Feb 05, 2021Michael Colford rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
Minor SPOILERS below.
As a series, the Broken Earth Trilogy is very strong. As a single book concluding the trilogy, I must say that The Stone Sky is the weakest of the three books. While still incredibly imaginative, gripping, and intensely emotional, there is a whole lot of exposition and historic explanation that N.K. Jemisin has to explain as we approach the conclusion of her epic. In addition, the book rotates between three sets of characters: Essun, arguably our protagonist throughout the entire trilogy (I say arguably, because all of the character make questionable decisions throughout); Nassun and Schaffa, Essun's daughter who she has been chasing after for the past two years, and her former Guardian, who brutalized Essun to keep her under control; and a new group of characters set centuries past that ultimately reveal the history of the mysterious and fascinating Stone Eaters. For me, a lot of time that was spent on Nassun and Schaffa, was just text I had to get through, as I did not have a strong emotional connection to the two characters and their storyline. Of course, they were essential, providing the emotional and physical foil to Essun's raison d'etre, but I could not forgive Schaffa his cruelty and manipulations and his utter brainwashing of Nassun was as frustrating as it was necessary to the plot.
Ultimately, the conclusion was satisfying and powerful emotionally, capping an entire trilogy that marveled your imagination and wrenched your heart all the way through. The complexity of Jemisin's world, spanning eons of time, is incomparable. I very much look forward to seeing her set her pen to to other worlds, Ultimately, this was Essun and Hoa's journey for me, and while I would have liked more of them in this book, I was satisfied with their overall arc.