I reviewed The Fifth Season a while ago, and I told myself I would return to this series eventually and boy was I in for a treat when I finally did! Obviously, I had to read this before I could get to The Stone Sky, for the Hugos, but I also just wanted to see if N.K. Jemisin could follow through with what she started. I feel like a punk for doubting her, because she more than delivered with The Obelisk Gate.
Again, we are dropped into the world of the Stillness, which is really anything but. The world has been rent by the Rift and Essun has to make sense of this as the Season to possible end all Seasons settles in to choke the land. Still attempting to seek out her daughter, her search is put on hold when Essun is confronted by her old mentor and lover, Alabaster. He confesses that he was the one who broke the world, but she is the key to heal it via the Obelisk Gate…
Honestly, this book has changed how I feel about The Fifth Season entirely. All the set up and twists we get in the first book are revealed and deepened in this volume. The POV style that Jemisin chooses makes sense and I have become much more accustomed to the second person POV in this book, thanks to the first. This second book has everything you could want from the “bridge” of a tirology. There’s drama, furthering of thematic depth and charaterization, and of course more rock splitting action. I couldn’t wait to be done with this, so I could find out exactly what happens at the end of all of this. The world itself is so fleshed out in this novel, that it feels far more real than other storyworlds I have read.
Jemisin is truely a masterful storyteller, with a flair for the dramatic and emotional core that one needs to spin a tale of this size and scale.