My experience reading this trilogy can be summed up as if I’m on a see-saw. I loved the first book, dislike and disappointed with the second book, and then this one, I absolutely loved it, I was never bored with it and loved every single moment reading this one. I’ll be honest here, Somewhere around the middle of this book, I thought to myself “Hmm okay this is great but it seems like Jemisin can’t surpass what she did in The Fifth Season”, I couldn’t be more wrong.
If I were to judge only from the first book of a trilogy, I would never have thought for the scope of the story to become this gigantic. I mean, the story spanned for thousands of years, and I love how it reminds us that the past will always influence the future, but it doesn’t mean we have to live and be stuck in it.
“How can we prepare for the future if we won’t acknowledge the past?”
Every question you have on the story so far will be answered here, what the Obelisk Gate truly is, the origin of Orogenes, how the Shattering occurred, what caused endless The Fifth Season, everything and I mean literally everything from the first book is a preparation for the last 5 chapters of this book, which was full of revelations and imbued with emotionally thrilling climax sequences. It was without a doubt groundbreakingly marvelous.
I have to also note that the world-building and prose in this installment are insanely good. Anybody who’s a fan of great world-building will definitely love this book and overall trilogy. However, the best part about The Stone Sky imo is its stellar character developments and interactions. As Jemisin said, the main theme of the trilogy is not about the post-apocalyptic world, the science, nope, they’re all great but the main theme at its core is about motherhood.
“I think,” Hoa says slowly, “that if you love someone, you don’t get to choose how they love you back.”
I don’t know how to stress this highly enough, this trilogy contains one of the finest storytelling on the topic of motherhood and parenthood in a sci-fi fantasy story I’ve ever read. It tells us once again just how important love is, not even in a romance kind of way but just loves, towards your friends, family, heck even strangers. Because this book is wonderful in its way of telling us how a stranger could become someone you can consider family within a short period of time.
“She has seen him fight his own brutal nature, and the Earth itself, in order to be the parent she needs. He has helped her learn to love herself for what she is.”
Considering that this is the last book of a trilogy, there’s a limit on how much I can talk about without spoiling anything, so this is where I’ll stop.
I haven’t read any of Jemisin’s other series but I highly doubt that she ever wrote something as great as this installment. I don’t even know how she’ll be able to surpass this particular installment in the future. The Stone Sky is truly a stunning conclusion to a trilogy, I didn’t expect to love this one as much as I do, but this is definitely going on my favorite shelf. It’s beautiful, poignant, and most of all, emotionally impactful because Jemisin faced a truly hard time during the time of publishing this book, specifically on her mother’s passing. You can read it in detail in the acknowledgment section, and you MUST do so. I legit almost cried reading the acknowledgment, I’m closing this review with a small section from it, and what I think Jemisin is trying to convey to us all on what The Stone Sky means to her and her readers. Even with my personal dislike about the second book, The Broken Earth trilogy is still a journey worth undertaking, Jemisin has poured all her emotions into this book and you won’t regret reading it.
“I definitely haven’t been in the best place while working on this book, but I can say this much: Where there is pain in this book, it is real pain; where there is anger, it is real anger; where there is love, it is real love. You’ve been taking this journey with me, and you’re always going to get the best of what I’ve got. That’s what my mother would want.” – N. K. Jemisin
The Fifth Season: 4.5/5 Stars
The Obelisk Gate: 2.5/5 Stars
The Stone Sky: 5/5 Stars
The Broken Earth trilogy: 12/15 Stars