Date read: 24 August 2017
Published by Orbit, August 2017
Verdict: Mesmerizingly brilliant with a framing device that I adored so much.
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
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.
And this is how you end a trilogy.
This book was quite possibly (/definitely) my most anticipated book of the year; N. K. Jemisin has yet to dissappoint me and I just love love love her brand of fantasy. I love how intricate and well thought out her worlds are and how political they are at their core while she still never ever sacrifices her story to make a point. The final installment made me appreciate the overall brilliant work she has done in creating this cruel, wonderful, amazing world even more.
This world and its social structure makes so much sense and feels so real that it made me sad. It is perfectly structured to mirror our own world in miserable ways. I adore this political core and its relevance (<spoiler> and its ultimate optimism </spoiler>). I adore the originality of the stone eaters (and their creation myth in particular) and how their interactions are always just a little bit off to never let the reader forget that they are <i>different</i>.
But even more than the world building I adore the characters. They are what makes this book for me a true favourite: Essun and Nassun are such vividly imagined, flawed, wonderful creations and adore how their actions and reactions mirror each other while they are still separate and complete characters in their own right. I love how this, at its core, is a story of family, blood and found, about how violence breeds violence, how mistakes can be repeated, how decisions shape our lives.
On thing I realized upon finishing this book is how much I appreciate how N. K. Jemisin frames her stories; I love how the framing makes sense and its originality, here I especially adore it. The framing device used fits perfectly to the world she has created here and to the way her story unfolds.
So yes, brilliant way to end a brilliant trilogy. I cannot recommend the series enough. I am in love, still. (And heartbroken.)
First sentences: “Time grows short, my love. Let’s end with the beginning of the world, shall we? Yes. We shall.”