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The Fifth Season
by N. K. Jemisin
Series: Broken Earth Book 1
Length: 512 pages
Audiobook Length: 15 hours and 27 minutes
First Published: 2015
This is the way the world ends…for the last time.
A season of endings has begun.
It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.
Quotes from The Fifth Season
“For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.”
“Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind.”
“Who misses what they have never, ever even imagined?”
“When the reasoning mind is forced to confront the impossible again and again, it has no choice but to adapt.”
“This is what you must remember: the ending of one story is just the beginning of another.”
Discussion Questions for The Fifth Season
- Do you like to read fantasy or is it a genre you usually pass over? How did you feel about the world-building aspect of the novel? Did it draw you in or turn you off?
- What are your thoughts on the author’s use of the second person during Essun’s story? Why do you think she addressed the reader as “you,” and did you appreciate her unique technique or find it distracting?
- Were you surprised to find out about Essun, Syenite, and Damaya at the end of the story? Does knowing that twist affect how you view the different storylines?
- During the story, Alabaster proclaims a desire to wipe the slate clean and start the world all over. Do you think the current society was irredeemable or was Alabaster’s anger clouding his judgement?
- In the narrative, the whole culture of The Stillness is structured around the concept of ensuring civilization survives a fifth season, yet many are caught unprepared thinking it would never happen in their lifetime. What parallels can you draw to your own life in our modern day?
About N. K. Jemisin
Nora K. Jemisin is an author of speculative ficition, short stories and novels. She was the first author to win three Hugo Awards in a row for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her works include the Broken Earth trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky), the Dreamblood Duology; and The Inheritance Trilogy. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit the author’s website →