The first volume in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. The story of a world beset by earth quakes and other natural phenomenon, which can be kept at bay (or instigated) by a group of people with the power to control the forces of the earth. Called Orogenes, these people are hated, and feared. But why? Because they’re dangerous? Because they’re different? Because they’re strong? The story of some o these Orogenes and their shifting place in society is the center of this book. Their adventures and misfortunes are what move the plot. This book won a Hugo this year, and you see why. The writing is light years better than the average fantasy novel. Jemisin is a gifted writer of real subtly, who introduces her characters, and her world, gradually, and carefully, revealing a bit more here and there to flesh out her heroes, and villains, and the world in which they live.
There’s plot twists and reveals here that in the hands of a lesser author would feel contrived. But Jemisin knows what she’s doing. While I may have uttered a “holy shit” once or twice when a revelation about the nature of the story finally dawned on me, I never felt conned like I sometimes do with books that have this sort of reveal-as-they-go structure. Yeah, this book is “fantasy” and I know that label alone may turn some off. But I suggest you get out of you comfort zone here and give it a try. It’s a great ride.