The Obelisk Gate Review

  • Author: N.K. Jemisin
  • Series: Broken Earth Trilogy #2
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 410
  • Dates read: 9.02.2022 – 14.02.2022
  • Star Rating: 5 stars

Plot: This is the way the world ends… for the last time. The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever. It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last. The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken. 

When I picked up the first book, The Fifth Season, I think I found myself expecting the book to reach the impossible. I had seen on BookTwitter for years tweet after tweet after tweet hyping this book up so when I finally got around to reading it my expectations were far too high. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, I really did, but it didn’t meet up to those high expectations that I unwillingly put on it.

I was nervous going into this book as I was worried I would have a similar experience and I am happy to say that this book was everything and more!!!

It’s in this book that we get a lot of answers to questions I had been dying to know. Questions regarding the reason behind the 2nd person narrative, how the magic system works (it didn’t matter how many times they tried to explain it to me in Book 1) it wasn’t until this book that was I able to grasp it better. More answers regarding the inhabitants of the world, how the world works and functions and secrets revealed that I cannot tell you about unless you want to be spoiled.

I really liked that we still get the 3 person POV like in the last book but just following different characters. I personally LOVED Nussan’s POV as I loved getting to know her and also seeing how her orgeney ability is different to Essen’s due to the difference in training, age and discipline. Through Nassun’s POV we are able to learn so much more about the magic system and the world as a whole.

The plot itself was really good. It was a lot easier to follow this time than with the previous book and I think that helped my enjoyment of it. While we do flick around from person to person, place to place, it’s not as confusing as I personally found it to be in Book 1.

Essun as per usual was an incredible character to follow. She is just one of the most intricate, layered characters I have ever read. I love being able to see an older female character be the protagonist of the story rather than it being the same young 17-20-year-olds we normally see in fantasy. There is one key scene in this book where Essun reflects on herself and her age and her being a woman and it was just so powerful. I am so happy we have a character like Essen in the SSF world!

Overall, this was a great read that elevated the series and avoided the dreaded second book syndrome!

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