END painted on a road

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The cover for the award winning novel THE STONE SKY

THE STONE SKY, published in 2017, is a science fantasy novel by N. K. Jemisin. It’s book 3 in the Broken Earth trilogy.

THE STONE SKY won the 2018 Hugo Award. All three books in the trilogy won Hugo Awards.

You wince. “That’s a little dramatic, don’t you think?”


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.

This is the way the world ends… for the last time.

THE STONE SKY Analysis of:

Title is used as an example in the following posts. Check them out!

Past vs Present TenseA comparison of past vs present tense including modern fiction examples. Which is right for your novel?
Present TensePresent tense happens now. Check out 5 times it’s the best choice for your novel.
Dialogue TagsLearn why “___ said” is the best dialogue tag you can use (plus breakdowns of modern fiction).
Show & Tell“Show don’t tell” is bad advice. Learn why you need to show AND tell in your story (plus tips to help you improve your showing).


The Stone Sky is the third (and final) book of The Broken Earth Trilogy. It’s a great book but it’s not a standalone read.

The series as a whole is stunning and moving. It’s so far removed from reality and yet, is it? I love these books and would highly recommend them to anyone.

But that’s just my opinion, what did others think?

The thematic arc of this trilogy is fantastic.

– Death is Bad

There isn’t another work in science fiction asking these questions. Not really. Not with this intensity. Not with such a clear-eyed look at where so much of the ugliness that underpins our own society comes from.

– Wrong Questions

By any measure, these books are dark, discomfiting and sad but underlining it all, there is a measure of uplifting hope through unity and revolution.

 – The Book Smugglers

When you rate a book 4 stars while you feel it to be the weakest of the trilogy, that truly says something of how superb the trilogy as a whole was.

 – A Dance with Books
a typewriter

Writing Practice

Practice your writing with these writing exercises and prompts inspired by THE STONE SKY.


Your Task: This is the opening paragraph(s) of the novel. Ignore everything you know about the story and use it as a writing prompt.

Using as much detail as possible, write another 300+ words.

Prologue: me, when I was I

TIME GROWS SHORT, MY LOVE. Let’s end with the beginning of the world, shall we? Yes. We shall.

It’s strange, though. My memories are like insects fossilized in amber. They are rarely intact, these frozen, long-lost lives. Usually there’s just a leg, some wing-scales, a bit of lower thorax—a whole that can only be inferred from fragments, and everything blurred together through jagged, dirty cracks. When I narrow my gaze and squint into memory, I see faces and events that should hold meaning for me, and they do, but … they don’t. The person who witnessed these things firsthand is me, and yet not.

Exercise: Main Character Analysis

Using what you learned in How to Write a Memorable Main Character, describe how the main character of THE STONE SKY is memorable.

  1. How are they unique?
  2. How are they flawed/vulnerable?
  3. How are they heroic & what do they overcome?

Exercise: Point of View

What do you think of the Point of View used in the Stone Sky? Was it effective – why or why not?

Your Task: Choose a chapter and rewrite it from a different point of view.

Exercise: Plot

Using what you learned in the Guide to Plot, write out the plot of THE STONE SKY.

  • Exposition
  • Rising Action
  • Climax
  • Falling Action
  • Resolution
the world ending


GenreScience Fiction & Fantasy
First Published
Aug 15, 2017
Print Length
(according to amazon)
464 pages
File Size
(according to amazon)
5,502 KB
Goodreads Rating
(As of Feb 8, 2019)
Goodreads Rating for the award-winning novel THE STONE SKY
Amazon Rating
(As of Feb 10, 2019)
Amazon Customer Rating for the award-winning novel THE STONE SKY
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