Book – The Stone Sky
Author – N.K. Jemisin
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed. – Goodreads Synopsis
Wow. This was a great trilogy to read through. The Broken Earth series will stay in my memory for quite some time to come I imagine.
Throughout the story, there is so much loss. So much pain. Essun (She will always be Syen in my mind) has lost everyone that she has ever loved. She lost her family, her lovers, her son, her husband, and watched her daughter start to turn to stone. There is such power in writing a character that has experienced loss like this.
Nassun, her daughter, has also grown up with nothing but loss. She lost her baby brother, killed her father, lost her mother until the end, and just about everyone she knew. Growing up with so much pain you can understand why she would want to destroy the world. Does that make her a relate-able villain? Does it give her a redemption arc if so? Who knows. (I’m just a dumb-dumb that reads books and blogs about it. Don’t ask me.)
Flashbacks are one of my favorite literary devices to bring in more background and context. Getting to experience the world’s history and get to know more about the characters at the same time is fantastic. It just helps build so much about the magic systems, character development, world, and overall sense of wonder. Fleshing out Hoa and learning more about him was awesome. You know you are reading a good writer when you think back to the very beginning of the first book and go “Huh. These characters were a lot different back then.”
N.K. Jemisin does a great job at inclusiveness in her trilogy. It is such a hot topic now and there is a faction of people that absolutely need it, and a faction of people that absolutely hate it. We live in polarizing times with so many people taking stances and not listening to anything. (I promise I’m not going to get all political.) What is important to me is the story and the journey that it provides. N.K. Jemisin does not throw all of this in our face, she weaves it expertly into the story. This is how it should be done.
The Broken Earth trilogy is a series that I highly recommend checking out. Even if you are not a fan of fantasy/sci-fi, this work of art has much to offer for everyone. Who knows, maybe the onyx will be called back out of the ocean again when the humans inevitably mess up and start the season cycle again. There should be some new stone eaters to help by the time that comes.