The Fifth Season by N. K. Jesmisin

Reviewed by Bre'Anna

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The Fifth Season is a book about geomancers (earth and stone magic), called Orogenes, who possess the ability to manipulate and control earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, thereby preventing catastrophe from ending life. Traditionally, Orogenes are those who have prevented mass destruction under the direction of Stills (non-Orogenes), having been institutionalized at a school called the Fulcrum. Wayward Orogenes who have not been disciplined are perceived as threats, and are actively hunted, forced into social compliance or simply eliminated. One such wayward Orogene cracks the continent, resulting in a fiery rift, clouding the skies with ash, and bringing about the slow, gradual end of the world. Essun, a modest schoolteacher in a small village, must traverse the dying, broken earth to reunite her divided family without drawing attention to her own abilities.

I have never read a book like this, and it has now become one of my favorite stories. I highly recommend this book for its outstanding depth and lore. The Fifth Season, available on Overdrive in audiobook or ebook format, immerses the reader in adventure, fantasy, apocalyptic atmosphere, dystopian world, oppressive governance, survival, friendship, social injustice, caste systems, all described throughout three intertwining narratives -- a reader may not catch all the details in just one read.

Rating: 5/5 stars