The Obelisk Gate, chapters 5 & 6
Nassun and Jija are on the road, fleeing Tirimo. Nassun tries to explain that Essun told her to conceal her orogeny. We get some insights into Essun's harsh parenting of Nassun, forcing her to control her orogeny. Jija knocks Nassun off the cart, just as the Yumenes quake hits. Nassun's orogeny saves her, Jija, the cart, and maybe a few other people. Nassun changes and starts to deliberately manipulate Jija. Jija kills an injured traveller before they head further south.
Tonkee doesn't know what a "moon" is, but talks about the deep (pre-Sanzed) history of the Yumenescene Leadership families. Tonkee speculates that Seasons haven't always happened, using evidence of lack of evolutionary adaptation. Yumenescene archives suggest that the obelisks kept the world mostly whole during the Shattering Season and are the key to ending the Seasons. Essun visits Alabaster, they talk about rings and Fulcrum, then he asks Essun to sess his arm. She sesses the "magic" in him and Alabaster speculates on its connection to the obelisks.
The endnote describes what appears to be a violent conflict between stone eaters.
- The way Essun raised Nassun: is this essentially a recap of how Essun was raised by the Fulcrum?
- In what ways are Essun and Nassun similar, and how are they different? Is Nassun really cleverer than Essun?
- Is Jija a good parent and a good man? (Apart from the rage-induced infanticide, that is.) How should a parent raise a child in a world with possible Seasons?
- What do people think is the relationship between Antimony and Alabaster? Protector? Predator? Scavenger? Witness?
- Orogeny uses a mystical field that comes from living things, binding them together. Star Wars wasn't the first to use this trope. Does "magic" fit in this story?
- Why did Jemisin have Jija (rather than some random villager) kill Uche? Would the story have been weaker or stronger if Jija was a naïve softie?
- What do people think of the pacing? Chapter 6 is basically two chunks of exposition.
- Structurally, the book is back to three viewpoint characters, and Essun's chapters are still told in the second person. Does this structure work? Have people got used to it?