Book Review: The Fifth Season

5star

Title:  The Fifth Season

Author:  N. K. Jemisin

Series?  Yes. 1 of 3 (?)

Rating: 5/5 stars!!!!!

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I loved this book from the first page, and it only got better as I kept reading.  It has everything that inspires me to read: beautiful and unique writing; an intricate and dangerous fantasy world; strong characters – especially strong female characters; diverse without being all self-congratulatory…  I could go on.  AND I WILL. Right below.

This is what you must remember: the ending of one story is just the beginning of another. This has happened before, after all. People die. Old orders pass. New societies are born. 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.

The-Fifth-Season

1.  STILLNESS:  The Land That Metamorphoses

Here is a land. It is ordinary, as lands go. Mountains and plateaus and canyons and river deltas, the usual. Ordinary, except for its size and its dynamism. It moves a lot, this land. Like an old man lying restlessly abed it heaves and sighs, puckers and farts, yawns and swallows. Naturally this land’s people have named it the Stillness. It is a land of quiet and bitter irony.

The book is set in Stillness, ironically named as their Earth is one that constantly changes, remolding and destroying civilisations in its wake.  The changes between Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter are trivial compared to these geographic events.  You know what the titular Fifth Season is? It’s DEATH.  Stillness has suffered through multiple iteration of The Fifth Season such as Acid Season, Boiling Season, Fungus Season, The Season of Teeth – the names alone should suggest how brutal each of these apocalyptic events were.  The story begins at the end of the world, Stillness is used to the end of the world.  I never knew geography and tectonic plates movement could be so exciting.  Father Earth is his own character in this book, at once he is great and terrible.Read More »