Recently I was in the mood for some fantasy, and this did the trick! I loved this atmospheric book!
Warning: this book is really confusing at first. It’s hard to explain even after reading it. It plops you right into this strange world and runs with it, and it took me a couple hundred pages to really feel like I had any sort of grasp of what was going on. You don’t know how the different perspectives relate. Enough people warned me of this that I knew I had to keep going, and it was Jemisin’s power of characterization–specifically the fact that I both empathized with and was so frustrated with Essun–that hooked me from the start.
The Fifth Season has a little bit of everything–badass women, love triangles that don’t suck, violence, great worldbuilding, and a prevailing theme of overcoming otherness. This is a book that flips typical elements of epic fantasy on its head–namely its general lack of black, female, and queer characters–all of which have ample representation in The Fifth Season. Specifically, in The Stillness, the people with the power have dark skin and Essun repeatedly feels self-conscious about her lighter, silky hair. The Fifth Season also successful utilizes multiple perspective and different points of view, including the second person, something I never would have thought possible.
This book is fantastically unique and I’d highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in The Broken Earth Series!
VERDICT: 4 out of 5 books