Book Review: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #3) Skip to content

Review: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #3)

Book Review: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #3)


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.”

Book Review: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth, #3)

What I thought:

I’m struggling with this review for two reasons. As the last book in this trilogy, it’s immensely hard to sum up HOW FUCKING BROKEN IT LEFT ME without giving any spoilers. Also, my only notes say that we learn more about Hoa, my favourite, which is nice but doesn’t help you.

So, I’ll keep this brief 🙂

Hero? You laugh a little, and it’s got an edge. Can’t help thinking of Allia, and Tirimo, and Meov, and Rennanis, and Castrima. Heroes don’t summon swarms of nightmare bugs to eat their enemies. Heroes aren’t monsters to their daughters.

The Stone Sky is more excellent characters, fantastic world building, and brilliant plot. It’s also even more pain than the first two books, somehow. So that’s impressive.

I’m going to focus on that pain for a moment because there’s SO MUCH OF IT*. Besides learning more about Hoa, we also learn what exactly caused the world to end over and over again. We learn who did it, why they did it, and how they did it, and honestly? Completely understandable. Sometimes, the only way to fix something awful is to scrap it and start over.

When I read The Fifth Season, I thought this series was about what happens when people neglect the planet, but I was so bloody wrong. It’s about what happens when people enslave other people, and said slaves realise they deserve better but nothing will change unless they force it. These heroes are fantastic anti-heroes, all of them.

*no apologies for all the screaming because that’s what this book does to people.

The Stillness fears your kind for good reason, true. Yet it should also revere your kind for good reason, and it has chosen to do only one of these things.

The Stone Sky also had one of the…strangest? endings I’ve ever read. I can’t tell if it’s a happy ending or not. I suppose it depends entirely on how you define the term. I like how it ended–I really like how it ended–but you might be disappointed. I don’t know*.

All I can say is, this series is required reading for all fantasy writers, and a must-read for all fantasy lovers. I rarely read books as mind-blowing as this series, and they firmly remain on my Forever Shelf.

*you’re welcome for this super helpful review.

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  1. Couldn’t agree more, this series is required reading for all fantasy fans. I was blown away by the world building, and more than anything the characters. It tore my heart out, and then filled it back up. I adore this series.

    • sarinalangerwriter sarinalangerwriter

      YES, this sums it up well! I gave it a week before writing the review, but just reading the quotes again hurt all over again 😛

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