From the Shelf - Power and Pain in a Post-Apocalyptic World

N.K. Jemisin's work is distinguished by, as our reviewer wrote about The Kingdom of Gods, "her ability to imagine and describe the mysteries of the universe in language that is at once elegant and profane, and thus, true." She concludes her Broken Earth trilogy (the first two volumes of which have won back-to-back Hugo awards) with The Stone Sky, out now from Orbit. Shelf Awareness spoke with her about writing the final installment. 

stony skyThe complex relationship between Essun and her daughter Nassun in The Stone Sky is beautifully and meticulously rendered--making for an undeniably satisfying read--though at times it's hard to endure due to the difficult path they must walk. Jemisin was inspired, to an extent, to plumb the depths of familial bonds by her mother. "As I wrote the trilogy, my mother was dealing with increasingly-severe health issues--she died earlier this year. So I think, on some level, I was processing all of that."

Does she miss a world and its characters once she's written the last book in a series? Jemisin said, "I rarely miss my worlds, once I'm done with them, as long as I feel like I've told their story adequately. I have a short attention span!  And I've already broken ground on my next series, anyway, which I was chafing to start writing. Remember, book production runs well behind actual writing, time-wise; to me, the bulk of writing The Stone Sky ended almost a year ago. But I'm glad the rest of the world will finally get a chance to see what's been in my head, now!" --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers