Fantasy

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

5 Stars

The Fifth Season was told in three timelines, within the scope of a lifetime. The Stone Sky spans millennia. We finally learn the history of the Stoneaters and the Seasons.

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Cover from Goodreads

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.

If the fact that The Broken Earth trilogy is about race has escaped you in the first two books, it’s absolutely inescapable in The Stone Sky. Millennia of oppression, enslavement, and othering is examined in stark detail in The Stone Sky and it’s impossible to deny the equivalencies (not perfect, not exact) in our own world.

It’s also about love, survival and the arrogance of the human race. The story of the end of the world is disconcertingly recognizable.

The story of Syl Anagist is the story of the West’s own arrogance and racism. How we punish those who don’t fit the idealized set of standards of beauty and race. How we treat the earth as a resource to be endlessly tapped, rather than as a living planet. How our own beliefs and the society we’ve built around them are going to be our own downfall.

Nassun’s story is about love, and the lengths we go to for those that we love. She has seen the corruption and has decided that her love trumps everything else and that she is going to destroy that which has hurt those she loves.

Essun’s story is one of survival. Love has its place in the survival narrative, but living one day to the next and thinking about survival beyond just your own years takes its toll.

Once again, Robin Miles’ amazing narration is an amazing additional layer to the story of The Stone Sky and I heartily recommend the audiobook from Audible.

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