Author: N.K. Jemisin
Narrator: Robin Miles
Audiobook Length: 14 hours 16 minutes
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.
The Stone Sky is the conclusion to the Broken Earth trilogy. The series as a whole continues to be one that takes a little more time to read. It is not one that you can speed read through as the print and audiobook versions should be done a little slower in order to fully comprehend everything. The series was put together well as each sequel picked up where the last one left off, so, for me, it was a perfectly put together continuous story as I completed them back to back. In this final installment, the readers return to the world of the Stillness, which is subject to seasons, including a fifth season that brings geological devastation.
Essun’s story continues to be at the center of the series. She is on the road with the survivors of the devastating event from the previous story. She is trying to find a way to save her daughter, Nassun, from the same fate she suffers as an Orogene. While her character was not as likable in this story compared to the first in the trilogy, it felt purposeful based on her journey and circumstances. The story itself sets out to answer all of the questions that have been posed over the course of the series. The Seasons, the origins of the Orogenes, and the Obelisk Gate are just some of the elements that are further explored in this story.
While the world the series is set is fictional, there are many themes that cross over to the real world, such as, environmental impacts, racism, love, and survival. There are many more on top of these, which I give the author a ton of credit for as they all felt natural in the story. The same can be said for the representation on the page as there are many LGBTQIA+ characters that all were well written and did not feel like the author forced representation to be included in the story. All of the characters felt like they belonged and they were all complex and well-written. Similar to the last novel, the story includes perspectives from Essun and Nassun. There is also a third perspective told by a side character from the previous novel. For this perspective, I wish it was introduced in the second novel and then carried over to this novel. This way I would have connected to it a little more.
Throughout the series, the element of motherhood has been explored as Essun’s initial journey begins with the search for her daughter. This theme was carried throughout the series with an exploration into the dynamics between mothers and their children. Overall, this series would be perfect for book clubs as there is a lot to unpack and discuss for each novel. As a whole, I love that the series has many different levels so readers can take what they want from the text (they can interpret the text to find underlying elements or take the story only at face value). This novel was an excellent conclusion as the ending was very fitting and felt satisfying. This author has been a delightful surprise and I absolutely cannot wait to read more!