Read & React: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – Chapter 2

This is the third blog installment of Read & React for The Fifth Season. If you’re new to the series check out the first installment here. Eventually I hope to take my notes from this and transform them into a Spoiler Free Review, but this segment will definitely be filled with spoilers since it is my thoughts as I go through the book. Reader be warned, this post is meant for discussion purposes; avert your eyes now if you wish to avoid spoilers.

2: Damaya, in winters past

Now the story is told in third person. Her Grandmother was Muh Dear (worked for Brevard’s militia as a seamstress). Damaya’s nickname from her mother is DamaDama, but Damaya hates this since loving nicknames no longer feel authentic. A place called Nomidlats is mention as an area where things are more civilized than in other areas of the world but it seems like Damaya is no longer in a civilized area. The way things are described by proximity it sounds like Damaya is up for sale and has been verbally and physically abused before. “Sess” is a new word introduced for this world – some people can sess big things like shakes, but Damaya can sess things as little as footfalls.

The “child buyer” doesn’t have a footfall that Damaya can sess and he’s oddly white unlike any other known human’s that she knows of in this world. (The way he’s described sounds an awful lot like the lady companion from the prologue.) When she joins him he presses fingers to the back of her head to make it easier to track her if she gets lost (I’m guessing he inserted some form of mineral he’s attuned to since it sounds like he’s some sort of earthen person). Damaya is also an orogene. The child buyer is taking her to Yumenes where she will be trained at the Fulcrum to use her orogene powers. As it turns out this “child buyer” is actually a “Guardian”. His name is Schaffa Guardian Warrant. Guardian is referred to as a use name.

Schaffa was sent on a circuit in Nomidlats and checked a telegram while he was in Brevard. Brevard is close to Palela (where they seem to currently be which must be a subsection of Nomidlats?) since Damaya has heard of it, but Yumenes is like a legend to her. Orogenes without training and isolation may accidentally hurt people. The Fulcrum exists to train orogenes. Orogenes can transfer the warmth and movement around them to protect themselves – which can lead to people dying. Later this is hinted at in a flashback where Damaya grabbed the air around her and made ice to support herself to get out of the mud.

Schaffa tells her that she “…is a gift of the earth—but Father Earth hates us, never forget, and his gifts are neither free nor safe.” (OOOOOooooo we have a Father instead of Mother earth – where’s this going or does the sex-moniker even matter?) When she starts to cry Schaffa tells her this is not safe to do around others (for show of weakness or do intense emotions cause orogene things to happen I wonder?).

Creche – a word for what sounds like might be school?

The chapter ends in another quote from the text mentioned in the prologue. (I wonder if we’ll ever get to know the whole text.)

Important Places:
Nomidlats – a region to the North of Yumenes
Brevard – the closest community to Palela
Palela – the place where Damaya was discovered as an orogene
The Fulcrum – the place where orogenes go to train; located in Yumenes

Important Things:
Father Earth – he gives gifts that aren’t free or safe
Creche – possibly the world name for a school?
Sess – the orogene ability to feel/hear earthen movements like footfalls or shakes

Important People:
Damaya – a young orogene from Palela who barely knows what being an orogene means
Schaffa – a Guardian from the Fulcrum; may be a earth person trusted in caring for orogenes

Published by Victoria Mendes

I'm just a house-wife trying to cook good meals on a budget.

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