Fifth Season Ch 12 & 13
Syenite demands and eventually gets some respect from the leadership of Allia. Syenite inspects the harbour and finds something unusual under the coral. After a brief discussion, the comm asks her to remove the obstuction in the harbour. She does, but her power is taken by the obelisk that is causing the blockage. The obelisk rises to float over the harbour and Syenite sees a dead stone eater trapped inside it.
Tinker takes Essun and Hoa to her home. Essun surmises that Tonkee was a scholar, a geomest, at a prestigious university. Tonkee bathes and is revealed as a trans woman. The three of them continue walking south, following Nassun. They meet equatorial people and hear their stories of the Yumenes disaster. Hoa eventually loses Nassun's trail among a gathering of orogene power.
There are universities, with scholars and engineers. They all charge large fees, but seemingly deserve then. Is that consistent with the world?
Leadership is a caste and therefore hereditary. Does that work? It's in contrast with the seeming meritocracy of the Fulcrum.
We see Syenite handle Allia's leadership. Does she do it well? Is she better or worse than Alabaster? Does it seem in or out of character for Synenite?
What are the obelisks?
Does Tonkee have any motive to join Essun and Hoa other than curiosity?
What does Hoa detect, and what does the gathering mean? As a reader, are you interested?