The Fifth Seasonby N. K. Jemisin
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness/b>… See more details below
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy. A new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula&World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin.For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out:The Inheritance Trilogy The Hundred Thousand KingdomsThe Broken KingdomsThe Kingdom of GodsThe Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition) Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction) The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella) Dreamblood DuologyThe Killing MoonThe Shadowed Sun
Humans struggle to survive on a ruined world in this elegiac, complex, and intriguing story, the first in the Broken Earth series from acclaimed author Jemisin (the Inheritance Trilogy). The Stillness is a quiet and bitter land, sparsely populated by subsistence communities called comms. Essun lived quietly in a comm with her husband and children until her secret got out: she—and her children—are orogenes, those who have the ability to control Earth forces. They can quell or start earthquakes, open veins of magma, and generally cause or rein in geological chaos. Authorities keep a brutal hold on orogenes, controlling everything about their lives, including whom they breed with. Those who escape servitude and seek safety in the comms face expulsion and execution at the hands of the fearful. Soon after Essun’s secret is revealed, her husband kills their son, and her daughter goes missing. Essun sets off to find the girl, undertaking a journey that will force her to face unfinished business from her own secret past. Jemisin’s graceful prose and gritty setting provide the perfect backdrop for this fascinating tale of determined characters fighting to save a doomed world. Readers hungry for the next installment will also find ample satisfaction in rereading this one. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Aug.)
[The Fifth Season is] an ambitious book, with a shifting point of view, and a protagonist whose full complexity doesn't become apparent till toward the end of the novel. ... Jemisin's work itself is part of a slow but definite change in sci-fi and fantasy."Guardian"
Astounding... Jemisin maintains a gripping voice and an emotional core that not only carries the story through its complicated setting, but sets things up for even more staggering revelations to come."NPR Books"
Jemisin's graceful prose and gritty setting provide the perfect backdrop for this fascinating tale of determined characters fighting to save a doomed world."Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)"
A must-buy...breaks uncharted ground."Library Journal (starred review)"
Jemisin might just be the best world builder out there right now.... [She] is a master at what she does."RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)
"The Fifth Season is a powerful, epic novel of discovery, pain, and heartbreak.... It is a novel that demands much of its readers; it rewards them aplenty and is one of those novels that becomes more powerful after deep consideration and subsequent readings."SFF World "
This is an intense, exciting novel, where survival is always on the line, set in a fascinating, original and dangerous world with an intriguing mystery at the heart of it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!"Martha Wells"
Brilliant...gorgeous writing and unexpected plot twists."Washington Post
In a world plagued by cataclysmic tectonic activity, the only way to survive is to constantly prepare for the next fifth season. But no one is ready for the scope of the disaster that strikes when the capital city of a continent-wide empire is subsumed in a massive rift that spreads hundreds of miles. Using alternating points of view, Jemisen explores the lives of several characters in the years leading up to the cataclysmic disaster. VERDICT Multiaward winner Jemisen breaks uncharted ground with this long-awaited title that introduces a fresh world and trilogy, creating a completely realized society inhabited by three varieties of humans and a nonhuman species that lives inside the earth. With Jemisen's record of prestigious literary honors, plus her strong following, this is a must-buy for all speculative fiction collections and an excellent recommendation for fans of Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn" trilogy.—JM
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I have long been a fan of Ms. Jemisin's work, but this novel is a quantum leap forward. The world-building is phenomenal and unusual -- no pseudo-medieval, whitewashed (in every sense of the word) world. On a planet that is much more tectonically active than ours, there are what I suppose could be called mini-extinction events: when volcanoes explode, or tectonic plates shift parts of the world are covered with ash in what is known as 'the fifth season', a sort of prolonged winter of ash and cold. Animals have adapted: normally herbivorous creatures become carnivorous. People have adapted: there are storecaches of food and supplies, fields that are left ready, and so forth. (I said the world building is excellent, and what struck me was the little detail that people who are constantly aware of the inconstancy of the ground never really look at the sky -- it's details like this that raise the world building from good to excellent.) There are people known as orogenes (or the derogatory rogga) who are born with the ability to 'sess' rock and mineral and either cause quakes and volcanic eruptions, or stop them. Naturally these people are sought out and trained, but they are not elevated (as one might expect) but really slaves to the power structure. They are feared but necessary, hated and ruthlessly used. As Ms. Jemisin is never one to shirk from examining power within power structures, race and sexuality are significant. The story follows three people, one written in second person (a bold move that pays off) whose lives will intersect near the end. To say much more would be to ruin the joy that is the novel. If you want high quality world building, complex characterization and complex power dynamics, read THE FIFTH SEASON.
An excellent book; expansive, thrilling, and angry.