The Fifth Season
By: N.K. Jemisin
# of pages: 496 (Kindle edition)
Series: The Broken Earth (#1)
This is the way the world ends. Again.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy novel! The world building was extremely unique and so were the characters. The timeline was written in such a great way, it really meshed together in spite of the difference in years.
The story begins with Essun, a heartbroken mother who is mourning the violent loss of her youngest child. Her discovery of the child’s murder coincides with a nationwide disaster that will have far reaching consequences. Essun is forced to leave the town she’s peacefully lived in for years to set out on a dangerous journey to find her daughter. Essun has lived in secrecy for years, but knowledge of her power starts leaking through the cracks as she meets other people along the way.
The reader also meets the young and scared girl Damaya, the strong young woman Syenite, the broken man Alabaster, and the confident and boisterous man Innon. Other characters pop up throughout the novel. They are all written so well, you can just see them in your mind. After I finished reading the book I immediately started looking up fan art because I wanted to see what other people thought of the characters and their descriptions. Here’s my Broken Earth Pinterest board.
I’m eager to read the next two books in the series. I highly recommend this book to fantasy fans.
Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Awesome world building, great characters, unique fantasy series.