a choice of who to sacrifice in order to ascend the throne, I am sure she would pick herself or not ascend at all.

6. The ball is only a few days away. What do you think will happen?

I have actually forgotten what all goes down at the ball. I am guessing Scimina stands with her coterie of fools and makes fun of everyone else’s clothes. Relad will grab a drink and a slave-date or two and sulk in a corner alternately wishing to hump his sister or smash her face in. Yeine will do the only useful thing by gathering more intelligence on the Arameri, etc. Or perhaps she will track down Viraine, lure him to some secluded spot, and stick a knife in him. After all, he did order the uber-bug Walking Death hit on her father. Was anyone else creeped out that he asked Yeine out and then admitted in the nearly the same sentence that he banged her mom so many years ago?

Other Tidbits:

T’vril and Yeine bumped some uglies…..after acknowledging their blood relationship. Perhaps Sky City is rubbing off on Yeine.

I was cooking breakfast for my sleeping man and myself when I came upon the Nahadoth-Yeine love scene. Hmm…abandon breakfast to wake my man up appropriately, or keep on cooking…..and listening to the audiobook? 😉

I love all the little bits we get about the gods, especially their early years. Like Nahadoth and Itempas automatically going into fight mode as soon as they met, being such opposites. The ‘human sacrifices’ to the three – elderly & sick to Enefa, strong and pure to Itempas, and whimsical and young to Nahadoth.

Anyone else want to take that fancy whip or flail of Scimina’s and use it on her after what she did to Sieh and Nahadoth? Hmmm…looks like we will have to start a line.

13 thoughts on “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Read Along Part III”

  1. 2. I feel the same way about Yeine’s ruthlessness – as she said, she’s learned to do whatever is necessary to get what she wants.

    5. I’m getting confused about the specifics of the ceremony. From what I understand you need three people – the current ruler, the new one, and a sacrifice who will transfer the power sigil. So Dekarta must at least be alive at the start of this. I assumed Yeine’s grandmother cannot be the sacrifice as she is not Arameri and has no sigil (unless they can give them to non-Arameri, and that counts?). Can Yeine be both the sacrifice and the new ruler, which basically means that they’re left with no ruler?

    6. Isn’t the ball supposed to be when the succession ceremony takes place? Not officially, but I thought that Dekarta was secretly planning to have the ceremony on this day, although the gods know this and told Yeine, which is how she knows she’ll die on the day of the ball.

    And yes, why the hell would Yeine want to be escorted by Viraine after finding out that he slept with her mother?! Ew.

    1. I think you are right about the succession ceremony – the number of people involved. I don’t think Yeine can be both sacrifice and ruler….but if she manages to free the gods, then whoever is the new ruler might not be ruler for long.

  2. Oh my god yes. Viraine reminds me of a certain Balish from “A Song of Ice and Fire,” and not in a good way. Him hitting on Yeine was beyond creepy, and I’m surprised she didn’t punch him in the face or pull a knife on him.

    1. Perhaps the Arameri family in general would have been OK with her leaving Viraine a scar or two? They seem open to such ideas as long as the one you are scarring is lower on the totem than you.

  3. I’m all for whipping Scimina! 🙂

    And yes, I did find it freaky that Viraine wanted to take Yeine to the ball after the whole part about KInneth got revealed.

  4. You woke hubby up for some appropriate “breakfast”, right? 😉

    the more i get to know the Arameri, the less i like them. they are just, horrible people, and I don’t like that people with such a twisted view get to rule the world. Peeps need some come uppance!

    I love it when authors introduce words in the language of the book that don’t have an english equivelent. It makes the whole thing seem more real to me.

    1. hehe…..Well, let’s just say that my man enjoyed breakfast. 😉

      Yes, having words that describe a thing or emotion, etc. that only exist in the fictional world makes that world more vivid to me too.

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