Fifth Season Ch 20 & 21
Two years have passed. Syenite is bored. She persuades Innon to take her on a raiding trip. Alabaster is afraid that Syenite will leave him and Corundrum. Syenite goes on the ship and assists in a raid. Her orogeny makes her victorious, but she has to drown the survivors to keep Meov secret. There is an interlude of a legend of the first Season. She plugs the volcano at Allia, and is perhaps spotted by a Guardian.
In a huge surprise, we discover that Essun is Damaya, and hence Syenite. We also discover that Tonkee is Binof, who has been following Damaya/Syenite/Essun for thirty years. Obelisks were traveling towards Tirimo, attracted to Essun and Uche. Hoa reveals he's a stone eater and makes gnomic comments about the stone he's eating. Essun meets Lerna, who tells his story. Hoa tells Essun that Alabaster is in Castrima, and dying.
- Is Alabaster a good father and "husband" when he doesn't want to Syenite to go raiding?
- What does it say aobut Innon's character that he ordered the drowning of the raided sailors? What does it say about Syenite's character that she did it?
- We finally see a Fulcrum-trained orogene doing what she was trained to do! How does Syenite's ability compare to what else we've seen?
- What is Hoa eating? Is it really himself? Why is he separated?
- Essun notes that she is more sarcastic than she used to be. I think we're meant to see that Essun is becoming more like Syenite. Have you, the reader, noticed a change in Essun's character?
- Essun is now accompanied by people from all three of her previous ages (Tonkee/Binof, Alabaster, Lerna). What do you think will happen next?
When I first read the book, I was reading it quickly so I was actually shocked by the reveal about Damaya/Syenite/Essun being the same person. My wife had the same reaction when she read it.