Book Review: The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence

Synopsis

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.

Review

I was so excited to receive an ARC of this book. Mark Lawrence’s ‘The Broken Empire’ trilogy, really stuck with me for being dark and not afraid to pack a punch. I was expecting big things from this book, and it did not disappoint, not even one little bit.

Never before has a book made me feel quite so claustrophobic, life under the ice had me shuddering, and I had to take a break after the first 50 pages, just to catch my breath. That is the beauty of Lawrence’s writing. I could picture every step Yaz took, every person she encountered, both the shadows and the stars of the ice.

There are so many horrors and wonders hidden in the harsh world Yaz falls into. Most captivating of all, the idea that the darkness itself can hide shadow demons, waiting to thrive on the murkiest parts of your soul. The setting is totally unique, and not like anything I’ve ever read before. There are so many elements to the world under the ice, it’s hard to talk about any of them without giving some part of the plot away.

Similarly, it’s really impossible to talk about any of the characters without giving something away. Each one had their own stories, tribes and histories. The twists and turns of the story just got better and better, and even by the end its not hugely clear what’s motivating each person, and who it’s possible to truly trust. One thing I can say, I adored the fact that Yaz was a strong female lead, without that fact being thrust down your throat in an obvious way.

I loved everything about this book, it was totally unique and unpredictable. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next, and there were plenty of twists that I didn’t see coming at all. The book publishes in April 2020, and I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.

One last thought…that ENDING, you can’t end a book like that Mark Lawrence, you just can’t. I need to know what happens next, and I need to know yesterday!!

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