Can I interest you fine geeks in the trilogy by ? If you like one or more of these:

- A well-told, fast-paced epic tale in a finished trilogy
- A sympathetic and complex cast of characters
- Most of whom are WOC including a Black leading woman
- An original world that feels like a living, breathing place
- A thoughtful treatment of race, oppression and abuse
- Queer folx galore

Then boy are you in for a treat.

@lj_writes I realize never mentioned I finished it! you should talk to me about it

@lj_writes It was really good! I feel like I was not the audience for the climax of the last book, but that's okay. It was still really well done. I would have liked if Essun could have gotten to grapple with what Schaffa became/ what Nassun's life was like now.

@lj_writes I guess it felt like things were being set up as conflicts and I was hoping for them to be "and now we talk and think and grapple" conflicts not "and now we fight and get ourselves killed" conflicts. Also, I'm a filthy monster/alienfucker so I shipped Essun/Hoa and wanted more done with that.
...I guess mostly I want, like, an extra books worth of fanfic

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@Rionnal I was disappointed Schaffa faded so abruptly out of the story, too, he was Essun's (abusive) father figure and Nassun's entire motivation and there's like no resolution with either character? I guess he was always meant to be a stand-in for Essun in Nassun's affections, but still that was way too abrupt. Poor Nassun :(

Looks like the Essun/Hoa angle was too shippy for me and not shippy enough for you. This is why you can't please everyone 😂

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@lj_writes I don't know what you mean by a stand-in? It's not like Nassun was treating him that way; hr feelings about Essun were very different from her feelings about Schaffa.

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@Rionnal Oh, like because she couldn't love Essun, or Jija for that matter, whole-heartedly like she loved Schaffa--ironic, of course, since Essun's abusive tactics were learned from the original Schaffa--she poured all of that love into Schaffa instead. That's the impression I got anyway.

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@lj_writes Oh yeah, that's true. I guess I wouldn't call that standing in? Like, Essun and Jija did things that made her unable to love them, but she found someone else to love instead. And it's not like she didn't love him for the things he did. I guess I feel like treating him as a stand-in does him dirty, given how much he did.
(Not that I'm exactly a Schaffa fan, but he sure did do a lot of stuff, good and bad, that deserves to be addressed on its own)

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@Rionnal I agree with you, my explanation is just the only way I can reconcile how he went out of the story with no closure and with Nassun no longer seeming to give a shit about him T_T I think the Guardians' whole society was fascinating in itself, very Inquisitors from Dragon Age feels there.

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@lj_writes haven't played dragon age, but agree it was interesting. I feel like there's a lot more that could be done in that world.

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@Rionnal Dragon Age has the Templars who are basically enforcers of the Magi, who are taken from their families and srictly controlled to control their dangerous magical powers. If a Magi does escape the Templars will hunt them down. I got the same vibe from the Guardians as I did from the Templars, a ruthless group that performs what they see as a brutal necessity to protect the world.

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@lj_writes Idk I guess the more I think about Schaffa the more I'm like... (mental)disability feels? He worked so hard to continue to be a person and make decisions

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@Rionnal Yup, he was a messed-up yet sympathetic character, effectively one with severe brain damage. I also like that his mercy and kindness toward Nassun had horrifying consequences in the greater world. I dislike it when mercy is treated as an easy solution; mercy should be chosen because it's right and not because it's easy.

Spoilers for Broken Earth books 

@Rionnal Tbh I thought the third book was the weakest--it was still very good and the series is stellar, but once the half the narrative dipped out of Essun's life and went to the distant past I just didn't... care as much. Also the resolution didn't enthrall me, like part of what I like about the series is that it treads the line between fantasy & sci-fi and the the lost moon being the cause of the seismic instability has like 0 scientific basis.

Spoilers for Broken Earth books 

@lj_writes I agree it was weaker but I *was* interested in the distant past. Well, in *Hoa's* past, anyway. For me it felt kind of...rushed? Which thinking on it isn't because it actually was rushed necessarily, but because it had a higher ratio of plot to feelings and I wanted more feelings.

Spoilers for Broken Earth books 

@Rionnal Yeah, it was very... serviceable, for lack of a better world. Hoa's part of the narrative did its job and he explicitly intended it that way, but as a result his world never felt as alive or deeply felt as Essun's. Which, you know, lot of different reasons validating that so it's not exactly bad, but that was the effect on me.

Funnily enough I'm rereading the first book right now in preparation of finally reading the rest!

@lj_writes Also, for older school SF/fantasy fans, N.K. Jemisin's genre-straddling, world-travel-centered approach may hit all your Tanith Lee buttons, without being at all imitative of Tanith Lee. Everything I've read from her has been great.

@lj_writes (I started making connections like that a few years ago, for Reasons to do with the state of fandom at the time. I have more.)

@reinderdijkhuis Jemisin's work lends itself to a lot of such comparisons, which is a good thing because it means her work is part of a larger conversation.

Just to add a bit, this isn't "the same epic fantasy you read a dozen times, now with a sugar-coating of diversity". It's the most unique fantasy series I've read since.. maybe Jack Vance's Dying Earth, and the diversity elements are key aspects of the story.

Very cool to see it recommended.

@lj_writes You already have a bunch of very thoughtful and nuanced responses so I'm only gonna add: I have a big fat crush on Ykka

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