The Broken Earth

8 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 40,170 ratings

Summary

On the planet’s lone continent, Stillness, the gifted Orogenes choose how to wield their power over the Earth—for good or ill. And with a Fifth Season of ferocious climate change fast approaching, being an Orogenes is more dangerous than ever.

Taken from their homes as children and subjected to brutal training, Orogenes have the magical ability to quell earthquakes and stave off climate upheavals, known as Seasons—as well as flash-freeze ordinary humans. Not surprisingly, they’re widely feared and often killed for their powers. When one incredibly powerful Orogene, frustrated with the rigid and oppressive society, splits the entire continent along its length, Stillness is threatened by its worst Season yet. The Fifth Season follows the twisting threads of three different stories, as three powerful female Orogenes—including a mother on a desperate search for her missing daughter—fight to survive. When the three stories crash together in a startling climax, it leaves the planet (and listeners) reeling. Continuing the story, The Obelisk Gate reveals what happens when that dreaded Season hits—and that missing daughter grows up, with a vengeance. In the final volume, The Stone Sky, a mother and daughter join forces to stop the cycle of Seasons—ensuring humanity’s survival on a peaceful planet, or its extinction.

Audie Award-winning narrator Robin Miles brings her host of remarkable talents to the continent of Stillness and its inhabitants—Orogenes, their ruling Guardians, and non-magical Stills alike—weaving the various threads of The Broken Earth together. In its review of The Obelisk Gate, AudioFile praises: "Robin Miles continues as narrator, and the large cast of characters allows her to draw on her vast store of accents. Her narration is intimate and engaged, and she enriches the complicated relationships.... Miles draws out the emotions—sometimes volatile, sometimes seething beneath the surface—as the complexities of this post-apocalyptic world unfold.“

At its core, The Broken Earth is a story about power, destruction, and how society uses and profits from its marginalized members—drawing on author N. K. Jemisin’s personal understanding of oppression as a black woman in America. With the trilogy’s themes of strictly enforced social divisions and the biased distribution of essential resources, the author calls attention to the inequalities built into the foundation of advanced societies. Stillness reflects modern society’s treatment of minorities, while providing a chilling warning about the threat of absolute power and climate disaster.

All three volumes in The Broken Earth trilogy won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, distinguishing N. K. Jemisin as the first author to win this prestigious award three years in a row. Each installment was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel, with The Stone Sky winning in 2018.

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