Book Review: The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Published by Orbit on August 15, 2017

Series: The Broken Earth, #3

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, post-apocalyptic

Format & Length: paperback, 416

Source: purchased

Find on Goodreads

Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository


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.

section separatorFinishing The Broken Earth trilogy was bittersweet for me. On the one hand, it was a rewarding reading experience and I thoroughly enjoyed how Jemisin pulled everything together in The Stone Sky; on the other hand, I’m kind of sad that it’s over. (There will be no spoilers for any of the three books in this review.)

“An apocalypse is a relative thing, isn’t it? When the earth shatters, it is a disaster to the life that depends on it – but nothing to Father Earth.”

In The Stone Sky, the story is expanded to reveal what happened thousands of years previously to start the trajectory of Seasons that wipe out multitudes of humanity every time they occur. Woven seamlessly with the events of present day as we follow the main characters in their pursuit to end things one way or another, connections are made for several varying degrees of aha moments along the way. Although I still have a few questions about the logistics of certain things, I suppose knowing those answers wouldn’t have helped to move the story forward, so my attempts to guess the answers will just have to do.

“…if you love someone, you don’t get to choose how they love you back.”

These books are not light reading. They explore deep and heavy themes, including oppression, revolution, and the many facets of love. The fantastical world within mirrors our own in both amazing and horrific ways. In fact, certain details made me wonder if it is actually supposed to be our earth some million years from now. Regardless, the journey of examining these thought-provoking ideas was almost better than the destination and I think this is one of those cases where the sum is greater than its parts.

“Because that is how one survives eternity…or even a few years. Friends. Family. Moving with them. Moving forward.”

I said it upon finishing the first book and I’ll say it again, this series is well worth a read. Now having completed The Stone Sky, I’m ready for a lighter, quicker read but am definitely interested in reading more by Jemisin at some point. Definitely recommended.


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