The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

by

N. K. Jemisin

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Fifth Season can help.
A torus is essentially a donut-shaped form, which in The Fifth Season is used to describe the area around an orogene when they use their orogeny—the orogene is in the center of the donut, and the torus forms around them. Within the torus’s limits the orogene draws power from the “ambient,” meaning anything alive or containing energy. This also means that everything within the torus is “iced” as the orogene drains it of its kinetic energy, meaning instant death for any living thing. Skilled orogenes can control their tori and even send them outside of themselves, as when Alabaster creates a brief torus to break open the gates of the node station.
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Torus Term Timeline in The Fifth Season

The timeline below shows where the term Torus appears in The Fifth Season. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8: Syenite on the highroad
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Guardians but do have live-in doctors. She assumes that everyone must be dead from the “torus” of ice but also realizes that the surrounding forest should be iced as well, and... (full context)
Chapter 19: Syenite on the lookout
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...they’ve had sex even though neither of them wanted to. Her rage grows, forming a torus of ice that Alabaster immediately blots out with his own. He apologizes and says that... (full context)
Chapter 20: Syenite, stretched and snapped back
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...by rage and sorrow. Drawing from all the earth’s power before her, she creates a torus in front of her. She declares that she can’t leave the place like this, as... (full context)
Chapter 22: Syenite, fractured
Power and Control Theme Icon
...high on the clifftop, using both the obelisk’s power and the life within the icy torus surrounding him. Syenite worries about him, remembering his emotional breakdowns of the past, and she... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Getting on her hands and knees and focusing the torus of her orogeny, Syenite sends a thin line of ice down into the rock, splitting... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...reaches Alabaster and can tell that he’s hurt. She lingers at the edge of his torus for a moment, worried that he’ll ice her if he doesn’t know she’s there, but... (full context)