In the twelfth chapter of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, ALL THE ANSWERS WERE THERE AND I STILL WASN’T PREPARED. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
Chapter Twelve: Sanity
So, obviously this is a huge chapter. It is! And it’s forcing me to re-think everything I’ve read. If Yeine’s body has possessed two souls this entire time, is it possible that Enefa appeared to us in the narration before? (OF COURSE IT IS OH MY GOD.) Is Enefa responsible for the (BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN) tale of Enefa, Nahadoth, and Itempas? It seems that’s the case, as it’s the first time the narrative goes on such a lengthy tangent. Plus, how could Yeine know any of this? It’s possible that during her three-day fever streak, she realized this, and Enefa simply woke up inside of her. I imagine the following chapter will answer some or most of this, given that Yeine hints that Sieh will tell her the whole truth about what happened.
But let’s back up. I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THE FAIRY-TALE STORYTELLING SURROUNDING ENEFA. It’s gorgeous, and it’s a fascinating way to give us some truth and context about why Enefa was eventually murdered. Granted, the “flashback” (I don’t know what else to call it) stops right after Enefa creates Sieh, so we don’t know all the details of the Gods’ War. But what little we do know so far suggests that Itempas’s sense of righteousness and supremacy is what undid the gods’ family, not some misdeed on Enefa’s part. Not only that, but we also get a better understanding of the dynamic between these three siblings. Nahadoth is Change. Itempas is Order. Enefa is a combination of the two. (Oh god, no wonder Sky is organized the way it is. I can’t.) And yet, even though these gods become a family, we know that this family does not last. So what was the ultimate undoing of the Enefadeh?
I don’t know yet. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any more answers in this chapter, because once the narrative switches back to Yeine’s point of view, shit is real forever. Amidst a feverish haze, she perceives that Sieh, Zhakkarn, and Nahadoth all visit her and watch over her. Eventually, Kurue is there, too. I wonder if any other gods that I haven’t met yet show up. How many survived? Was Enefa the only one to be murdered?
I was struck, then, by Yeine’s very first question: What am I? Of course, Sieh can’t tell her the truth, and this infuriates Yeine. FOR A VERY GOOD REASON. She was just told that she was created. She discovered that she resembles Enefa. (That just got me thinking: HOW MANY PEOPLE IN SKY HAVE REALIZED THAT YEINE RESEMBLES THE FALLEN GOD? HELP ME, THIS IS TOO MUCH.) And that’s when Zhakkarn nonchalantly reveals the truth:
“The presence of Enefa’s soul in your body has had some influence.”
Two souls. Two souls in a single body. And it’s been this way THE ENTIRE FUCKING TIME. Oh god, I just have so many questions! What did Kinneth have to do with this? Who else knows? Does Dekarta know? Who else knows???
For know, though, the text deals with logistical concerns, mainly the fact that Yeine’s body has TWO FUCKING SOULS IN IT. And that’s why this chapter is called “Sanity.” How the hell is Yeine’s mind able to deal with this? While I’m not sure yet if we’ve “seen” Enefa in the past, Sieh and Zhakkarn are fairly certainly that this is because Yeine’s soul won out.
“We thought at first that her soul would simply consume yours, but that clearly hasn’t happened.”
“And you’re still you,” Sieh said urgently, half-following me as I paced. “You’re the daughter Kinneth would have had. You don’t have Enefa’s memories or personality. You don’t think like her. That means you’re strong, Yeine. That comes from you, not her.”
Of course, then Sieh drops a whopper of a truth bomb:
“How would you know?”
He stopped walking, his eyes soft and mournful. “If you were her,” he said, “you would love me.”
And just like that, every interaction that Yeine has had with any of the gods has been re-contextualized. It explains Sieh’s adoration of and affection towards her. It explains Nahadoth’s utter fascination with her, too. Oh my god, this whole book changed because of this chapter, y’all, and I am so in love with it.
You better believe I am eager to read the “truth.” I NEED IT RIGHT NOW.
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