Book: The Stone Sky (Broken Earth 3) by N.K. Jemisin
Release Date: August 15th 2017
Tags: Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Science / Own Voices / Diversity / Disability / Loss of Limb / POC / LGBTQ+ / Homosexual / Bisexual / Transexual
Other books in this series I reviewed
The Fifth Season / The Obelisk Gate
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
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.
When you rate a book 4 stars while you feel it to be the weakest of the trilogy, that truly says something of how superb the trilogy as a whole was. The Stone Sky is the third and final installment to the Broken Earth trilogy. And I have to say that I am quite happy I didn’t take too big gaps between these books. In fact I think this trilogy is best binge read. There is so much that comes at you throughout this trilogy that it can be hard to keep track of everything.
The Stone Sky starts a few days after the ending of The Obelisk Gate and follows three point of views again. Essun, her daughter Nassun and someone who isn’t identified right away (though I think it is easy to guess as to who this person is I don’t want to give it away in a review either). This last point of view takes us back to the past again and is one of the reasons that I struggled with the first 150-200 pages a little.
You see while I had a good inkling as to who this was, it was a bit hard to keep a hold of that as I read these chapters. Because this person felt so different. And everything about this world was so very different that it was hard to figure out how exactly everything was fitting in. I think that would have been easier had I read this straight after The Obelisk Gate. We got ‘new’ side characters and I wanted to fight this because I didn’t want to get to know new characters. I just wanted to know what was going to happen to the ones I cared about. Even so after about 150-200 pages I settled into it and as this story line became more focused and clearer as to where it was going to fit in I realized that I was enjoying it. That I wanted to know.
Another reason as to why I had a bit of trouble with the start was that, like Essun, I missed Allabaster. His personality, his interaction with Essun and others was so pure, humorous and full of feelings that it was a hard loss felt. I was secretly still reeling from that I realized.
The first part is also slow which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but once we were over the half of the book and the plot gained momentum, heading into the inevitable, I was hooked. I tore through that part and didn’t want to put it down.
I won’t give much away about the ending except that for the most part I am satisfied with the ending despite the good kick in the feelings that I got. I still love Essun. She is so flawed and yet I can’t help but love her for it. She wants to put up the shields. But she can’t. She lets people in despite herself. With Nassun I often have to remind myself that she is such a young girl. And I can’t dislike her for any of the choices she made. She had a hard life. She has to live with knowing that her father killed her brother for who he was. The same as her. She had to kill her father because he was going to kill her. And while Essun might have had the right intentions, what she did to her wasn’t right either. It shaped her. It shaped her decisions throughout this trilogy and I think it is very important to remember that when you read these books and judge her for her actions.