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The Fifth Season

(The Broken Earth #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  206,017 ratings  ·  23,790 reviews
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman's ven ...more
Kindle Edition, 355 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Hachette Book Group
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vesper I would wait, the the ending is not really unhappy, but rather "incomplete".…moreI would wait, the the ending is not really unhappy, but rather "incomplete".(less)
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

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  206,017 ratings  ·  23,790 reviews

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Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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)

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
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tharindu Dissanayake
"Earthfires and rustbuckets."
"I sleep like an earthshake"

I haven't read a ton of award-winning books, but out of the handful I've read, one rarely lives up to the expectations. Maybe it's because of the hype, or the above average expectations, but the result is almost always the same. So, imagine my surprise when The Fifth Season made it beyond my wildest expectations: a books worthy of all the hype, second person present tense narrative notwithstanding.

"Winder, Spring, Summer, Fall;
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
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 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Twerking To Beethoven
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
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
mina reads™️
What the motherfucking fuck
Caz (littlebookowl)
Rating: 4.5 stars
✘✘ 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
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 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative
Read this entire series.
If you haven't, go buy a copy right now.
Buy seven extras and gift them to a parent or sibling to have them pass the copies out and form a bookclub.
If they already have a bookclub, join the bookclub.
Seduce everyone with baked goods and jokes. Then take over the book club. Call yourself the Book Baron or Supreme Reader if this is your thing.
Pick this book as the next choice.
They will love it, they will thank you, and they will likely shower you in gifts of baked goods.
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
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Merphy Napier
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, five-stars, adult
Full video review here ...more
chan ☆
dnf @ 30% because i could not figure out what the hell was going on. i'm not smart enough for this one lol ...more
"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
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)
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. ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books as soon as I finish the book.

Equal parts slow, boring, unrelatable - with a writing style that feels extremely awkward.

I've heard so many good things about this book that I was extremely eager to begin my journey here. Virtually everyone I know that has read this book has given it at least a 4/5 stars rating. But unfortunately I disliked virtually everything about this book, and couldn't even bear to fini
Lucy Dacus
Sep 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AAAHHH it's so good! If you think you don't like sci fi, read this. Nothing else like it. ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Let's start with the end of the world, why don't we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things.”

They Are Living Their Own Myths: An Interview With N.K. Jemisin, Author Of The Fifth Season - Electric Literature
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
Mark Lawrence

I don't really know what to make of this one.

Don't get me wrong, it was really well written, full of clever ideas and novelty. It just...

Well, let's go back to the writing and the ideas. I thought the writing was great, prose-wise. Not quite as good as some of my favourites, Laini Taylor, Josiah Bancroft, Alix E. Harrow, and Robert V.S. Redick, but much better than average. And the 'magic system' based on large-scale manipulation of the bedrock, was novel, exciting, and interesting - mesh
“For all those who have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.”

There is always that desire to split the world into “us” and “them” and then, of course, firmly establish yourself on the “right” side, the side of “us” which is good by default. And then the next logical step is the elevation of “us” by degrading, dehumanizing “them” — all the way to denying them the right to humanity. You are not people, you are tools, objects, weapons — and weapons need to be contro
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
May 30, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022-books, i-own
yes, yES, YES.

this was pure E X C E L L E N C E in allllllll the ways!!!!

wrap up here:

Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |
Althea Ann
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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)

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