In a land called the Stillness—a single continent atop unstable fault lines—civilizations have risen and fallen attempting to survive frequent seismic activity. Among the land’s inhabitants are stills, non-magical humans, and orogenes, who can quell tremors and harness seismic power. As the Stillness experiences a cataclysm that will throw it into an extended period of ash and darkness, one orogene sets out to find her abducted daughter. This is speculative fiction at its best: a compelling narrative with parallels to the real world. Jemisin’s world building is masterful, rooted in the geography and history of the Stillness. She deftly uses her prose to draw readers into this world, to develop complex characters, and to examine the ways society oppresses and dehumanizes its people. The first installment of the Broken Earth series, The Fifth Season won the 2016 Hugo Award for best novel.
Rating: * * * * * One of the best
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Reviewed by: LW