This second book in N.K. Jeminsin’s Broken Earth trilogy picks up from the end of The Fifth Season. While it does suffer a bit from ‘Middle Book Syndrome’ (the need to get from the end book one to the start of book three), this does not detract from what is a powerful and effective story.
The season of endings grows darker as civilisation fades into the long cold night.
Essun has found shelter, but not her missing daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request only Essun can grant.
As with the previous novel, there is a lot packed into the narrative and the author doesn’t expect to wait for you to catch up. As such, you need to pay attention while reading this. That attention is well rewarded, though, with some superb worldbuilding being both expands and deepens the reader’s understanding of the environment in which this novel takes place.
We also spend a lot more time with the additional characters, those that were mentioned or briefly encountered in the earlier book, and most of whom will clearly become a great deal more important in the next novel.
While this novel is not quite as outstanding as the first novel — and for narrative reasons it probably can’t be — it is an excellent story in its own right and one that sets things up for a superb, and possibly world shattering, trilogy.