The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy No.1) – N.K. Jemisin
To be Arameri is to wield the power of the gods. Their family have reigned over the world for a thousand years, while in the city of Sky ambitions and enmities seethe against a backdrop of obscene opulence. It is a world Yeine’s mother Kinneth rejected long ago, retreating to the ‘barbarian’ province of Darr, but that does not change the blood in her daughter’s veins. As the leader of the Arameri prepares to choose his heir, Yeine is summoned to Sky for the first time. This may be her chance to avenge the oldest of wrongs…if she can survive past sunset.
Little endears me more to a protagonist than competence and Yeine has that in spades. Her narration is pragmatically matter-of-fact, but also skilfully nuanced. The world-building is excellent, taking the most fantastical concepts and making them utterly, heartbreakingly believable. The trilogy continues with The Broken Throne.