Just when you think you’ve read it all, some one goes and surprises you with something completely unique. Not surprisingly, this novel won a Hugo award.
In a land called the Stillness, earthquakes happen quite frequently and with tremendous power. There is so much destruction involved that the apocalyptic circumstances are how people tell time. I.E. you exist after the fifth season. And every season is death and destruction that follows a quake.
But in this world there are individuals that can control earthquakes, or more likely, not control them. They are both revered and villified. They are called Rogga, and if people learn you are a Rogga and you haven’t been picked up by the guardians to get trained in the arts of earthquakes, most likely your neighbors will murder you out of superstition.
Jumping back and forth in time, The Fifth Season follows a woman (she changes her name often so it’s pointless to list them) as she learns about her powers, tries to control them, and tries to escape them.
If nothing else, The Fifth Season is an amazing break from the millions of solar systems and planets you’ve been to in a thousand books. The technological level can be sketchy but the world feels medieval. And yet, there’s X-Men running around cracking the crust like it’s candy. The lore is fun and original, the powers unique, and the intrigue is nonstop.
There were many times I wanted to put it down though, but I just kept coming back for the unique setting. When your main character spends most of her time “glaring” at other people, you get kind of sick of her. But then the history of this amazing place pulls you right back in.
It’s definitely worth the energy I put in. Despite some second person narrative chapters, can’t say I’m a fan of those. For it’s uniqueness, The Fifth Season deserves a read, but I hope the follow up novels can keep up my interest levels.
2.5 out of 4 stars