Review: The Stone Sky

Posted 21 June, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3)
By: N.K. Jemisin
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase


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.

The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.

All right, here we are, last book in the trilogy. This book has been quite the journey so it was quite exciting to finally reach the end and see how everything played out.

I don’t know, it seems I’m in the minority but this final volume fizzled for me a bit. I found myself wholly detached by the characters and their respective plights, as detached as Essun found herself when it came to intimacy (for lack of a better analogy). I empathized with Nissan but otherwise could not wholly come to care for the gravitas that she was faced with, the opposing trajectory that she and Essun found themselves in. Even the revelations in this novel came rather…I’m not sure if it was my own personal thing, being distracted with several other things going at me at the time that I read this book, or if it was the structure with the introduction of Syl’s chapters interspersed between Essun and Nassun’s narratives alongside the time jumps, but I was left feeling disinterested at the end, which was pretty sad considering how amazing the build-up has been and the journey I’ve been with these characters over the course of the three novels. Maybe also because the story moved considerably away from what started everything off: a mother grieving for her child, searching for her other child snatched from her, and her past bubbling back to the forefront.

On the other hand I thought it was really cool how the story was taking a more sci-fi edge with computerized elements. It’s had elements in the past with the introduction of the nodes and stations and of course the climate issues that were prevalent, but its role in this final novel was quite apparent.

As a whole the trilogy was a fascinating one and felt unique in its storytelling and worldbuilding within the genre. For this last novel however I found myself detached from the characters that I’ve followed from the first novel; in that sense I think The Fifth Season is still my favourite of the trilogy. Nonetheless I’m happy I finally read this trilogy and look forward to eventually getting around to The Inheritance trilogy, which is STILL sitting on my TBR pile, lol.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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