I really enjoyed The Girl and the Stars, and so naturally when given the opportunity to request the sequel, I was on it!
So thanks to the author, as well as Ace via NetGalley for the review copy!
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.
“‘Why’ is a difficult question for us. When you have seen what will be, then there’s no ‘why’ save ‘because.’ Everything is a lot to see. It can’t be held in one mind. It fractures our thoughts. It steals ambition and desire. To see everything is to become a part of it. Like the mountain, or the ice, or the wind.”
This is the continuing story of Yaz of the Ictha. She is from the ice tribes, but ended up under the ice among the Broken. Now she’s back up on the ice, and it’s up to her and her friends to make it from the Black Rock, where the priests of Abeth all live, and travel south to the green lands that Yaz’ people think are only a myth.
This one starts nearly exactly where The Girl and the Stars left off, so those who are/were concerned about the cliffhanger that one left us with, don’t worry too much, it does get resolved here. I didn’t think it was too cliffhangery… or at least, I didn’t find the cliffhanger too much of an issue personally, but I know that some people don’t look on them too favorably. For me it depends on how much of the story it leaves hanging, so to speak. ^_^
This one follows a few characters’ POV, mostly Yaz and Thurin, but also Quell. I still really like Yaz as a character in this one. She’s strong and stands up for what she believes in, but still sometimes makes decisions that don’t work out for the best. I also really like Thurin, especially in this volume because he is brought from underground onto the ice on this journey that they must make to the green belt. As such, he is going through hardship that seems like a fairly normal day to the ice tribers, and he has to try and keep up while never actually experiencing living on the ice. This series has so many characters that I enjoy finding out more and more details about.
While the last one (and this one) have a bit of a connection to other works by Mark Lawrence, this volume also serves to connect the Book of the Ancestor series together with this series more definitively. I won’t tell you more than that, because it’s toeing the spoilery line. You’ll just have to read on, but I’ll say that I really like when series like this have a connection to other, different series that I liked. ^_^
All told, I liked this one a lot. It was very easy to pick up and read well into the night. I thought it was paced well, and so in just a few days I was done. The ending was, again, a little cliffhangery, but not in a way that left me angry that the next book in the series isn’t on my nightstand ready to go. It’s the sort of cliffhangery that’ll have me leaping at it when the next book comes along, is all. 5/5 stars!~