I give Stewart a thumbs up for The Fifth Sun
A review by Rowan Wolf
“The Fifth Sun” could fall in the category of an epic saga. It grapples with the big issues of religion and colonization, old world and new world, and a cast of characters who try to find themselves and their ethical and identity anchors in the shifting fields of life.
One could argue that everyone in this book is “crazy.” Some classically so
from one who openly struggles with trying to stay in this world as she is
continually drawn by one force and another towards the unknown where chaos
lies. To another who wanders in and out of alcohol addiction searching for a
place that is free, and then one to remove the haunting memories that grab
at him at odd times.
Each character is looking for an anchor, or series of anchors, as they
struggle to maintain clarity of self, but somehow function in a world that
is itself insane. Ultimately, one set of connections survives, but not for
I found “The Fifth Sun” to be a book that I at times wanted to push away,
but somehow found myself coming back to. It is complex, as is “real” life.
The characters struggle with being sensitive to the forces of this world
from nature to empire to the gods and back again. Each living lives as a
gyroscope that cannot find its balance point, but somehow keeps spinning –
sometimes of a volition that seems beyond the rational. In a way, I felt
that my life follows a similar crazy course.
I did not find myself identifying with one character or another, but as if
they were all different aspects of the same character. Perhaps that was the
goal of Stewart in spinning this complex tale. At the end, I had not found
any answers, but certainly it reframed some of the questions.
I strongly recommend this book.
Rowan Wolf, a sociologist, is editor in Chief of Cyrano’s Journal Today. She maintains a personal blog at Uncommon Thought Journal. She lives with her partner (Kelly), and their three dogs (Cody, Fox, and Crow). The dogs love to chase sticks and balls, go places where they can run and find new smells, and mud dogging. They all enjoy taking naps when the opportunity arises.