I’m a Mark Lawrence virgin. There, I said it. But The Girl and the Stars caught my attention as it has a similar setting to Megan Lindholm’s (Robin Hobb’s) amazing Reindeer People duology. I only have two regrets. The first, that I left it so darn long to pick up one of Lawrence’s books. The second, that I finished this one early on and now I have to wait impatiently for the next instalment!
The Girl and the Stars is a dark and thrilling story that had me biting my nails into the very last pages and beyond. It follows Yaz of the stoic Ictha, one of four clans fighting for survival in a frozen land. Yaz travels south with her clan to participate in a harrowing ceremony where any child of the four tribes judged weak or broken is cast into a hole dubbed the Pit of the Missing. When Yaz finds herself beneath the ice, she sets out on a journey that takes her deeper than she thought possible, uncovering secrets as she battles for survival.
This book is an unpredictable and non-stop ride. Just when I thought Lawrence had hit the climax of the story and fallen into a rhythm, new plot developments left both Yaz – and myself – stunned. I think I’ve read entire trilogies that contain less imagination and worldbuilding than The Girl and the Stars. But that doesn’t mean this book is just a superficial fantasy adventure. Lawrence doesn’t shy away from the characters’ trauma or the inner conflict of cold decisions made in hard circumstances.
If you’re looking for a fantasy adventure on par with that of Brandon Sanderson or Brent Weeks, or if you’ve climbed the Tower of Babel with Senlin and now you’re not sure which direction to go, the dark, icy depths of The Girl and The Stars is the place for you.
Thank you to Netgalley, HarperCollins and Mark Lawrence and for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.