Journeying Towards Redemption in N. K. Jemisin’s “The Stone Sky”

Myra here.

I saved my review of this book for our current reading theme, even if I have read this book months ago, since most of the characters here are wanderers; survivors of an apocalyptic, end-of-world kind of tragedy, for which they are still trying to recover from, with varying degrees of success.

The Stone Sky

Story by: N. K. Jemisin
Published by: Orbit, 2017
ISBN-10: 0356508684
ISBN-13: 9780356508689
Bought my own copy of the bookBook quotes laid out in Typorama.

I waited avidly for this conclusion to The Broken Earth trilogy. Hence, it was with a bit of trepidation that I started reading The Stone Sky, which I anticipated to be quite action-packed; the dreaded face-off between mother and child finally happening here. As per usual, Jemisin’s introduction is quite powerful:

There is, throughout the novel, a foreshadowing of something immensely tragic and bleak to come. However, I found the build up to be quite superfluous – since that has already been established with such force and great effect in the first two novels (see my review of the first two novels here). I went back to my Litsy Review a few months back and took a screenshot which I am sharing here:

I understand that I may be in the minority here, as I am aware of how much this last book seemed to have gotten pretty much the same kind of love as the first two novels. That being said, though, I find that what makes me resonate with Jemisin’s novels is her searing portrayal of injustice. See the quote below which I have laid out using Typorama:

For the past months, I have been thinking about how some ‘games’ seem to be rigged – be it a race towards job (or financial) security, career advancement, and the like; such that there are occasions when, despite everything one does, it will never be enough. There is simply the inevitability of worlds collapsing despite one’s best efforts. This is also something that Nassun eventually realized somewhere in the end:

Despite my marked impatience in the beginning, I remain deeply appreciative of Jemisin’s insight into the darkness of the human soul, and its capacity for blinding light too, as one journeys, hands outstretched, turned into stone, towards redemption.
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