The Girl and the Mountain (Book of the Ice #2) by Mark Lawrence

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Let the long game commence

Girl1Two things I have consistently mentioned in my reviews for books by Mark Lawrence.  Firstly, his style of writing is a joy to read and, secondly, he is masterful when it comes to the long game.

That being said, The Girl and the Stars, although I enjoyed it, was not my favourite of his work, although the prose was delicious and we were introduced to a bunch of new characters struggling to survive.  When I say it wasn’t my favourite, of course, I should point out it was still a 4 star read for me so don’t be distracted by my pointing that out.  Unfortunately Mr Lawrence has found himself up on a high pedestal, it’s a precarious place and all I can say is that with great success comes great expectations.

Now, before I start this review I would mention that this being a second book in series this review will undoubtedly contain unintentional spoilers.  I would also  suggest that if you’re intending to read this you should start with the first book in series as opposed to crashing in, in fact I think it might even be helpful to read Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor series (okay, it’s not essential that you do so but I certainly got a kick out of the conclusion to this one that was definitely served better by being familiar with that series).

Very helpfully the author provides a refresher before the book begins which I really appreciated. The Girl and the Mountain then picks up almost immediately where The Girl and the Stars left off.  Yaz has escaped the Pit of the Missing but is nonetheless in dire straits in fact you could reasonably suggest that a fitting catchphrase for this book (nay the series) might be ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’.  The friends that accompanied her have a much more perilous journey but eventually all the characters find themselves trapped inside the home of the priests, the Black Rock – which undoubtedly, and rightly, has an ominous ring. Now this portion of the book contains plenty to grip readers.  None of which I’m going to describe.  I would advise you to harden your heart because along with some shocking revelations for the characters there is also a little heartbreak along the way.  So, we discover that much of the way of life on the ice is founded on deception and lies, we already discovered some of that in book 1 but the start of TGatM reinforces it further and also reveals a much bigger conspiracy.

Yaz and a number of companions then undertake a perilous journey in search of the ‘fabled’ green land they’ve heard about.  This section of the story really concentrates on the characters.  Well, don’t get me wrong, there is hardship, danger and action but for me this really cements some of the friendships and helps to show the characters in a different light. Yaz is perhaps most in her comfort zone (if you can describe such conditions as comfortable) and even she loses her way a little as their journey progresses.  This journey is hard to say the least.

The story then takes a most extraordinary leap of imagination which even now is making my head spin.  To be honest I really don’t want to give anything away but it’s at times like this that I have an overwhelming desire to work my way back through some of the author’s other series.  Basically there’s a fusion of sci fi and fantasy here that starts to make me look at other things with curious eyes.  Anyway, I can’t speculate about it because I’m going round in circles arguing with myself about what it all means and trying to figure it out. Watch this space – but don’t hold your breath.

And, undeniably I loved the way that this one concluded.  Yes, it is a cliffhanger but it’s the sort of ending that makes me really anxious to pick up the next book.

What worked really well for me was travelling further afield, uncovering deceptions, greater character development and the promise of future reveals.

In terms of criticisms.  I thought that there was a slight slowing down as Yaz and her friends traversed the ice, but it was only a very slight blip before the author threw in the next crisis.  To be fair I enjoyed this section of the story for the character development that it allowed.

Overall I enjoyed this one.  It’s a book that really takes things forward in a very interesting way and I look forward to seeing where the author takes us next.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4.5 stars




5 Responses to “The Girl and the Mountain (Book of the Ice #2) by Mark Lawrence”

  1. Tammy

    I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t get along with his writing style at all. I’m not giving up, though. I’d love to try another Lawrence book at some point.

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I need to start this series!

  3. Top Ten Tuesday : My Ten Most Recent Reads | Books and travelling with Lynn

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