The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) by Mark Lawrence 05, May

Another Mark Lawrence book, another riveting read about compelling characters traversing the dangers of a surreal world. 

The Girl and the Stars is the story of Yaz, a girl with a magical gift. She is one of the Ithca, a clan belonging to a nomadic people that carve out a harsh existence on a world frozen over by a dying sun. Every four years, the clans gather around the Pit, a giant hole in the ice where those deemed unfit for life on the surface are tossed in by a priesthood that worship a Hidden God. Yaz knows she is different and believes her destiny is to fall. But when her brother is thrown in instead of her, she is faced with a life-changing decision and leaps in after him. What follows is a riveting coming-of-age and search-and-rescue story through an imaginative world beneath the ice. 

Mark Lawrence is considered by many (myself included) as one of the greatest fantasy authors of our age. By often treading a thin line between prose and poetry, his writing compliments and further elevates an already compelling story, resulting in books loved by many and appreciated by all. The Girl and the Stars is no exception. 

The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) by Mark Lawrence - Book Review 21, Mar

I was lucky enough to win a giveaway from Mark Lawrence that included a signed copy of The Girl and the Stars. So, thank so much again Mark Lawrence and That Thorn Guy.


When it comes to Mark Lawrence, it’s not a question of whether I will enjoy it or not. It’s more, how much am I going to love this? And I’m glad to say, though not surprised, that The Girl and the Stars is no different.


I cannot praise any of this enough. Every element, from plot, to characters, to prose. All brilliant.


“In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.”


The Girl and the Stars is set in the same world as The Book of the Ancestor trilogy, but you do not to read the previous series in order to fully appreciate this. I loved the subtle hints to the previous series, now in a time long gone, but new readers will not lose out, as this is set in an entirely separate environment, with a whole new set of trials and tribulations.


Once again, Lawrence has formed in these pages another set of memorable characters that are already cemented in my mind as brilliant. You quickly learn to either love them, or hate them, or both. There are not many writers who can inspire this variation of emotions within me, but Lawrence is an exception, and he repeatedly does it with ease.


Our main protagonist is the teenager Yaz, a young woman who is ascending into adulthood. She lives in the harsh frozen land of the ice, with the tribe of the Ictha. A dangerous place, where all must live together in a life of hardship in order so somehow survive. But, before she is fully accepted as an adult, all must face a test with a man named, the regulator. Those who fail are pushed into a black hole, and are renamed, The Broken… No one knows what happens to these, but Yaz believes that she is soon to find out.


“Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars”


Now onto the prose. Just, wow! That’s all that need be said really. Lawrence does not waste a word, but somehow manages to incite a fast-pace, along with plenty of time for interesting character development and world building. He has truly mastered how to combine all these aspects into his writing, allowing the reader to finish with a mesmerising experience. 


So, Mark Lawrence has shown me again why he is one of my favourite authors of all time, Every book I have read of his has been a 5-star rating, and this is no exception. I LOVED this, and will find it a very difficult time as I await news for the sequel, which Lawrence has already written and is now being edited. Everyone, you need to read this, and if you can, read The Book of the Ancestor trilogy, which is in my top five series of all time.