Book – The Obelisk Gate

Author – N.K. Jemisin

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken. – Goodreads Synopsis

N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy continues to blow me away! There is no doubt that this is going to be one of my favorite series when all is said and done.

Language Writers

When I was at Planet Comicon a few weekends ago I attended quite a few of the writing panels that they had for writing. I heard a great example of how some authors are plot writers and some are language writers. It sounds pretty self explanatory, but you do not really realize it until you read a language writer. I mentioned this in my last post about The Fifth Season, but it still holds true into the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy. N.K. Jemisin is a language writer.

Second Person

I did not mention this in during my ramblings of the first book, but I have come to love reading the sections that are written in the second person perspective. It is something that you rarely ever see done, and the fact is has been done, and it has been executed perfectly, makes it even more special.


During the course of The Obelisk Gate, we get to learn more about the magic system. obelisksUsually when I think of magic systems, I start to fanboy over Brandon Sanderon’s (as always), but this one is also amazing. I love that it is explained a little at a time; it just makes the experiencing the magic system magical.


I was confused when I picked this book back up at some of the terminology and character names as having read two different books in between when I finished the first book and then started the second. I’m not really sure why I am an idiot like that, but I am. (In my defense Nassun and Essun are pretty similar.)

A lot of relationships are explored and written well. One of the themes that I have been


noticing is the father / daughter relationships being explored. Jija makes for a very interesting character in the way that he interacts with his family (What he did to his son), and his confusing relationship with his daughter. There are also similar beats of this between Schaffa + Nassun, which I enjoy seeing explored.

Alabaster remains to be one of my favorite characters in a series that I have read. It is poetic that he becomes stone or actually “Alabaster“. I am very excited to see howt his plays out in the last book.

Hugo Awards

It is incredible that N.K Jemisin won back to back to back years for her trilogy. It is so hugoawardeasy to see why. The award is completely justified. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m reading and why it works. I feel like N.K Jemisin is perfectly executing (That is becoming a theme here…) all of the stuff that I have learned about writing, but will never be able to do. It is almost frustrating to see how well written this trilogy is so far.


I love that the magic system is better fleshed out in this novel, and I am super pumped to start the last book so I can see how it plays out. The concept of catching the moon is so cool! I wonder what is going to happen with Nassun though; the book ends on a note of her that might be the one to do it. Will Syen die?

I am curious to learn more about the stone eaters and how they are created. Alabaster seems like he just got turned into one, so I wonder if anyone else has/will? Maybe Essun with her new stone hand? I can’t wait to find out! I am off to read book 3 now…




  1. Can you explain to me exactly _how_ a narrative, or part of one, can be written in the second person? Is it as an outsider looking in, with the narrator referring to s/himself as “you”? Seems unwieldy….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That does sound weird. I hadn’t heard about that being in these books. They’re all on my extensive reading list, but it sure sounds fascinating. I’m going to have to bump them up the queue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I, in fact, have never played RPGs — which, I a**-ume, means “role-playing games” — so I’ve not experienced what you’re describing. It makes sense on that level — but then, in those passages in the book, who, exactly, is supposed to be doing the narrating?


  2. I loved The Fifth Season and The Stone Sky, but I felt The Obelisk Gate was a weak middle book. I am glad to read your take on it, though – especially your thoughts on the characters. This was a dark trilogy to read, but definitely thought provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

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