The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Series #1)

The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Series #1)

by N. K. Jemisin
4.6 21


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The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Series #1) by N. K. Jemisin

"Intricate and extraordinary." - New York Times on The Fifth Season (A New York Times Notable Book of 2015)


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.

For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out:

The Inheritance Trilogy
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
The Broken Kingdoms
The Kingdom of Gods

The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition)
Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych (e-only short fiction)
The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella)

Dreamblood Duology
The Killing Moon
The Shadowed Sun

The Broken Earth
The Fifth Season
The Obelisk Gate

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316229296
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 08/04/2015
Series: Broken Earth Series , #1
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 7,329
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author who won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for both The Obelisk Gate and The Fifth Season, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and RT Reviewers' Choice awards, and shortlisted for the Crawford and the James Tiptree, Jr. awards. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times, and you can find her online at

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The Fifth Season 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concept is a creative blend of science and fantasy, the characters are believable, and the world is ending. I'm keeping this brief but the pieces all fit and even when you begin to put them all together a few, though likely not all, revelations may surprise you. The world Jemisin has created is both vibrantly alive and cruelly dying. There are many mysteries remaining, and I am eargerly awaiting the next book's release. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes fantasy/sci-fi blends.
Riptorn41 More than 1 year ago
I have read a LOT of amazing books this year. I feel like we readers have been particularly blessed by some good books in 2015, and therefore the bar is pretty high across the board for what qualifies as a must read. Well, if you like fantasy at all, this one definitely belongs on that list. N.K. Jemisin spins an amazing, deep world that has some dark undertones to it and does it in such a way that you are turning pages as fast as you can to find out more about it. There is a unique magic system, several (very, to me) interesting new races and a somehow familiar but new civilization that the reader gets thrown into. The best part is N.K. introduces this world using powerful (and sometimes scary) main characters that are also at their essence so, so human. I've never had my heart break so many times for a character that is so strong before, and its a wonderful, joyous experience. I believe the baseline for loving someone is recognizing how strong they are while knowing exactly where all the chinks in her armor is, what open wounds they carry that can turn them on you; N.K. captures that fantastically. Sometimes you read a book, and you can just tell how talented the author is, how the sky really is the limit. I believe The Fifth Season to be that type of book. I don't actually buy many books (I work at a library), but I've already purchased two copies of this one. I'll read all of N.K. Jemisin's books in the next year, and I have no doubt that they will all be well worth my time. Read this one as soon as you can get your hands on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She continues to blow my mind
Sean Melican More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 5 months ago
LittleFoxAndReads 10 months ago
“When we say “the world has ended,” it’s usually a lie, because the planet is just fine. But this is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. For the last time.” This book has earned a spot amongst my most favorite books and N.K. Jemisin has quickly become one of my favorite authors. The world-building is no doubt the best aspect of The Fifth season. I’ve never seen such depth to a setting. The premise itself is amazing and the execution is fabulous enough that the world-building is taken to a whole other level. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic earth that is constantly plagued by “seasons” or disasters of varying lengths of time that basically leave the earth near extinction and bring about tremendous changes in the setup of the world. Usually, new civilizations arise after the worst of seasons and the civilization that this books takes place in is The Sanze Empire, which has survived as long as it had because of “orogenes”. Orogenes are people with the ability to control the earth’s energy. Think earth-benders with the ability to also control water and temperature, but with focus and concentration, not fighting forms. Also with a more-fleshed out explanation of the mechanics of it. Despite their role in keeping the earth from extinction, they are very much despised and feared by the people because most have the tendency to unintentionally cause destruction when angered. This is where “Guardians” come in. Guardians are warriors and kind of mentors to the orogenes; they track down orogenes and recruit them to a school-like facility called Fulcrum. There, orogenes are taught to have more control over their abilities. The story unfolds masterfully. It’s told from the point-of-view of three women: ►Essun is an orogene in hiding with two children who’ve inherited her abilities. She successfully hides their orogeney until her husband discovers the ability of her youngest, beats him to death and takes her other child. Essun then sets off on a journey to track them down and save her daughter. ►Damaya is a young orogene who has been discovered and shunned by her own family, who then turned her in to a guardian to be recruited to Fulcrum. ►Syenite is an orogene who has already gone through her Fulcrum training and is now under their service. She is instructed to go on a mission with a higher-level orogene and together they slowly uncover the horrifying truth of the oppression and injustice that orogenes face. The main characters are all black and I think most of the side characters are as well. There is a ton of diversity in this book, not only when it comes to race but as to sexual orientation, gender-identification and type of relationship (there was a polyamorous relationship towards the middle that messed with my heartstrings) as well. It was a breath fresh air. One of the best things about this book is just how much it draws on real-life social issues, especially when it comes to race. The way orogenes are treated, the stereotypes they are subjected to and even the racial slurs (“rogga”) they are pelted with…it’s an awful parallel to what real-world groups of people have faced and still face today. “For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.” This is only the surface of the story; there is so much more to it and I can’t possibly condense it for you. I was so immersed while reading this, wanting to know more about the seasons,
Madeleine_Grace 10 months ago
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin is an intricate science fiction story which is the first story in the Broken Earth series. In the book, the author uses three main characters to guide the reader through an Earth that is similar yet so alien to one we know. Each of the main characters is in a different stage of life and is facing a set of challenges that are unique. The story begins with the main character Essun on the floor next to the body of her dead son. Though nothing is known about the world she is living in or the circumstances of the boy’s death, they find themselves sympathizing with her and her loss. The character Damaya is introduced after being locked in a barn by her mother because she is an orogene, a person with the ability to draw power from Father Earth. Through her story, Damaya will have to adapt to a new way of life, and learn to accept what she is and how it will change her life. The last character Syenite is a young woman with lots of ambition. She is struggling to be respected and seize every opportunity to achieve a higher status. The way the author chose to present the characters enhances the readers’ experience because they get the perspective of each character in a different stage of of their life facing relatable obstacles. Different types of narration are used throughout the book. Damaya’s and Syenite’s chapters are narrated in third person limited which allows the reader to receive information about the characters and their surroundings. Essun’s story is narrated in second person point of view. This is unusual, but it enhances the story because it gives a hint as to when each story is taking place. The second person narration also helps the reader empathize with the character because the author stresses that the reader is Essun, and the reader is experiencing everything that Essun is experiencing. There are also a few points in the novel in which a third person omniscient narrator is used, allowing the reader to receive outside information about the world. This narrator also appears in two interludes in the middle of the novel. They are strategically placed to prepare the reader for major moments to focus on the progression of that idea. They are used to direct the reader to details they should focus on, and to make the reader question certain ideas in the book. The progression of each character’s story and the narration lead the reader to the realization that the characters are connected and why it is significant. In order to keep the reader engaged, the author built an interesting, and relatable world. She does this by basing the world on Earth. However, it becomes clear that Father Earth is nothing like the nurturing Mother Earth. There are aspects of Earth’s geography that are similar, though it is clear that the conflict with this planet has halted the progression of society. Jemisin was extremely successful in building an intriguing story in which details between the characters, setting, and conflict achieve an engaging reading experience. Though I did enjoy this book, it does belong to the science fiction genre which not all people enjoy. It is also almost five hundred pages, which is not a quick read. The story is also a bit heavy. It deals with many topics that are present in the modern world such as family, loss, discrimination, sexuality, gender roles, and violence. However, the book is well written, so I would recommend it to everyone whether they generally enjoy science fiction or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a different genre for me, but I enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like I am forever amazed at the world writers create in their heads. This world is one I would never want to live....but reading about it was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season. Brilliant and breathtaking. One of the best books I've read this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
constructivedisorder More than 1 year ago
If you need to escape your reality for a few days, this book will do it. An excellent read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how easily, and how fully, I was taken into this world. The whole trilogy was a great find.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well thought out and crafted. Weird and wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hands down the best book I read in 2015. Jemisin is a master at her craft. This world and these characters will stay with you long after you close the book on the final page. Don't miss this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book of the year.
AlgotRuneman More than 1 year ago
Quakes, volcanoes and tsunamis are the instigators of "The Fifth Season." Some people just suffer through, if they survive. Others have a strange ability to control quakes and volcanoes, but without training, their abilities also can set off an apocalypse. Fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent book; expansive, thrilling, and angry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fair read, entertaining. Requires a pretty leap of faith on evolution or devolution.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brandon smiles softly, staring down at him with soft magenta eyes. "Same."