A Letter to a Lost Opportunity

Dear Blogs, 

Yesterday, as  I reclined in my chaise lounge, cigar and whiskey in hand, accompanied only by the crackling fire, I felt a reflective mood come upon me. I scampered to my computer and began furiously typing.  Reflection, sweet reflection, where to begin? Blogs, oh Blogs, how I have wronged you! I never cease to think of you. Many a restless night have I spent contemplating how I could have done better, spent more time and worried less so that I might have fully enjoyed writing you. When I think of the time I wasted, I could honestly cry. I wish I had made more of an effort, but fear, yes fear my dear Blogs, had the upper hand. Dread took over me and stole the time away. It led me to write complete rubbish that didn’t matter to me or anyone else. But my dear Blogs, the time to reflect is nigh, thus providing a catalyst for change which I long for. Continue reading “A Letter to a Lost Opportunity”


 In this trilogy, death is everywhere, no character escapes it without being changed by the loss.  As in the real world, the characters are constantly finding ways to cope with the pain. The tuners, on the other hand, seem to have the wisdom and spiritual knowledge to see death, heal others and in the process, make death as beautiful as possible.

Continue reading “Requiem”

Mamma Mia

Throughout the Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, the idea of finding  Nassun kept Essun from giving up and gave her a reason to live. Nassun never left her mother thoughts, in her mind she was always looking for her.   When Hoa tells her that Nassun killed Jija, she blamed herself for her daughter’s destructive behavior. Ruefully she says, “I made her into me. Earth eats us both, I made her into me.” She no longer has the mission to find her daughter and now must come to terms with her motherly regrets.  She thinks she no longer has the right to be Nassun’s mother, especially after realizing that her nemesis Schaffa did a better job loving her child then she did. She tried to prepare Nassun for the cruel world that a awaited her. She thought to herself, “He wouldn’t have had to break her hand, would he?… Schaffa was affectionate with her, as you struggled to be.” Fear was more important than love. Ironically, she became afraid of her own daughter. Continue reading “Mamma Mia”

Fool’s Gold

Pyrite, also known as fool’s gold, contaminates fossils and destroys them. Fossils are important because they contain the history of the Earth. When fossils with the mineral pyrite become oxidized, the whole sample becomes corrupt and causes it to crumble. Pyrite disease in fossils is irreversible. In beautiful  Syl Anagist, the people believe that they have struck gold with their creation of the Plutonic Engine and geoarcanity, which would lead to a never-ending supply of magic. In their mind, their beloved city would soon become a real Eldorado (mythical city of gold). But to make this golden city a reality is the oppression of the Niess people.  The Niess people became the fossils, archaic remnants of a time gone by. The Syls Anagist community saw themselves as progressive and modern people. Using the Niess’ power to better their world was a brilliant, modern idea.  We know using and abusing people who are different is a timeless sin.  

Geoarcanity turned out to be the cause of the city’s destruction, not its savior. It was not gold.  Although the Neiss were gold; precious, using them as virtual slaves destroyed the whole culture of Niess people and like the fossil, crumbled and became obsolete as a result of this pyrite-like Geoarcanity.  The Syl Anagists won the gold medal in a rigged competition much like the sports of Ancient Rome.

 The people of Syl Anagist never discovered the evil of their ways. Without warning the tuners punished them. Their optimistic, Golden Age viewpoint was replaced with the pain of reality.  Their guaranty for everlasting comfort was fake and had expired.  “Syl Anagisst is built on delusions, and we are the products of lies”( Jemisin 212)  Their golden idea devoured an entire group of people, the Neiss.

This Plutonic Engine was meant to carry out the goal of Geoarcanity, but it became a weapon of mass destruction.  It corroded the golden city and ate away at everything in its way. They thought that it had to be done. In order to survive, Syl Anagist needed the magic that would come from the Plutonic Engine.  It was a way to preserve their quality of life. To them, Niess life was only valuable as a resource, but like fossil fuel, it could not be replenished

Sylangnistine’s search for perfection was greedy and evil.  The wise tuner, Kelenli supports this idea saying, “I’ve studied what I could of the Niess and their culture. There isn’t much left, and I have to sift the truth from all the lies.”(Jemisin 213) This is reminiscent of what European explorers did to the Native Americans.   Hoa says this in response, “You’ve decided to carry on the traditions of a dead people?” Many of us say this when we are bogged down with history lessons or consumed by analyzing work by “dead poets”. However, we need to do this in order to learn from past mistakes and try our best not to repeat them. Perhaps, Kelenli’s understated response, “Why not?”, just says this more concisely. There is no need to justify what is right to study. Nations, cultures, and people deserve this attention.


Stone Everlasting

Steel’s conversation with Nassun about living forever, helped me understand why Steel,  a stone eater wanted Nassun, an orogene to destroy the world. It wasn’t because he is naturally evil, and wants the world to suffer. He has nothing to live for, it’s a selfish wish, that can only be- for that reason  Nassun and Steel are similar. Steel is not naturally cruel, just in pain, and living forever is the cause.

Continue reading “Stone Everlasting”

Damaged Goods

I’m a big fan of 80’s movies.  I love Ferris Bueller, Risky Business and Heathers.  I especially love Heathers and have become a fan of the movie written by Daniel Waters and the musical by Lauren O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy.   As I have been reading the Broken Earth trilogy, a character from Heathers, J.D. keeps coming into my thoughts because he reminds me so much of Nassun.  

Continue reading “Damaged Goods”

Rock Odyssey

In geology, the rock cycle, specifically of a sedimentary rock,  consists of weathering and erosion, transportation, deposition, and lithification. It takes a geologist to understand how a  rock is formed; how each layer was created in different circumstances and time. So how are people formed? What makes them the way they are?  How do we become a boulder, stuck in stubborn, close-mindedness? Perhaps we humans are seized by the pressures of the world in which life flattens out like a piece of metamorphic slate.   I immediately think this happened to Essun, whose life literally and psychologically can be compared to the rock cycle.

Continue reading “Rock Odyssey”

Power in Details

While reading the Syl Anagist sections of The Stone Sky, we are introduced to six tuners. These tuners were created to be emotionless and inhuman.  They were to function in a way that we use tools. Ironically, they are all amazingly human despite there caste in life. The characters are fully fleshed out; finely tuned beings. I’ve been learned that there are no small parts in Jemisin’s novels. Continue reading “Power in Details”

A Comparison of Worldviews

While reading the Fifth Season I found it interesting to compare our view of the Earth to that of people of the Stillness.  Unlike the people of the Stillness, who see themselves as victims of the Earth, we see ourselves as it’s master and more recently, its protector.

It seems that in the Stillness, its inhabitants  are constantly defending themselves from the Earth. They build structures for the sole purpose of  defense, hoping to withstand Earth’s mighty blows.They follow stonelore, making sure each town has a wall and each structure has  a “flexible central beam”(Jemisin 171). In our world, architecture cannot just be functional, it must also be aesthetically pleasing. In every age we build structure like the pyramids, the Parthenon and the Taj Mahal to show the future how great they were, not necessarily how “practical” they were. In the Stillness, pragmatism rules.   Continue reading “A Comparison of Worldviews”