I read these two books in no time, and was a little bit happy when I learned that book 3 is not published yet. N. K. Jemisin is an author of feminist sci-fi, and she is an American woman of colour, facts that definitely make her writing interesting for me. I enjoyed the fact that Syenite, and Damaya, and Essun, are the main characters, and that skin colour and issues of race appeared, but mostly I liked how the issue of sexuality and gender was treated. With elegance, and non-chalantly. Homosexual and heterosexual relations were described exactly in the same way, without making a big deal about it. At one point our heroine is in a relationship with two men, who also love each other, and this is simply told as it is. There is an openness about issues of love and sex which is refreshing, and moves outside of social norms, but without being missionary. This is simply the backdrop for the story.
And the story is… exciting. But the plot itself, and the narratives, are also a bit stereotypical. It’s a story about a kind of people with special abilities, who are considered dangerous but also trained to serve society. They are managed by a kind of guards, and they are pretty nasty. There is quite some social critique here, but all is rather straight-forward. Then of course our special people have the ability to be of great help to society, because they can sense the movements of the earth and influence them, and this is a world plagued by earthquakes. Pretty useful. Our heroine is the kind of typical angry and a little helpless young woman who we also know from e.g. Naomi Novik’s “Uprooted”, a book which gets good reviews but I didn’t like that much, because of the boring and foreseeable character of the heroine. Same here. Anyway, the world building is really nice, which much detail and a nice background story. This whole evil earth - stone eaters - obelisks mythology, the stories of the seasons, and the rules, and the comms, and the old civilizations, all this is very colourful. And I really want to know how it ends, and if she finds Nassun, and what happens then, and if they kick some asses.