Book Review: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin



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.



This book is JUST as amazing as the first book in the series, I don’t know why I waited so long to read it.

The Obelisk Gate picks up after the events of the first book as we’re going into the Season after Alabaster broke the world. One thing I really loved about this sequel is that we do get a lot information about the world and the stone eaters. And you know what? It’s weird, ya’ll. And I mean that in a good way. If you like weird…well this has doses of that for sure. (I reiterate: stone eaters are weird! But also maybe there are reasons for that. Which I won’t go into because of spoilers.)

I also really enjoyed following Essun’s daughter, Nessun, through half of the book. Her journey was an interesting one. I think, for me, her sections of the book were the most captivating for me. Maybe it was because she was on a literal journey. But maybe also because the relationship between her and her father is such an interesting one. Her father murdered her brother. He hates her kind. But he also loves her because she’s his daughter. There is a lot of conflict to explore there, especially because Nessun, despite everything, still loves her father too. This conflict kept the tension up on this side of the story.

On Essun’s end, there’s plenty of tension as well. There are the stone eaters that are strange, Alabaster who is all strange, the comm is going to run out of certain supplies soon and put them all in danger, there is strife within the comm, there are threats from outside the comm. Overall, there’s a lot of build up to things that ramps up the tension toward the end of the book. But.

Not much actually happens during the course of the book. It’s more slice of life, living in the comm, dealing with people there, trying to deal with end of the world shit. But there’s very little advancement of actual plot. And, you know, that’s fine for the most part because I enjoyed learning more about the world as I said above. It was only after I finished the book and sat down to write this review that I thought about what happened in the book and was left scratching my head that I realized there’s not that much plot. When you think about it that way, well, that takes skill! 🙂  But, also because of this, the pace does feel a little slower, especially in comparison to the first book in the series.

As always, Jemisin’s prose is amazing, and it’s almost worth picking up the book for that alone. Really interested to see how this story ends. Hopefully I won’t put it off for two years like I did this one, lol. 4.5/5 stars.


15 thoughts on “Book Review: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

  1. Mischenko says:

    It sounds excellent even without a lot of plot. I’m interested in the stone eaters! Love your review. 😉

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