The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) – Mark Lawrence

three stars black
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Pages: 384
Release Date: April 21, 2020

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.


I’m certainly in the minority when it comes to this novel, again. My first exposure to Lawrence’s work was with Red Sister. I enjoyed it, but didn’t at the same time. I was unable to fully connect with and understand the story. I had that same inability with The Girl and the Stars.

The Girl and the Stars is a spinoff series that I would not recommend reading without reading the original trilogy, Book of the Ancestor. Like its predecessor, The Girl and the Stars takes place in a world full of ice because of the dying sun. The protagonist, Yaz, is ripped away from all she’s ever known. That’s a very vague description, but if you’ve read the official synopsis (above) you’ll see that that description is vague as well.

There are quite a few characters that Lawrence introduces, but ∫. Yaz goes on her adventures, for lack of a better description, with these characters but the focus is almost solely on her and the world.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time with the world building like I did with Red Sister. It’s confusing and abstract. I think my inability to connect with this world comes down to the writing. Like I said in my review of Red Sister, Lawrence’s writing is beautiful, flowery, and poetic. However, his writing at times is overly flowery, which contributed to my inability to connect with the story.

I seen a review liken The Girl and the Stars to young adult fantasy. Though there are gory moments, I tend to agree with this comparison. I even got The Maze Runner vibes to the point it felt like I was reading a more abstract version of it.

The ending is easily the best part of the novel. It’s exciting and full of action with a reveal that will entice readers to come back for the sequel. I’m not sure if I’ll be one of those readers, but it sure had me intrigued.

Overall, The Girl and the Stars is an interesting enough fantasy novel but lacks clarity in its world building and development in its characters.

Have you read The Girl and the Stars? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) – Mark Lawrence

  1. Um, I’m still trying to finish this, so I may end up with similar feelings. I haven’t read his first series so that may be part of why I’m struggling.

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