The Fifth Season is the first in the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. It’s been on my reading pile for years – I mean, you can hardly ignore a trilogy that wins the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years, can you?
And wow, this book did not disappoint. I can’t believe I left it this long…
Set on a seismically overactive world, with civilisation-ending earthquakes or volcanic eruptions every few hundred years, there are people – orogenes – who are widely feared and despised for their ability to control energy, taking heat from their surroundings to manipulate the ground.
The Fifth Season follows three storylines: Essun, a middle-aged woman, keeping her abilities secret from all in her small, remote settlement, including her husband and two young children; Damaya, a girl given up by her family after her abilities express themselves; and Syenite, a young woman of developing abilities who is forced to breed with the most powerful orogene alive.
It’s a gritty, terrible dystopian world, populated with captivating and believable characters building their lives on the ruins of past civilisations. I can’t wait to see what happens next and certainly won’t be leaving it years before breaking into The Obelisk Gate.