(5 / 5) – It Completes Me!
We come to the end of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series with “The Stone Sky.” Perhaps my least favorite of the trilogy simply because it signals the end of these characters’ journey and I will miss them. This second read through of the series has helped me fall deeply in love with this world and these characters and the many layers of social commentary Jemisin includes in her work.
The driving force of this book’s plot is undoubtedly love in all its forms, familial, romantic, toxic, healthy and everything in between. I may even argue love is the plot throughout the series, but as this story ends the clear motivations of the characters to love, be love and act because of that love for self, family (born or chosen), community, humanity and life in all forms is crystal clear.
A history of the Stillness is offered throughout this novel and how that history continues to affect the present is finally understood, at least by the reader. Jemisin leaves the reader and the surviving characters with a future filled with hope even as the latest season continues, forcing them all into a life of survival. Hope, within what can be characterized as a bleak reality, is the only hope that makes sense to me. No “bad guy” was destroyed and the world set right, no “evil” was vanquished so everyone can live happily ever after, the complexity that began this world remains but with a hope that all can live in more equitable and respectful relationships to one another.
Overall this entire series is worth your time and has a powerful vision of a world. Too many of us forget that the world structures and powers we currently live within are not a forgone conclusion, ordained by some external entity, but the choice we collectively make over and over and over again. The world can change. We can change.