The Fifth Season : Dark and Brilliant Worldbuilding

A thousand years later, Trang finally reviews a fantasy novel. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I reviewed the fantasy genre. I seemed to be acquainted in reviewing Young Adult and Scifi but Fantasy? Not so much. I think the main reason is, the more I love the book, the harder for me it is to review it properly. That’s the reason why I’ve been postponing a lot of them. Here’s to all the fantasy book reviews to come!

“Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; Death is the fifth, and master of all.”

The Fifth Season was one hell of a ride for me! First, I always get skeptical when a book comes with a Glossary. This one comes with a big one. However, I think after reading The Clockwork Orange, it makes me invincible to any glossary that exists in the world LOL  so compared to that novel, The Fifth Season was an easy read for me. For those who struggle during the first part of the book, DO NOT GIVE UP 😀 Tell yourself it’s just an adaptation phase. When you get the hang of it, everything comes to place and you wouldn’t want to put this book down.



The worldbuilding is the masterpiece of this book: dimensional, complex but brilliantly executed. Playing with geography artifacts and the environment issues, N.K Jemisin reinvents the Earth dilemmas in a violent flux of events.  Indeed, the central premise of this book is the apocalypse. But not your average-zombie-apocalypse. This is the end of the world every day caused by seism, tectonic movements and Mother Nature who challenged any human being who inhabits the territory.

By choosing each natural catastrophe as parts of her “Seasons”, N.K Jemisin questions the sense of oppression that guides the journey : who’s oppressed by who, who has the power control here, is there a bigger force at stake? 

A little watercolour sketch I did inspired from the book


The book is separated into 3 point-of-view (POV). I honestly thought I would hate it at first, but the transition works well on keeping me on my toes and extend the suspense. The Fifth Season along with having an amazing world-building can easily be considered a character-driven book. Each of them adds their own peculiarity, authenticity and individuality to the storyline and make me relate to their struggles and dynamics. For example, the mother-daughter relationship is big theme in the novel. Not all authors can allow their characters to be this real and attaching, conflicted and battling with their own blood.



N.K Jemisin has quite a background. Her first novel, A Thousand Kingdoms has been nominated on several awards (Nebula Award, Hugo Award and winning Locus Award for the best First Novel). In 2015, she came back with The Fifth Season, the first novel in the Broken Earth series and winning the Hugo Award 2016.
PAGES: 468

Big thank you to Hachette Canada for giving me a free copy to review! 


I’m in Boston,Massachussets right now for my internship at Harvard 😅 I’m slower to blog hop than usual when I’m traveling, so sorry in advance !

23 thoughts on “The Fifth Season : Dark and Brilliant Worldbuilding

  1. This was one sounds really terrific. I haven’t read a fantasy novel in quite a while, even though it’s one of my favorite genres. These days I seem to read a lot of sci-fi and horror. So maybe it’s time to once again dive into a good fantasy novel. Great post! 😊


  2. This sounds like such an amazing book! I love fantasy novels and have read so many that a lot of the typical tropes are becoming a bit boring – but this one doesn’t sound boring in the slightest!


  3. LOVE this series! I still need to read the last book, but I hear it’s brilliant😁 Awesome review, Trang! Oh cool about your internship!! My daughter is going to school in Boston in September 😭


  4. An amazing world-building and great characters? You make this book sound so great 😀
    I hope you’ll have a great internship, Trang! ❤ ❤


  5. I haven’t read “A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” but based on this review alone I’ve downloaded “The Fifth Season” 🙂 So far the beginning is a bit confusing, but I think it’s meant to be that way…. Congratulations on your internship!


  6. This sounds like a great book Trang and I’m glad you enjoyed this one too. Also great review, honestly you had me at amazing world building, I’m weak for world building in fantasy books it has to be said. 😀
    I hope your internship is going well, enjoy Boston! 🙂 ❤


  7. Oooh, you had me sold at “dark and brilliant worldbuilding.” 😛
    Great review, and I love your watercolor sketch you included. ❤
    Best of luck to you with your internship! How exciting. 😀


  8. I’m so glad to see that you loved this book! 😀 I have heard so many amazing things about this book, and series in general. I seriously can’t wait to pick it up myself and read it. I have a feeling that I’m going to love it. Amazing review! 🙂


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