The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

The Broken Earth Series, Book 1

eBook - 2015
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At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)

This is the way the world ends...for the last time.

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.

Read the first book in the critically acclaimed, three-time Hugo award-winning trilogy by NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.
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

Publisher: Orbit


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As the 2010s come to a close, the Reader Services Department at the Boston Public Library has been reflecting on the past decade of books. All books are important in their own way, of course, but which books can we look back at and say, "Five years later I'm still thinking about it" or "that one really spoke to us"? We read books one at a time, considering each on its own merits. The end of… (more)

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Jul 29, 2021

An epic fantasy, cleverly written, and hard to put down. Jemisin creates a vivid world with a cast of characters that includes you, the reader. The odd narrative and tense may be off-putting for some, but go with it and you'll find yourself immersed in the world of Damaya, Syenite and Essen. Jemisin's world, a supercontinent called the Stillness, is fraught with earthquakes, volcanoes, and natural disasters which trigger Fifth Seasons, times of drastic climate change which lead to famine and disaster. Orogenes, those with the ability to quell these quakes, should be hailed as heroes, but are more often viewed with fear and suspicion, a fear that may be valid when the most powerful of them creates a rift and sets off a Fifth Season unlike any other. There's a twist here, but revealing it would ruin the surpise. If you like intelligent, exceptionally well written fantsy, you will enjoy this first book in the Broken Earth series.

Jul 21, 2021

Starts out weak and gets much stronger as the past and present converge. Bleak, but a very cool magic system, with fairly interesting characters. Excited to see where the series goes, as this sets up quite a lot.

pacl_teens Jul 14, 2021

"Every age must come to an end, right? Well, the time has come for this one. An empire whose innovations supported civilization for years has now been destroyed by a madman. Meanwhile, a rift grows in the middle of the world’s sole continent, releasing ashes to darken the sky for years. The world is breaking apart as war breaks across the stillness, nations are fighting just for basic resources. In the midst of all the chaos, a school teacher figures out her husband killed her son and kidnapped her child. The story follows the school teacher, Essun, who simply wants to get her daughter back, despite the world dying around her.

Although many books have the topic of an apocalyptic world, Jemisin added originality and made a common topic interesting. The world-building was very well written and made the story engaging. It took a while for me to get into the story, but everything came together later and I was able to enjoy the book. The pace was nice, the story was thought-provoking, and had great character development. Overall, great story building, characters, and plot." -Michael, Grade 10

Jun 21, 2021

Excellent! Jemisin drew me into a multi-layered world that highlights the truths of our own world.

LoganLib_Sheridan Mar 22, 2021

When starting this book I struggled with understanding the world-building but this didn't effect my engagement and eventually I understand more of what was going on in regards to world-building. It was definitely worth the perseverance.

This book holds no punches. There are people 'encouraged' to breed. An institution that subjugates roggas - tells them they are the only ones that can make them safe and worthy of society. There are definitely parallels to racism here and they are done masterfully.

This book is very inclusive. There is a trans characters and the main character is in a poly-amorous relationship. I've never thought I would want to read about that but it was done so well. It probably helped that the reader saw two of the triad as a couple (but also not) already.

'Baster was my favourite character despite not exactly being the main character because he was the wise old mentor with a wicked sense of humor that probably only worked so well because of Syen's own humour.

The twist at the end blew my mind although I think one of my bookclub group readers almost ruined it for us! It certainly makes me interested to see what happens in the next book because now I have questions about the parts of the story that weren't included in this book!

There is just so much to take in from this book. And I feel like we're only just scraping the surface of this world. I need more history of how things got this way. I think this series is definitely looking to expand things in that direction as it moves forward on how to fix them.

Feb 09, 2021

I am really, really liking this book. It is epic fantasy, that while a bit slow in the beginning, isn't agonizingly slow in the world set up. It is interesting and twisting and has good little surprises that make it interesting to read, i am excited for the rest of the series. I would say that it is most defiantly adult and covers hard topics and should be read with caution if certain traumatic themes are disturbing to you. Please read the notices. However, I think that they are written well and that this book is worth the read. Best epic fantasy I have read in a while.

Jan 15, 2021

Glad I took a chance with this book, although it took a while to get into the feel of it... it was worthwhile and, after a short break, I am looking forward to the next in the series. I don’t enjoy the vulgar parts, alas, it seems to go along with the genre, generally. Too bad.

Hillsboro_RobP Aug 27, 2020

Wholly original, absolutely genius, and utterly devastating. It's a slow-moving volcano of magical geology, family, apocalypse and hope. It starts with so many questions- the narrator speaks with colloquial jokes, directly addressing the reader out of time, but the characters are completely immersed in their incredibly built world. You won't love any of these people, but you will follow their stories, and marvel at the things they do, and the places they go. There is nothing quite like it in the genre.

I'm in. I need the next one. But I would give this warning to would-be readers: Jemisin's work is as soul-crushing as it is wondrous. It's dark, graphic, and adult in every way. Still, it's one of my favorite fantasy works to date.

Aug 03, 2020

This book truly surprised me. Dystopian isn't my favorite genre, but I'd heard from so many people how amazing this series is, and determined it was well worth a try. One third of it is told in second person, which in itself was a bit of a shock, as that isn't the normal choice for fantasy. It worked well with the story, and wove well with the other two viewpoints which were third person. I suppose perhaps I've been reading too much YA fantasy lately, since this book was dark and pulled zero punches. Many people died and there were sex scenes in detail (just a heads up to anyone who is thinking about reading it). The diversity in here is well done and feels natural- not a plug in for someone to fill their bingo card- authors, please take note. There was zero exposition, too. You're thrown in the deep end and expected to swim. The author treats the reader like an adult and knows you will figure it out, without holding your hand. The magic system is interesting. They call it Orogeny, and it's really like earth moving or earth control. The setup of the world feels slightly inspired by Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, with the school to control the magic users, and the users are seen as dangerous, yet looked down on at the same time, the world is coming to a violent end, etc. It read quickly and I definitely had fun with it. I'm not sure in what direction the plot is headed from here, but I'm willing to go along for the ride.

Jul 30, 2020

So the first 260 or so pages were basically world building and character development which seemed slow to me, but afterwards.. it comes together and makes sense. Definitely liked how the book had many "twists" or things that came together. Will definitely read the next book and planning to finish the trilogy. Worth reading!

Also, interesting and unique writing style, but that is what made the book interesting. You don't really know what is happening until you keep reading or the end haha.

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Feb 09, 2021

kbinfet thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Sep 11, 2020

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 03, 2020

RebelBelle13 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 01, 2020

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Mar 05, 2020

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Jan 18, 2020

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haushallmartinez Apr 11, 2019

haushallmartinez thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Dec 16, 2018

Natashastales thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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Jun 09, 2016

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Add Notices
Feb 09, 2021

Other: Heavy themes of manipulation and gaslighting.

Feb 09, 2021

Sexual Content: Coerced consent and implied child abuse.

Feb 09, 2021

Violence: Child abuse (physical, emotional and implied sexual). Also abuse of adult characters (physical and emotional).

Mar 05, 2020

Sexual Content: Implied and mentioned sexual abuse of children (Not explicit). Dubious consent between adults (characters are not forced, but strongly pushed into reproducing)

haushallmartinez Apr 11, 2019

Violence: LOTS of child abuse.


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