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The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence
Published by Harper Voyager on April 29 2021
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Author
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four stars - The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence | Book Review

The second novel in the thrilling and epic new fantasy series from the international bestselling author of Red Sister and Prince of Thorns.

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.

The Girl and the Mountain yet another stonking story from Mark Lawrence.  Once again, the author had that perfect formula for breaking me.  It’s a straight run on from The Girl and the Stars, it didn’t skip a beat, not for one second and I settled into meeting old friends again.  An ending that had me needing more, an ending that proved just how addictive Lawrence’s writing is.  His writing skills are so dastardly and intoxicating that its impossible not to race to the end.  I’ve had to wait a few days to write this review because I have been living in a hungover, adrenaline intoxicated state. 

Let’s take a small walk and discover just how I ended up in this fugue state.

The Girl and the Mountain.  Never has a fantasy novel held such promise and such truth.  It had a lot to live up to, but Lawrence once again hit the bullseye.  His precision isn’t to be messed with, the historic feel to the story always shouts out its lament to me.  This series feels like a story passed on through the generations and retold by campfire.  Nostalgia at its absolute best. 

The story is set in a place that feels like the coldest place on earth.  You have a real feel for its worldbuilding and its atmosphere.  I imagined a world where the cold was more likely to kill you than its inhabitants and I found myself wrapping the cold away with blankets.  Yaz of the Ictha is back on the ice after escaping from beneath it.  Their mission now takes them from The Black Rock which is inhabited by Priests of Abeth and make it to the Greenlands – a place they only believed existed in myth.  Expect strong female characters, a running thread of mythology and traditions being played throughout. 

Lawrence’s highly skilled writing is receptive to how the story should unfold.  Yaz is a wonderfully strong female lead and instead of being a diminished character due to her past traumas, is indeed all the stronger for them.  Her strengths and limitations are not unrealistic.  We also had POV’s from Thurin and Quell and we got to see different sides to them both.  Hardships and misgivings adding to the relationships that unite them on a harrowing journey.  The story was a perfect length, and you weren’t bombarded with information that wasn’t required.  The author gave you everything you needed.

The Girl and the Mountain leaves a lot to look forward to.  We had plenty twists and turns, highs and lows.  It’s a thrilling ride that pushes to the edge with every intention of pushing you in.


mark lawrence author - The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence | Book Review

Mark Lawrence was born in Urbana–Champaign, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, THE BROKEN EMPIRE, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Following The Broken Empire is the related RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. THE BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy is set on a different world and is followed by the related BOOK OF THE ICE trilogy. There is also THE IMPOSSIBLE TIMES trilogy, a D&D/sci-fi work set in London in the 80s. All of these trilogies can be read in any order. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.


four stars - The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence | Book Review

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