A review by abbie_
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

adventurous challenging dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Two words that best sum up this book: HOLY. SHIT. If you are like me and have wanted to read this one for ages but for whatever reason did not, stop torturing yourself and read The Fifth Season immediately.
This is fantasy (or is it science fiction? A bit of both maybe) at its finest, and my first foray into Afrofuturism and I'm 100% raging that I don't have the second instalment yet. Nor can I really justify buying more books this month, so looks like I'll be treating myself to one a month!
The Fifth Season follows three women, all orogenes, which means they have the ability to manipulate earth. Orogenes are considered the dregs of society, yet oregeny is also commodified by the brutal Fulcrum, whose Guardians track down and take orogenes from grateful, non-orogene parents (Stills) and train them into weapons. Oppression and cruelty are rife in this world, and I don't think I've ever read a fantasy with a more cutting social commentary than this one. And if you're looking for books with inclusive representation then look no further. 
At first I was a bit perturbed, as one of the three POVs makes use of the second person, which usually I am not a fan of. However, of course, Jemisin makes it work and after a couple of chapters I didn't think anything of it except that I needed to know MORE about all three of these women, and I'd take that knowledge in any which way Jemisin wanted to divulge it.
If at first you feel like you're struggling a bit, KEEP AT IT. Jemisin's world-building is incredible yet subtle. She avoids the dreaded info dumps of fantasy by dropping hints and facts of the world and its magic system as the story moves along, throwing you into this new world from the very beginning. I loved the little snippets of lore we get at the end of every chapter too - I'm beyond curious where this trilogy is going and is it August yet??
I feel like I've barely even scratched the surface with this review, but honestly The Fifth Season is so rich and complex that you really just need to experience it for yourself! So go do that!