Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Random Things Tours - The Girl and the Stars

I have been wanting to try Mark Lawrence ever since I've seen people rave about the Book of the Ancestor series.  So when I was invited to take part in the blog tour for his companion spin-off, I jumped at the chance.  Thanks to the author, Harper Voyager UK and Anne Cater for providing this opportunity.

TITLE: The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1)
AUTHOR: Mark Lawrence
PUBLISHER: Harper Voyager UK
PUBLISHING DATE: April 21, 2020


In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown. 

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.

I don't read a lot of adult fantasy but it is a genre I want to dive into more.  That's why I was thrilled to get a chance to be part of the blog tour for Mark Lawrence's newest book, The Girl and the Stars.

Yaz is a member of the Ictha tribe living on Abeth, a frozen ice planet.  Every four years, all of the tribes gather at a dark hole in the ice where the Regulator evaluates the children of each tribe to determine if they have what it takes to live the rugged life on the ice.  Those who don't meet the standards are pushed into the hole and never seen again.  Yaz previously passed her first test at the hole, but secretly she knows there is something wrong with her and she is confident this visit to the hole will be her last.  Much to her surprise though, she is saved just in time to watch her brother Zeen be pushed into the unknown.  Yaz immediately jumps in after him but instead of an immediate death, she actually gets a second chance at living.

She is welcome into the Broken, a group of people who have been deemed unworthy. However, Zeen has been captured by The Tainted, an evil tribe bent on destruction of the Broken.  Not only does Yaz have to learn how to navigate a new world, she must also learn how to save her brother.

This book is extremely complex and a lot of time is set on world building.  The cold ice-covered world is basically one of the villains itself and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about all of its complexities.  So much of this unknown land is new to Yaz and while there, she is learning that she has special abilities which makes many want to control her.  Yaz is able to harness and control the stars, a valuable commodity which is used as power.  She encounters a unique band of broken and forms new friendships and alliances. 

Lawrence definitely has a way with prose.  I loved his description of all the various scenes and settings but what I loved the most was the character of Yaz.  Yaz has always considered herself broken but during the course of the novel, the reader can see Yaz's confidence growing and is able to witness firsthand her learning how "unbroken" she is.  Yaz has the ability to forge a new path in this hidden world and I'm so excited to see where the series leads.

So basically, if you have EVER considered trying this author, do so.  I will admit that it took me a tad longer to read this book than I expected but that it because Lawrence paints such a complex fantasy world.   I also wanted to make sure I had a good grasp on the plot and characters as I definitely plan on picking up subsequent books in this series.  I feel that I must also add that there is one character who emotionally destroyed me when a certain plot element was revealed.  At that point I was actually swearing at the book. 

Now I need to go back and read the original series because reading The Girl and the Stars was a complete joy!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Lawrence was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, 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. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy, and both The Liar’s Key and The Wheel of Osheim have won the Gemmell Legend award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.


  1. Thanks so much for this blog tour support xx

  2. Awesome review, Barb. I'm reading this right now and really enjoying it, it's also my first Mark Lawrence book😁

  3. Glad you liked this one so much. It sounds fun. I'll have to add this author to my want-to-read list. :)

  4. I'm reading this right now and enjoying it. I already read the Bbook of the Ancestor trilogy so I understand the world already, which can help I did those on audio. I don't want to like Yaz. I'm glad you liked it.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. I'm reading this one right now, and I'm digging the world building. This is finally my first Mark Lawrence, too!

  6. I love this author and my review will be up for this one very soon. I enjoyed it very much,, probably much like you a 4* solid read.
    Lynn :D

  7. Oh, this is a different cover! I do want to read Lawrence and have his other trilogy ready to go. It always seems to take me longer to read fantasy but it is usually worth it. Great review!