Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
This was great! For some reason because of all of the hype surrounding this book I thought I wasn’t going to like it. From what I heard about the blurb and what I thought this book was about it didn’t seem interesting to me, but once I actually sat down and started reading I was hooked! I can’t lie it was a slow start for me, it took me at least a hundred pages until I was fully immersed and understood what was going on.
Essun I wasn’t that invested in to be totally honest especially in comparison to the other two perspectives and I think it’s because her storyline involved a lot of travelling. Which is a good way to show the reader the world and gives us a sense of how dire the season’s are and how much preparation these people go through. But still reading about her trying to catch up to her husband and daughter didn’t really do a lot for me. However, once she joined with the other oregenes in the underground geode and we started to find out more about who she is and who her companions are I was a little shook!
Damaya I loved from the moment she was first introduced. I couldn’t help but sympathise with her and what she has had to go through because she is a ‘rogga’. Ostracised from her family and sold off like livestock, at such a young age would be so traumatising. Her strength and resilience she shows throughout the course of her storyline was noteworthy and I really enjoyed her perspective.
Syenite was by and far my favourite out of the three, from her relationship with Alabaster and the whole sequence of events that lead them to Meov. I had an overwhelming sense of foreboding throughout their stay there and to see her so happy with Innon and Corundum and how they managed to make a family only to have it ripped away killed me!
This was a wonderful introduction to this trilogy and I can see now why so many people love this book. The writing was descriptive and the world building was immaculate. All of the characters were distinctive and diverse and the way the storylines merged was masterful. I am kicking myself for putting off reading this book for so long and I am happy to have finally completed it. I have a feeling I am going to be continuing on very soon!
⭐️4/5 stars lived up to the hype!!!