Fifth Season (The Broken Earth), The

N. K. Jemisin
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 civilization's bedrock for a thousand years -- collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She'll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2016-06-05
very interesting with unique ideas.
Reviewed: 2015-08-19

As with Jemisin's last series (duology: Dreamblood) I read this first novel in the Broken Earth series because of her discussion about world building, including her attention to race.  And these were the parts I most enjoyed of the book. The three plotlines introduced were each compelling (Essun's--told in the 2nd person present tense, Demaya, and Syenite) though as always I resent leaving one character the first time I'm introduced to a new one.  Jemisin's concerns in this book resonate with what little I recall from the Dreamblood trilogy: the discipline of schooling (brutal but also productive), differentiation of groups of people through skills into hierarchical groups and the aspiration for a more free society while acknowledging the limitations of such freedom;

 

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