History is the interpretation of the past based on written and recorded texts. These texts are known as historical sources and they are the sine qua non of history writing. Over the past centuries, techniques have developed for how to categorize, evaluate, and analyze historical sources. Being a historian means that you dedicate a substantial amount of your time mastering these techniques in order to make your interpretation of the past valid and reliable.
In The Broken Earth trilogy, N.K. Jemisin uses historical sources to tell the history of The Stillness, a seismically overactive continent where human civilization is repeatedly destroyed through prolonged cataclysmic events known as Seasons. Individuals called orogenes have the ability to quell earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, thus limiting some of the havoc The Stillness wreaks upon its population. Though crucial to the survival of humanity, orogenes are discriminated against, despised, and shunned.