Set on an alternative Earth (or is it our Earth, far in the future?), ironically called the Stillness. Stillness is subject to frequent seismic and volcanic activity and periodically has cataclysmic near extinction events called Fifth Seasons that keep humans on their toes. Evidence of past civilisations litter the planet, giving you tantalising glimpses of the past. It is not surprising then that in a world like this people who can control the kinetic energy of the earth (orogenes), would be either feared and killed, or controlled and trained to use their skills to avert disaster (under the shackles of Guardians).
The book follows three narratives on different timelines that at the beginning don't seem to match up, but it makes so much sense in the end. We have:
Damaya, a child who has been cast out by her family because she is an orogene, and her Fulcrum Guardian, Schaffa.
Syenite, a young woman who still wants to excel in the regime permitted for orogenes through the Fulcrum, and her assigned mentor, Alabaster.
Essun, a mother and orogene who has lived in hiding for years and now travels in the aftermath of disaster in search of her daughter in the company of a strange boy named Hoa.
It does take a while to get into the story because you are figuring out the world as you go along, but it is worth it. The writing is beautiful and the world building is superb. N. K. Jemisin has created a innovative and unique world that feels very real. A fantastically rewarding read.
Title: The fifth season
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Anita S reads widely and eclectically, but most often random non-fiction fact books, good general and teen fiction (often dystopian future types), fantasy and sci-fi if they cover a new angle on something, kids books and... actually she'll take a look at most stuff. Books are great! She also loves art and illustration