THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
There are just so many wonderful things about this series, and the way it ends is completely fitting and in line with the rest of the books. I found the conclusion to The Broken Earth Trilogy very satisfying indeed.
This volume is very much a continuation from book two. We keep following Essun and her daughter Nassun as they navigate the lands of the broken Earth. What you see with Nassun and Essun is two characters of different generations dealing with the cards they’ve been dealt, both bent on securing a better Earth, but with very different ideas of what all that entails. With Essun it’s more of a conscious thing, she’s on a mission, she believes it’s her destiny to try and fix things. With Nassun it’s more subconscious and her acting on instinct, to defend herself, the Earth, and protect those few people she cares about. Watching the way these two stories play out along side each other, and eventually intersect, gave me a lot to think about. For instance, in order to make things better, we have to tear down the old way of thinking, which means hope and change is ultimately born (or reborn) out of destruction. It leads us to question if things are even worth trying to fix, or has humanity went past the point of no return.
Just as in the second volume, the world building is expanded even more here. We finally get a picture of what happened to cause the world to break. We see not just the remnants of this past civilization, but we get to experience it a bit as well. We learn more about the stone eaters and the orogens. The very Earth itself becomes a character in the novel. There is a wonderful blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy in the backstory of the world and how things came to be where they stand. It’s through learning all of this back ground that we begin to see the overall, horrifying picture of The Broken Earth.
I will also say, that with the note the second book ended on, the way things went down here was a little bit of a surprise for me. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do think there was just a tiny bit of brilliant misdirection of expectations at the very end of the second volume. These are the kinds of clever things I appreciate as a reader.
Overall, I really loved this series. It was a wild, weird ride, but also left me a lot to think about, which are the best kinds of books. 5/5 stars.