This is one that I’ve had my eye upon since I first heard about it. I really liked the Book of the Ancestor series, and this takes place in the same world. So, when I was offered a copy, I couldn’t resist!
So thank you to the author for the review copy!
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.
We are victims of our first friendships. They are the foundations of us. Each anchors us to our past. The blows that drive those nails home are randomly struck, but they echo down all our days even so.
This is the story of Yaz, of the Ichta tribe. The tribes that call the ice of Abeth home have made it a tradition to cull those children who their priests deem as cursed. By throwing them down a pit into… uh, oblivion.
Yaz marches to this latest gathering with a growing fear that she is going to be thrown in. She feels as though she is cursed. When Yaz’s brother is thrown in the pit instead, she inexplicably jumps in after him. When she survives the fall, and sees that indeed most of the broken, culled children thrown down survive as well and that there is an entire society of people living down under the ice, the first thing she does is try to find her brother.
Along the way she meets new and interesting people, and realizes that the weakness or deficiency that her people are trying to keep themselves free of is actually a gift. She meets people with great strength, great speed, and magical powers, and realizes that she has magic of her own. She is a quantal, and that means she can see the river that flows through all things. She can also control the ‘stars’ – a stone which contains a type of energy. They’re used to power some mechanical beings, and used at other times for heat or light.
I liked this one a lot! It takes place in the same universe as the Book of the Ancestor series. It is not necessary to have read that series to read and find enjoyment in this one however. The most you would be missing would be finding the connections between the world Yaz lives in and the world that Nona lived in. Readers of the Broken Empire series may find a link there as well. I found myself smiling as soon as two rather familiar words popped up.
Just like every other book of Mark Lawrence’s that I have read, this one was very beautifully written, with all kinds of intensely quotable quotes and great characters. I wasn’t sure about Yaz right at first, but before I was even a quarter of the way through, I was a total Yaz fan and hoped that she would succeed in the things she did. She meets new people along the way, and every character we get to know becomes memorable in their own way.
This world is often rather bleak, as one would imagine a world of 90% ice would be at times, but even at its very bleakest, there is still hope. Yaz is an Ichta, and they don’t ever give up. Yaz may not be among her tribe anymore, but she still retains that trait.
While the whole thing was hard to put down, the last quarter of this book was a bit of edge-of-your-seat reading and I was here for it. I couldn’t stop until I had finished, well into the early hours of the morning. I can’t wait to read more in the Book of the Ice series. 5/5 stars!