The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin September 4, 2016Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Books, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff.
The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin is another beautiful exploration of the enslavement of talented beings at the hands of merciless monsters, the (frightened) merely human. The talented beings are oregens, who have the instinctive ability to use the energy of the earth in many often destructive ways. Usually they are killed like witches, but an empire made them slaves instead, to quell earthquakes and volcanoes. Usually successful, oregens nevertheless sometimes failed to keep Father Earth from causing volcanic winters, or Seasons. This book is about one of them, and how it came about as a direct result of slavery.
It’s a damned good read (or listen, in the case of the link above), filled with pathos and sympathy for the abused and the foolish, and understanding of the wronged. It is thematically nuanced enough that you forget you are reading a polemic against slavery. In this sense it is very similar to N. K. Jemisin’s first book The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (lovingly reviewed by me earlier), which also got a boatload of award nominations (Hugo, Nebula, Tiptree and Sense of Gender). Given her astounding writing it is hardly surprising that The Fifth Season was nominated for Nebula and won the Hugo last year.
This is a trilogy, and you will buy into the main character so thoroughly you will pay for the next two books, so the commitment-phobic among you should probably stay away.