Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fifth Season

(The Broken Earth #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  148,476 ratings  ·  17,159 reviews
original cover of ISBN 0316229296/9780316229296

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 civilizat
Paperback, 468 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Orbit
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fifth Season, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
N.K. Jemisin For the next book in the trilogy? Well, I'm working on it now, and hope to be done with the first draft in a few months. Hard to say when it will be p…moreFor the next book in the trilogy? Well, I'm working on it now, and hope to be done with the first draft in a few months. Hard to say when it will be published after that, though; I don't control that part!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  148,476 ratings  ·  17,159 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yes, 5 full stars for this one because it's everything I want in a fantasy book. I will explain.

I don't read fantasy and sci-fi because I like magic or space ships or laser swords or what have you. I read fantasy and sci-fi because I want to see something new, and there's no other genre that allows this much freedom of imagination, this much flexibility and bending of reality and this much room for "what ifs". The genres are ripe with tropes and cliches even so, and I'm at that point where it pa
Rick Riordan
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up because I greatly enjoyed Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but this novel was even better. Jemisin blew me away with her world-building and beautiful writing. It's the tale of an alternate earth called the Stillness, which is plagued by constant seismic activity. This leads to frequent near-extinction events called "Fifth Seasons" that keep humans on their toes. The evidence of past civilizations litters the planet -- ruined cities, incomplete 'stonelore' handed down fro ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Post-apocalyptic mixed with Fantasy? My two favorite genre? Hell yes! This was such a good read!

The writing does take some time to get used to (one section the narration is told at the second person for example!) but I didn't find it slow and found myself immersed into it very quickly but more time was clearly put into it than the average Fantasy so it might be why it can take a bit more time to get used to it!

Totally recommend it and I'm planning on reading the whole trilogy pretty much
This book is beautiful, this book is smart, this book is oh so heartbreaking, and this book is a masterpiece. This is one of those books that make you feel absolutely guilty for giving out five stars to other books. This book is unlike anything I've ever read, but it felt so seamlessly woven. This book mirrors the society we live in today and makes you think about all those uncomfortable topics you'd rather ignore and pretend do not exist. This book has the best representation I've ever read in ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
—for all those who have to fight for the respect others are given without question.

I'm re-reviewing this because I accidentally used up a full page of my last essay ranting about it and now I really desperately want to reread. (It's September 8th, why are all of my books still in California.)

The fact that this series won the Hugo award three years running should very quickly establish its degree of quality but I'm going to quickly point out the things that Wowed Me anyway. The writin
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mix of high fantasy & Sci fi fans
4.5/5 Stars

I will not start my review for this book with some praises. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing book (oh shit I just did), but I’d like to start this review instead by saying patience is virtue is apt here.

“For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.”

This book and my review will be dedicated to all of you.

The Fifth Season, the first book in the Broken Earth trilogy is, in my opinion, a book that will truly require some
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Deleted my old 4 star review. I didn’t like it so much this time. Not rereading the rest. Unhauling.
The end!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Caz (littlebookowl)
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 stars
Twerking To Beethoven
Aug 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: load-of-wank
New updated review.

I'm told N.K. Jemisin won YET another ((probably) deserved) Hugo Award this year. Her third in a row.

As some of yaz are probably well aware of, I'm not fond of her writing style nor of her bullshit books. What can I do? I just don't like her stuff. Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, when I tried to read the first installment of "The Broken Earth", I just failed to finish it and ended up throwing the bastard on the barbie along with some shrimps and prawns... ruining both the shri
Edit, 10:52 pm, tonight. :) N.K. Jemisin is the WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) Was there any doubt?

Old Review (from a few hours ago):

Re-Read 8/20/16, the day the Hugo Awards Ceremony is to take place for the novel I voted for. :) Coincidentally, I'll be reading the sequel tomorrow. :)

So was it as good as I remember? Actually, better. But that's mostly because I'm in on the trick and the secret of the MC is is laid bare and the whole novel then becomes a character exploration for me as we
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful haunting tale told in the way that I love, with little regard for the linear illusion of time. And the voices, oh the three voices.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good.

N. K. Jemison’s 2016 Hugo Award winner’s world building is as good as Frank Herbert or Ursula LeGuin and with magic rules as well thought out as Brandon Sanderson and with an intimate talent for complex characterization as good as Octavia Butler.

All comparisons aside, Jemisin’s work is wildly original and she has created a far future fantasy that provokes thought and entertains. Evoking Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, this is far, far in the future (if it is even Earth) where some peop
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book started off a bit rocky and slow, but i am so relieved that it eventually grew on me. i didnt love it as much as i wanted to (mainly because i misread the synopsis, so this was completely different than i thought it would be) but there is still much that i enjoyed about it.

- this story blends both sci-fi AND fantasy. i know many books are lumped into the SFF genre, but this is the first story where both elements are present and coexist seamlessly.

- the representation in this is endle
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

DNF at 38%. Please someone give me a medal.

The gif is strong is this one. Consider your little barnacled selves warned.

This was such a delightful read.

Just kidding. Bloody stinking fish, this was painful as shrimp.

99,99999% of you People of Despicable Book Taste (PoDBT™) thought this was deliriously mind-blowing and scrumptiously original and fantabuliciously well written and all that crap, which can mean only one thing: you I read the book terribly wrong. Strange. That has rarel
Merphy Napier
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, fantasy, five-stars
Full video review here ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

4.5 stars. What you know for sure is that you're not a child. You don't want to know what would happen if you were (this world is nasty). But you walk. Restlessly, you walk. At this point you're not sure it means something. You go on, though, because you're intrigued. Orogene, guardian, pirate, commless, you're part of the humanity anyway (they don't think you are). You're no stranger to rules (death awaits if you are) yet life destroys them at times (this is the way the world ends, again).
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Even though I struggled with it at times (we all know fantasy is not my usual genre, lol), there is no question that this book is a masterpiece. Wow. Wow wow wow. I can't wait to read everything else Jemisin has ever written.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“Let’s start with the end of the world, why don’t we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things.”

★ This is my first pick for my book club “The Book Clinic” and after finishing it, I am so glad that I did choose it. I think it is a book that can be enjoyed by YA and adult fantasy readers, which was the main reason that made me pick it up.

★ This is my first novel I read by the author, I read her short story Emergency Skin last y
Althea Ann
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OK, I'm going to have to shell out for my WorldCon membership just so I can nominate this book for a Hugo.

I recently noticed that Nora Jemisin's Goodreads profile lists her "influences" as Tanith Lee & Ursula K. Le Guin. I'm not sure if she put that in there or someone else did - but those just happen to be two of my most favorite authors; and yes, I can see the 'influence' on this book.

Previously, I've only read Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - her first book. It was good enough that
"Every time the earth moves, you will hear its call."

The Fifth Season is another interesting experiment by N. K. Jemisin. And while I would argue that it has been tremendously overrated, it is still overall a pretty good book with a lot of qualities. It reads more like an unpolished, interesting debut novel than an award-winning piece by an experienced author, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Let’s start with the criticism, why don’t we? (That is my attempt at paraphrasing the book’s o
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

This book had the distinction of being on both my most anticipated SFF lists for 2014 and 2015, due to the publisher’s decision to push its release date back a year in order to give N.K. Jemisin more time to work on the sequels. So it was with no small amount of excitement when an advance copy finally made it into my hands. Proof that it was really happening.

And oh boy, was it TOTALLY worth the wait.

Initially though, my
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From its ominous opening, "This is the way the world ends. Again", N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season offers an original and amazingly immersive experience! Jemisin's world-building exists side by side with a world teetering on the brink of destruction. But this has happened before. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanoes have wreaked havoc on the Stillness, the super continent and only land mass of this world. Previous generations/civilizations have been unable to avoid the destruction ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tatiana by: Catie
Shelves: 2016, hugo, fantasy, nebula, locus
Updated 8/23/16 Even better second time around. I think it deserves a bump up to 5 stars.

It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I did, it was a smooth, fun ride. Awesome mythology. The polyamory scenario wasn't bad either.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So clever.

I've been on a reading binge of mostly sci-fi/fantasy fusion and let me tell you, this book will rock your world.

Hats off to Ms Jemisin. In all honesty I can't fathom how the idea and execution for this series could have originated from someone's brain.

A must read for lovers of sci-fi fantasy!
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Amazon Daily Deal 19Jan18 $2.99

4.5 Dystopianesk Fantasy Stars

“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 was pretty different. It there is such a thing as dystopian fantasy then this is that. Not only are you on a world where there are the regular humans and lands and society. But there are also people wh
Always Pouting
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I started reading this book in the evening before bed but I got really into and I just stayed up reading it and then I bought the other two and just spent the next day finishing them. I really enjoyed this but I think it might have blurred together with the other two and I'll try not to talk to much about the details in case I forget what happened when. I don't know how I felt about the second person point of view parts of the book, that felt less strong to me than the rest of the book. Also ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book I've read all year. I don't even have words right now
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is intimidating. I’ll just get that out of the way. I was genuinely scared I’d fail at reading this the same way I did for my expedition into Dune. N.K. Jemisin is an absolute titan of the genre(s), though, and so many authors I love admire her in return. And while I was able to successfully read the first of the series, I don’t want to understate the immensity of this book and world. It’s a big venture to begin, but utterly worth it by the end.

In the beginning, though, there can be a
Mar 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✨    jamieson   ✨
this book is spectacular. smart, clever, well crafted, well timed, full of great characters and great scenes. I love fantasy but it lets me down a lot. Sometimes I feel it's the same plot rehashed, over and over. The Fifth Season is unlike anything else I have ever read. No wonder it's so popular, and N.K Jemisin won not one, not two, but THREE Hugo awards for this trilogy.

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.”
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Pick-a-Shelf: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth #1) 57 23 Oct 26, 2020 10:33AM  
I can't. 6 147 Oct 14, 2020 01:00AM  
Fantasy Heroines: The Fifth Season Discussion 1 5 Aug 30, 2020 02:57PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1)
  • All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
  • Binti (Binti, #1)
  • The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree
  • Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)
  • Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
  • The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1)
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
  • Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch, #2)
  • Starsight (Skyward, #2)
  • Exhalation: Stories
  • The Starless Sea
See similar books…
N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.

Other books in the series

The Broken Earth (3 books)
  • The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)
  • The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Science fiction and fantasy have spawned some of the most imaginative plots and settings in existence. Makes sense, given that these genres are...
247 likes · 100 comments
“For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.” 269 likes
“Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind.” 168 likes
More quotes…