Hachette Book Group (AU)
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The Stone Sky: The Broken Earth, Book 3, WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD 2018 (Broken Earth Trilogy) Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B010PIFEZW
- Publisher : Orbit (15 August 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 4484 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 417 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,271 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The book follows Essun and her daughter Nassun as they make their separate ways to the time and place where the future of the earth will be decided. Along the way the origins of the Stone Eaters and the Guardians are revealed along with what happened to the moon and even smaller details such as ‘why metal cannot be trusted’ in an exceptionally well-crafted final book. It is darker than the previous books and the rationale given to the creation of the Obelisks and the Stone Eaters (especially the ‘briar patch’) may be uncomfortable reading for some, even if it is essential to the story.
While I personally enjoyed the series enormously, I can see why critics (particularly ‘hard sci-fi’ readers who expect a rational explanation of all the science involved) have given it the thumbs down – in the fields of orogeny and ‘magic’ which are central to the series and especially this final book there are a number of ‘get out of jail cards’ i.e. how things work is not explained in terms of 21st century science. This is OK by me as all the other loose ends are cleaned up nicely but I can see why some readers wouldn’t like it.
I bought these as e-books but I am definitely going to buy a paper copy of this trilogy for my bookshelf - only the best live there.
Top reviews from other countries
There is something about Nassun that kind of grates on me. I know I should feel a lot of sympathy for her, considering her age and what she's gone through, and I do, but she also annoys me. Can't even point out exactly why but it's there. And her storyline is really interesting but it doesn't grip me as much as it should.
We have a new POV in this book (kind of), that of Hoa and it is my favourite. It's set far far back in time and finally explains why the world is the way it is. We learn about how the stone eaters came to be, what the point of the obelisks are and many other things. It was really interesting and I found it the most enjoyable part of the book.
I still don't know how to classify these books. In some ways they are straight up epic fantasy, in others straight up science fiction. It is really a unique set up in my experience and I enjoyed it immensely. The second person narrative finally makes sense, I thought it was to show Essun's shock and it could still be in some senses but there is a more prosaic reason for it which I only copped in this last book. Just to note I still don't like this style but here at least there is a solid reason for it.
The actual end felt somewhat rushed but overall it was great, with nearly all questions answered satisfactory. This really is a pretty unique series and I would recommend it with the caveat that they second person is a bit jarring and creates distance between you and the characters. It is also a fairly dark and bleak series though there is also lots of hope and great moments too.
Concluding a trilogy when the first two volumes have been acclaimed as the finest fantasy novels of the decade, won a multitude of awards and been optioned for television is a bit of an undertaking, but one that N.K. Jemisin has pulled off with an aplomb. The Stone Sky concludes the Broken Earth trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy of the "Dying Earth" school, set in the far future when the world has become a stranger place where the lines between sorcery, magic and science have become blurred by tens of thousands of years of progress.
The previous volume in the series, The Obelisk Gate, left our characters in difficult predicaments. The Stone Sky soon sets them on their way to a final confrontation where the fate of the world will be decided. So far, so standard. But The Stone Sky isn't your standard fantasy novel. The final confrontation is a clash of ideas and perspectives informed by the well-developed characters and their experiences, not a rote clash of armies (which arguably we got in The Obelisk Gate anyway).
Instead, The Stone Sky is a surprisingly quiet novel. The principle action unfolds through conversations between the characters and through lengthy flashback sequences revealing how the Earth lost the Moon in the first place and how the highly advanced civilisation which caused the Shattering fell from grace. Woven through this is a theme of intolerance: the orogenes of the present-day story being outcast and persecuted for being Other, but also used for their power. This is echoed by events in the flashback story, where entire races are enslaved and persecuted out of fear, but then used for their power.
The Stone Sky, as with the rest of the trilogy, explores powerful themes of disempowerment, slavery and fear of the unknown, but also wraps an interesting and gripping narrative, all built on some very accomplished worldbuilding. This mix of atmosphere, character, theme and story is excellently-handled and recalls the best work of Ursula K. Le Guin: a book where all of the individual pieces that went into making it complement one another and deliver a novel that is far more than the some of its parts.
The novel is not quite perfect. Like The Obelisk Gate, the pace sags on occasion and this is made more noticeable by the lengthy flashbacks to the Shattering. These flashbacks are interesting and beautifully-written, but only reveal a moderate amount of new information not previously given in dialogue. The book isn't quite the equal of The Fifth Season in its pacing and story structure, although the difference is not too egregious.
Overall, The Stone Sky (****½) ends one of the finest fantasy series of recent years in final form, wrong-footing expectations and building on the accomplishments of the first two books in the series.