The Obelisk Gate Book Summary - The Obelisk Gate Book explained in key points

The Obelisk Gate summary

N. K. Jemisin

Brief summary

The Obelisk Gate is a gripping fantasy novel by N.K. Jemisin. It delves into the broken and magical world of the Stillness, where a mother and daughter with extraordinary powers must navigate the dangerous politics of a society on the brink of destruction.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    The Obelisk Gate
    Summary of key ideas

    The World in Chaos

    In The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin, we are transported to a world in chaos. The earth is unstable, and the people are divided. The story follows Essun, a woman with the power to control the earth, and her daughter Nassun, who is also gifted with this power. Essun is on a quest to find her daughter, who has been taken by her father, Jija, a man who despises the power they both possess.

    As the story unfolds, we learn more about the world they live in. The earth is plagued by frequent apocalyptic events called “Fifth Seasons,” which cause widespread destruction and loss of life. The people have adapted to these events, and their society is built around surviving these cataclysms. They are also divided into two groups: the orogenes, who have the power to control the earth, and the stills, who do not have this power.

    The Power of Orogeny

    The power of orogeny is both a gift and a curse. Orogenes are feared and hated by the stills, who see them as dangerous and uncontrollable. As a result, orogenes are often hunted and killed, or taken to the Fulcrum, a training facility where they are taught to control their powers and serve the stills. Essun was once a student at the Fulcrum, where she was known as Syenite, and she knows firsthand the cruelty and oppression that orogenes face.

    Meanwhile, Nassun is coming to terms with her own powers. She is being trained by Schaffa, a guardian who was once Essun's teacher at the Fulcrum. Schaffa is a complex character, who is both cruel and caring towards Nassun. He is determined to help her control her powers, but his methods are often brutal and unforgiving.

    The Power of the Obelisks

    As the story progresses, we learn about the mysterious obelisks, floating stone structures that have the power to control the earth. The obelisks are a source of great power, and they are also linked to the Fifth Seasons. Essun discovers that Alabaster, a powerful orogene who was once her friend, is responsible for the current Season. He is determined to destroy the world in order to end the suffering of the orogenes.

    Alabaster reveals that the obelisks are the key to controlling the Seasons, and he is determined to harness their power. He believes that by doing so, he can end the oppression of the orogenes and bring about a new world. Essun is torn between her loyalty to Alabaster and her desire to save the world, and she is forced to make some difficult choices.

    The Final Showdown

    The story builds towards a final showdown between Essun and Alabaster. Essun is determined to stop him from destroying the world, but she is also sympathetic to his cause. She understands the suffering of the orogenes and the need for change. In the end, Essun is forced to confront Alabaster, and she is faced with a terrible choice: to save the world, or to let it be destroyed.

    In conclusion, The Obelisk Gate is a powerful and thought-provoking story about power, oppression, and the end of the world. It raises important questions about the nature of power and the lengths people will go to in order to survive. The characters are complex and compelling, and the world-building is rich and detailed. It is a gripping and emotional read that will leave you thinking long after you have finished the book.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Obelisk Gate about?

    The Obelisk Gate is a gripping fantasy novel by N. K. Jemisin. It is the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy and continues the story of Essun, a woman with the power to control the earth. Set in a world constantly ravaged by catastrophic natural disasters, the book delves into themes of power, oppression, and the struggle for survival.

    The Obelisk Gate Review

    The Obelisk Gate (2016) is a captivating second installment in the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its rich and intricate world-building, it immerses readers in a post-apocalyptic setting where the earth's power is harnessed and controlled.
    • Jemisin explores complex themes of power, oppression, and survival, providing thought-provoking insights into society and human behavior.
    • The book's compelling characters and high-stakes plot keep readers hooked, ensuring that every chapter is filled with suspense and surprises.

    Who should read The Obelisk Gate?

    • Readers who enjoy fantasy novels with unique world-building and complex characters
    • Those interested in exploring themes of power, oppression, and survival in a post-apocalyptic setting
    • People who appreciate inventive storytelling and non-linear narrative structures

    About the Author

    N. K. Jemisin is a renowned author known for her captivating storytelling and imaginative world-building. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the prestigious Hugo Award. Jemisin's writing often explores themes of power, oppression, and resilience, and she is celebrated for her ability to create rich, diverse characters. Some of her other notable works include the Inheritance Trilogy and the Dreamblood Duology. With her unique voice and thought-provoking narratives, Jemisin has solidified her place as one of the most influential authors in the fantasy genre.

    Categories with The Obelisk Gate

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Obelisk Gate FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Obelisk Gate?

    The main message of The Obelisk Gate is the power of resilience and the importance of coming together to survive in a harsh and changing world.

    How long does it take to read The Obelisk Gate?

    The estimated reading time for The Obelisk Gate is several hours. However, you can read the Blinkist summary in just a few minutes.

    Is The Obelisk Gate a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Obelisk Gate is a captivating read that delves into complex themes and offers unique perspectives. It's definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of The Obelisk Gate?

    The author of The Obelisk Gate is N. K. Jemisin.

    What to read after The Obelisk Gate?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Obelisk Gate, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
    • Incognito by David Eagleman
    • God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
    • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
    • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
    • Our Inner Ape by Frans de Waal
    • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
    • Simply Complexity by Neil F. Johnson
    • Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku