With a record-setting three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel to her name, 2020 MacArthur Fellow N.K. Jemisin is one of the most celebrated authors working in science fiction and fantasy. Her ascent to the genre’s pinnacle began with the publication of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in 2010. As with a number of her later works, the former psychologist’s debut depicts a society that oppresses those who might otherwise wield power: in this case, captive gods made to serve the ethereal city of Sky who become the unlikely allies of Yeine Darr, an heir to the very throne that subjugates them. The novel, which blends fantasy with romance and social critique, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel, establishing Jemisin as a writer on the rise and spotlighting her talent for building complex worlds filled with dangerously flawed people. —Cate Matthews

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