The Stone Sky is the fittingly Earth-shattering conclusion to the fantastic Broken Earth trilogy.
If you had read my review of the first book, you would know that the Broken Earth trilogy takes place in a bleak, ash-covered dystopian world rather ironically called the Stillness, considering the land is constantly rocked by earthquakes. The final book in the trilogy continues to follow the journeys of Essun and Nassun, the warring mother and daughter, as they make their way towards their entwined destiny. One hopes to save the world, while the other simply wishes to destroy it all. They are the two most powerful orogenes (people born with the innate ability to manipulate thermodynamics) in the world and both are motivated by a profound sense of loss and injustice. When they ultimately confront each other at the end of it all, it truly is earth-shattering.
In terms of storytelling and character progression, The Stone Sky provides an extremely satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, something that is increasingly rare these days, and falls just short of the spectacular finale in Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. I was blown away with the answers we get to the many intriguing questions raised in the first two books – the reason for the constant apocalyptic events, the origins of the Obelisks and orogeny, and the history of the conflict between the many races. Even the new twists in The Stone Sky are brilliantly interleaved with things that are familiar to us from earlier books. While Sanderson has a penchant for portraying mortal beings inhering omnipresent powers, N. K. Jemisin is no different as she explains the escalating use of magical powers with impressive deftness. There were just a few dense passages, particularly during the journey to the center of the Earth, which required some bit of rereading on my part to wrap my head around.
The Broken Earth trilogy also acts as a mirror of self-introspection for the whole world in general, as it lays bare familiar atrocities such as racial discrimination, oppression, and genocide, and paints a chilling dystopian version of the Earth that we seem to be heading towards, if we don’t take proper steps to save our planet. The Stone Sky is the fittingly Earth-shattering conclusion to this phenomenal trilogy, which will also go down as one of the most relevant fantasy series of the last decade.