Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence
Narrator: Helen Duff
Series: Book of the Ice #2
Published by Ace on April 13, 2021
Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
On the planet Abeth there is only the ice. And the Black Rock.
For generations the priests of the Black Rock have reached out from their mountain to steer the fate of the ice tribes. With their Hidden God, their magic and their iron, the priests’ rule has never been questioned. But when ice triber Yaz challenged their authority, she was torn away from the only life she had ever known, and forced to find a new path for herself.
Yaz has lost her friends and found her enemies. She has a mountain to climb, and even if she can break the Hidden God’s power, her dream of a green world lies impossibly far to the south, across a vast emptiness of ice. Before the journey can even start, she has to find out what happened to the ones she loves and save those that can be saved.
Abeth holds its secrets close, but the stars shine brighter for Yaz and she means to unlock the truth.
My first experience with Mark Lawrence’s work was with Red Sister, from the Book of the Ancestor trilogy. The Book of the Ice series is set in the same world, earlier in time. I would read the series itself in order. I appreciated quick review at the beginning of Girl and the Mountain since it’s been a year since Girl and the Stars. I don’t think it is necessary to have read the Book of the Ancestor trilogy, but it does make it much easier to adjust to the world and know about the different groups of people and their skills. It was a much faster and more engaging read for me knowing more, and I had much less of the slow down I get with first book syndrome trying to understand the world.
The Girl and the Mountain begins exactly where the previous book ended which was a bit of a cliffhanger. Yaz and her friends, are not in a safe situation. The danger continues throughout the whole book. Everything in the “pit” and with the Broken and Missing is not the same as they have been educated as they grew up with the Ithca. The priests are not what they appear to be.
I did not like Yaz in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy. In this trilogy, I appreciate her strength and commitment. Her life is far from easy. The ice is a harsh place. She is loyal, even at great personal peril. Everyone wants her as an ally or friend as she develops her talent with the stars. Yaz needs to discern who is trustworthy. So many are not.
Yaz and her friends are trying to get to the “green world.” She wants to see it. Here we learn more about the status of the world I knew from the previous trilogy and we see a few characters and more of the priests here. The Book of Ice trilogy is developing our knowledge of the stars and the Missing far beyond the previous trilogy did.
I enjoyed this a lot and I look forward to the final book to see how Yaz changes. Perhaps it is not a change to Yaz, so much as a change in perspective from the Ice people to the Sisters at the convent. The ending here is also abrupt and dangerous. Mark Lawrence assured us in his newsletter this week that the next book is already written though. With the complexity of the world and characters, I will appreciate another “the story so far” section in it also.
I read the ebook for the first in this trilogy, but Helen Duff narrated the entire Book of the Ancestor trilogy so I am comfortable with her. In both trilogies, the main characters are relatively young girls and young people. Her tone is a bit higher which feels right for it. Her male voices are also appropriate. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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