The Stone Sky Summary & Study Guide

Jemisin, N. K.
This Study Guide consists of approximately 74 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Stone Sky.
This section contains 860 words
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The Stone Sky Summary & Study Guide Description

The Stone Sky Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Stone Sky by Jemisin, N. K..

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: Jemisin, N.K. The Stone Sky. Orbit, August 15, 2017.

In The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the parallel stories of Hoa’s life as a tuner and Nassun’s life as an orogene illustrate it is sometimes the ones most hurt by racism and ignorance who must use their power to make the world a better place. Both Hoa and Nassun have been so hurt by life that they want to use the opportunities they have been given to destroy those who have hurt them. In both cases, it is an image of love that makes them show mercy instead. This final installment in the Broken Earth Trilogy addresses the themes of hate and racism, the dangers of abusing natural resources, and the importance of recording and sharing stories.

The novel is divided between two different time periods. First, Hoa tells his story from nearly forty thousand years before the time of the Stillness.He explains how he is the one responsible for throwing the moon out of orbit. Then, Essun and Nassun’s story picks up in the present time as the moon has been primed to be pulled back into proper orbit with the earth. The two women hold the power to position the moon in its proper place to end the seasons. However, Nassun must first be persuaded to use her power for good.

Houwha is a tuner created during the time of Syl Anagist to assist in starting up the Plutonic Engine, a device made of a network of obelisks intended to draw a self-perpetuating stream of energy from the earth. Houwha is proud of his job and his abilities until he learns that the tuners were created in the image of the Niess. The Niess were a people whom Syl Anagist had conquered. He had taken their land. Even decades later, those in Syl Anagist feared that the Niess would retaliate. While the people in Syl Anagist could create their share of magic, they did not believe magic was free to be used at will. The Niess used magic freely and more efficiently than those of Syl Anagist. To make people more afraid of the Niess, rumors had been spread that this small group of people had a different physiological make up that caused them to use magic differently. In reality, the Niess were no different from anyone else.

As a perverse way to prove the people of Syl Anagist’s fears were correct, Houwha and the others who were able to tune to Plutonic Engine were made to look like the Niess. After Houwha and his friends learned they had been created to provide proof that the Niess really had been different from the people of Syl Anagist, they decided to revolt against the people who made them. They planned to short circuit the Plutonic Engine. In that way, they would destroy Syl Anagist. However, they did not realize the moon was also angry with Syl Anagist and planned its own revolt. Houwha is forced to make a quick decision about the engine. He decides to direct an overflow of current toward the moon. He knows the move will knock the moon out of alignment, but he believes it will save the life of his friend Kelenli, who is pregnant.

Nassun and Essun live in the time period of a world threatened by destructive volcanoes and earthquakes that touch off extended periods of winter known as Fifth Seasons. Essun and Nassun are orogenes, people with the ability to still the quakes and stop the volcanoes. Despite their abilities to help their fellow citizens, the orogenes are hated, much the way the tuners were in Houwha’s time. In her young life, eleven year old Nassun has suffered through her mother’s cruel and insistent training intended to help the child control her use of orogeny. She has seen her brother killed by her father because he learned his toddler son was an orogene. Nassun has realized her father’s hatred for orogenes is so strong that he can never see her as just a little girl again. Nassun must kill her father to keep him from murdering her.

Nassun has the ability to use the Obelisk Gate to bring the moon back into alignment with the earth and stop the Fifth Seasons. Instead, she is being manipulated by Steel to use her opportunity to wipe out hatred once and for all by ending the world and all of its people. Knowing Nassun’s intentions, Essun fights with Nassun for control of the Obelisk Gate, though using the gate will kill Essun. Nassun dislikes her mother because she never felt that she could pleae her. However, when she sees her mother sacrificing her life to save a planet of people who had hurt and hated her, Nassun takes a fresh look at what she is doing. She decides to carry out her mother’s last wish and bring the moon back into alignment so the world and its people can begin to live without the fear of Seasons.

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