The Obelisk Gate is the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy and therefore this review may contain spoilers for The Fifth Season.
After devouring The Fifth Season I was eager to continue Essen’s story and when The Obelisk Gate dropped into my lap via my generous Ninja Book Swap partner, I knew it had to go to the top of the TBR. I was not disappointed.
No part of this comm gets to decide that any part of this comm is expendable. No voting on who gets to be people.
Essun has kind of resolved herself to not seeing her daughter again, but this instalment also follows Nassun’s path after the death of her brother. Her father is conflicted with his hate, his daughter is both a rogga and his little girl, how can he reconcile the two. He takes her to the far South where he has heard rumours of a cure.
Schaffa is still alive but a changed man, his paths becoming entwined with Nassun’s. She hates her mother but befriends the man responsible for making her that way…yet is he still the same man? He no longer serves the Fulcrum, the lines between sides becoming blurred every second. This is one complicated family.
Alabaster and Essun are reunited once more, but Baster is also not the man he once was. He’s slowly turning to stone and his stone eater companion appears to be eating him, yet is also fiercely protective. More light is shed on the stone eaters, revealing that they don’t all have the same agenda, just as all people from one race don’t. I hope the third book answers my questions about these people.
There is such a thing as too much loss. Too much has been taken from you both – taken and taken and taken, until there’s nothing left but hope, and you’ve given that up because it hurts too much. Until you would rather die, or kill, or avoid attachments altogether, than lose one more thing.
Whilst in the first book, the points of view were all different versions of Essun, the actual narrator is revealed in this book, which is even more intriguing. There is still some second person narration, and with the context of the narrator it seems so much more natural. It makes sense that the whole thing is being recounted.
There are so many elements wound together, and you discover who the overarching narrator is to the series, which add context to the second person parts. Love, grief, fear and persecution all at the end of the world, what more could you want? Seriously, if you are still to discover N.K. Jemisin, wait no longer, this trilogy is stunning.
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