In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.
On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.
To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.
Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.
Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.
Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.
Title: The Girl and the Stars [Book #1: Book of the Ice Trilogy]
Author: Mark Lawrence
Publication Date: April 30, 2020
Publisher: HarperVoyager [UK in my case]
Page Count: 480
Format: Hardback, EBook, Audio
Going back to Abeth was a bit like just returning to a dear old friend. Even better than that though is Mark Lawrence’s ability to simultaneously make it feel like coming home while giving readers a whole new beautiful world within this world.
I’m a huge fan of Mark Lawrence’s work, The Ancestors trilogy is definitely something I internally screech over…forevermore, haha.
So, back in Abeth, but this time we’re starting further North and dealing with cultures we may only have had faint glimpses and knowledge of before.
Yaz is part of the Ictha tribe, and they gather with the others every four years near Black Rock so that the Priesthood may conduct a sort of cull. The weak and ‘broken’ children are thrown into a pit, it is a kinder fate to die swiftly than to die out on the ice.
At least, that’s what they’re told.
Yaz finds herself among the broken, the problem being that broken or not, they’re certainly very much alive. Not only are they alive, but many are part of the Gerrants, Hunskas, Marjals, and even Quantals.
They have created their own tribe, and even have their own adversaries, ‘The Tainted.’
The Tainted are just that, and Yaz is learning what new things there are to fear under the ice, but there’s one problem she intends on solving while she’s down there, and there’s retrieving someone very dear to her.
Needless to say, without giving away too much, Lawrence once more made me feel like I was in Abeth, I was with Yaz in the darkest world I’ve yet to read, while still being one of the most fascinating and beautiful.
There are stars in this world below the ice, they’re known by many names but to Yaz they are stars and their songs and light are things that may be of particular importance to her. [I’m not giving away spoilers here!]
Not to mention the ruins of a City of The Missing is, mildly put, more than it seems.
While this started as a sort of rescue mission once Yaz found herself in this world, it becomes much more and all the larger players of this are drawn to Yaz.
I loved Yaz’s heart so much, she has so many strengths and weaknesses, so many emotions, and her careful handling of hope is pretty beautiful to experience as a reader.
I also loved all of the characters brought into play, whether for good or bad deeds. Certainly above all, I loved this sort of ‘crew’ that Yaz comes to accumulate.
There’s so much loss along with the finding of new bonds and it’s a roller coaster of emotions and one intense situation after another.
The only thing I ‘scored’ off was the pacing, because the second day of the book seemed to have so much crammed into it, that I actually took note of it, haha, but other than that, perfection! I also gave it 4.5 stars because Mark Lawrence was inherently evil with that ending and took a few years off my life span.
When’s book 2 out?!
Anyway, it’s definitely a new favourite fantasy of mine from an author that has once more won my heart over. Thank you to Anne and HarperVoyager UK for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the blog tour. Please be sure to check out the rest of the tour if you get a chance!
About the Author
Mark Lawrence was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy, and both The Liar’s Key and The Wheel of Osheim have won the Gemmell Legend award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.
The Rest of the Tour