As the conclusion to a trilogy that started strong and then stopped, The Stone Sky gave me everything that I wanted, and then it gave me more. It’s devastating. Poignant and personal and almost impossibly powerful... The Broken Earth is in totality one of the great trilogies of our time, and if all is well with the world, its thoroughly thrilling third volume should surely secure N. K. Jemisin a third Hugo Award.
Every now and again there comes a work that seeks to redefine the face of genre literature, from Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness to William Gibson’s Neuromancer. With the Broken Earth trilogy, Jemisin has made a place for herself among these greats, pulling off a landmark story that blends fantasy, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic tropes. Finishing The Stone Sky left me utterly breathless by the scale and scope of what Jemisin accomplished in these three books — narratively, technically, and thematically.
The Broken Earth trilogy is a work of allegory and allusion, not a straightforward political parable in the vein of “Planet of the Apes” or Stephen Vincent Benét’s “By the Waters of Babylon”...Much later, after the spectacular final battle between mother and daughter, which only one can survive, he tells the victor that “different choices have always been possible.” It’s a fitting moral to her story, and to all of our stories.