The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world's sole continent, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years.
Publisher: New York, NY : Orbit, 2015
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: New York, NY :, Orbit,, ©2015
ISBN: 9780316229296
Branch Call Number: SciFic Jemisin
Characteristics: 498 pages : map ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: 5th season


Featured Blogs and Events

Book Riot Challenge: September edition

Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900 Read the first book in a series by a person of color Why did we take on those challenges? Learn more about the Read Harder challenge in our previous posts! Karen- I had a fantastic time with the challenge this month, which was a pleasant turn of events. The historical fiction set before 1900 I will admit is not typically my cup of tea (althoug… (more)

Staff Spotlight: If You Love a Challenge…

Welcome to a blog series highlighting staff you might want to follow. Today, let's take a look at staff who have taken on a reading challenge this year. It seems like the Book Riot Read Harder challenge is what caught everyone's attention, but there are many challenges out there. What they have in common is encouraging readers to step out of their comfort zone. Try following these adventurous… (more)

From Library Staff

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)

On the continent Stillness there are the four seasons you are accustomed to, and then every few centuries there is a fifth season when the world ends. Again. This is the story of three women at the end of the world. Essun is searching across the continent to find her daughter and the man who des... Read More »

Lisa in the Communications and Systems Office: I have loved all her books, but the Broken Earth trilogy is both gorgeous and terrifying.

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 09, 2019

I don't know that I can add anything to the praise being heaped on The Fifth Season, but I'm sure going to try.

We are told the stories of three women. Essun has found her young son murdered by her husband. In her story, Essun is "you", the unknown narrator feeding Essun's horr... Read More »

N.K. Jemisin writes speculative fiction with a literary bent, especially her Broken Earth series.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 14, 2020

I chose this book because I am a fan of climate fiction and world building fantasy, The Fifth Season offers both, and so much more. N.K. Jemisin’s writing is lyrical as she pulls you into her complex narrative. The Fifth Season is a gritty page turner, filled with emotion. I’ll definitely be reading book 2.

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.

Jun 18, 2020

I found this book semi-interesting but the pace was awfully slow. The character development and world-building was good and very descriptive. I found the characteristics of the powers of the various people to be interesting as well as how people with those various powers interacted and how societal hierarchies were affected. I found it a bit confusing the way the story involved parallel paths of the same character in different times of their life and felt like it would have been a better story if told either more linearly or with flashbacks. I enjoyed the book well enough to give the next book in the series a shot but my expectations are not very high.

Jun 01, 2020

A friend recommended this book, he did not tell me much more than in this world the Earth is trying to kill humans by earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and there is this group of people that have the power to control the movement of Earth, but they are treated like freaks and feared as demons until they are trained to be at service of the dominant class. Sounded really interesting, and the book is better. The way the story is told in this book is engaging, interesting. What the hell happened to Earth?
By the way, there is a glossary at the end of the book to figure out certain terms you will find in the story (I did not get it until I finished reading the book)

Apr 19, 2020

1st book of trilogy

Apr 03, 2020

Awesome. Fun read. Great page turner.

Mar 12, 2020

recommended by TOR. book 1

Jan 24, 2020

first book in the Broken Earth Trilogy

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
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

VladTheGreen thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Mar 05, 2020

mnoelbosco thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jan 18, 2020

imaginativegirl97 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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

Aug 06, 2018

potterbond007 thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

Jun 09, 2016

DragonRhapsody thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add Notices
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.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PCPL

To Top