Mark Reads ‘The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms’: Chapter 7

In the seventh chapter of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Yeine has a vital interaction with the Nightlord. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Chapter Seven: Love

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this chapter is warning of something to come for Yeine, though it isn’t clear who else it involves. But Yeine’s talk with the Nightlord reminds her of a lesson her grandmother taught her long ago: Beware love, especially with the wrong man.

I’ll return to that at the end, as there are some other things in this chapter that I’d like to address first. Given what I wrote in the previous review about how the Arameri embrace the hierarchies of a classist system, I was super pleased to see that I’d gotten it spot on once I read about Yeine’s view of (and from) Sky. High above the world, Yeine is more aware than ever about how the construction of Sky is just wrong:

It is blasphemy to separate oneself from the earth and look down on it like a god. It is more than blasphemy; it is dangerous. We can never be gods, after all – but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.

This speaks to the arrogance of the place, obviously, but once you think about the contextual role that the gods play in Arameri, it’s even more horrifying. The Arameri didn’t become gods; they enslaved them. With that (and many other horrific things they’ve done), they became “something less than human.” Again, it’s one of many reasons why Yeine internally rejects her Arameri side with such consistency. She wants no part of this culture and their fake morality. Her interests in Sky are subversive because of this. She’d love to find a way to get disowned, but in the meantime, she’ll pursue the “secrets of [her] mother’s death.” She’s going to get something out of this disaster, you know?

The chapter moves into an unsettling experience with the Nightlord after this point. It wasn’t until I re-read this section for this very review that I realized something:

I lay in the too-big, too-soft bed of my quarters, staring up at the glowing ceiling and walls that made my room bright as day. Sky embodied the Bright; the Arameri allowed no darkness here.

Initially, I thought this was because Sky was so high that it actually sat above the cloud layer, preventing darkness from settling in. However, I don’t think that’s the case necessarily, given what we learn about the Nightlord himself at the end of the chapter:

“All that happens in darkness, I see,” he said. “Every whisper, every sigh, I hear. Even if I leave, some part of me will remain. That cannot be helped.”

Okay, so do the Arameri reject darkness to keep the Nightlord out??? I mean, that has to be the case, right? Given that the Nightlord is human during the day, I imagine this is a method of control. There’s a lot here that is revealed about the Nightlord’s role in the city and to the fullbloods like Scimina. First of all, he’s interested in Yeine, though not in the same way that Kurue and Sieh are. He is just as distant as ever when they first start talking, barely hiding the vague threats of annihilation in his words.

But Yeine possesses power, too. As an Arameri heir, the Nightlord must obey her every command. The Nightlord knows this, and is then shocked when she does not utilize it. I’m sure he was surprised by her earlier behavior towards him, but, as Yeine describes to us, the Arameri nobles have a long history of utilizing their power over the gods, often to disastrous results. But Yeine doesn’t treat the Nightlord with the same disdain or disgust, nor does she deny the fact that he could end her with one slip of a command. I’m sure he relishes the chance of harming anyone through a loophole, so I also imagine it must be weird for him to be faced with a noble that wants mutual respect. Has anyone ever spoken to him like this?

“You have offered me courtesy,” he said. “I offer cooperation in return.”

Which he does, and it’s all so strange and intriguing. Given that this is followed with the dual tales of the Nightlord’s actions on earth, I’m thinking that this relationship will continue to grow. But could Yeine love someone like the Nightlord? Mutual respect isn’t the same as love, and it’s a challenging thought to have. How would that work? Why would she fall for him?

Okay, this is already getting super good, y’all. SUPER GOOD.

Mark Links Stuff

– I have redesigned! Check out this post explaining the new changes, which includes the start of a permanent archive of all Mark Watches videos!
The Mark Does Stuff Summer Tour is happening soon! Check out the posted dates, suggest new ones, help bring me to YOUR TOWN.
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
- Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
- Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Inheritance Trilogy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.