Cover Image: The Girl and the Mountain

The Girl and the Mountain

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Member Reviews

The Girl and The Mountain picks up the story from The Girl and the Stars, which ended with a huge cliffhanger. 
Yaz is the main character of this story, a very powerful girl, because she can wield the power of the stars and touch the river that flows through all things. But this novel is also told from other points of view besides Yaz's, and these storylines manage to really intertwine perfectly with each other.
I've previously reviewed Lawrence's books, translated into my own language, Italian, and in my reviews I've never given too much away about the story, because I'm of the opinion that his books must be read and discovered page by page.
Therefore, I will not talk about the story, but I will tell you how Lawrence's writing is sublime, exciting and overwhelming! How his protagonists manage to steal your heart! How the story captivates you so much that you never want to finish the book.
My grade for this book, however, is not a full grade. During the reading I found many things repeated and maybe I would have preferred that those pages were cut or enriched with something else.
That said, Lawrence never disappoints and I'm really very curious to see how the story will evolve!
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Book two in this series expands the world-building to encompass even more of the author's creativity and ingenuity. The plot starts where book one finished and quickly ramps up the tension to a thrilling mid-way climax and then a cliffhanger at the end of the book. I can't wait for the final book in the series to return to these memorable characters and finally get some answers.
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A good book but I didn't love it as much as the first (apart from the end!) so glad some characters have turned up from Lawrence's different series.

Very much a traveling story, and a lot of it! But I am excited for the next book.
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I read the previous book and loved it. Loved this one even more.
Great world-building and storytelling, a gripping and entertaining plot.
The characters are fleshed out and interesting.
Can't wait for the next book.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I am always in awe of how clever Mark Lawrence is and I would love to know his process of planning a series, because he truly is a master of it. Obviously this is the second book in this trilogy, but it very much feels like this book is a part of a much larger universe and this is simply the start of uncovering the connections of everything else Mark has written.
What I enjoyed most (other than the Easter eggs to other series) was that we got to explore the world so much more than we did in book one, or the Book of the Ancestor series. There is so much extra detail given and the journey the main cast go on gives such a great insight in to the brutality of the ice. The slow threat of the constant cold added so much urgency to the plot an at times felt like more of a risk than the true trials of the book. It was also great to see how the characters reacted to the change in climate, some of them had spent their lives by the ice and others had never been near it, and that was portrayed so well.
The characters had great development in this book. For the most part they are still teens and it felt like they were very organically growing in to adults, and the addition to the cast was a perfect inclusion for the group. I will say, there was a few times that a character was in grave danger, or even died, that I felt indifferent towards, but I think that is the issue with a cast of more than a few characters, for me at least. 
This book reads in two parts and the middle feels like a natural end to a book, I think it may have benefited from being split in to two parts to give a natural break, but also add anticipation to continue. 
I would love to talk about the end of this book, but because of spoilers I won’t. My favourite things about Mark Lawrence’s books are always the endings, and this was no different. It was so well thought through and although I know it will have been foreshadowed, but I did not see that coming until far too late. 
I can not wait until the next book and for this trilogy to conclude, I have so many questions that need answers.
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Summary: The Girl and the Mountain is a tense sequel, full of danger, magic and ancient technology. It’s good, but the characters were shallower than I would have liked, and the plot relied on a lot of hitherto unknown abilities and technology.

When I started the Girl and the Mountain, I’d been told it was a step up from the last book. Having read it now, I’m not sure that’s true for me.

We pick up exactly where the previous book left off – this time following the point of views of Quell and Thurin, along with Yaz from the first book. I’ll be honest – neither new POV added much to the narrative for me, beyond the fact that the three of them cover different ground in the first half of the book. And this book is clearly split in half. Part of me wonders whether I would have enjoyed the first book a little more if the first half of this book had been added to the end of it. It’d felt more complete at any rate.

So, Thurin and Quell both have eyes for Yaz, while Yaz is a bit more focused on getting things done. I don’t necessarily think this’d be unrealistic, but it gets a little tiring when their internal thoughts keep going there. I struggled quite a bit to care very strongly about the fate of any of the main characters, and that may have damped my enjoyment.

The setting this time builds in more sci-fi elements, which are imaginative and occasionally terrifying. The world-building in general is a strength of this book, and it’s great to shed even more new context onto the events of The Girl and the Stars. I did however feel like too often things happened with the technology or magic that we didn’t have much context for, so while it may have made sense in the worldbuilding beneath the surface, it still felt contrived to me.

The plot, as I said, was neatly split between the two halves of the book. The first half was somewhat chaotic, and filled with several almost interchangeable malicious magical priests. The second half was better, in my opinion, and Lawrence does a good job of setting the atmosphere in the new locations we see. There were plenty of plot twists, including two that I kind of hated, one because it felt like it came out of nowhere, the other for reasons I can’t elaborate on for fear of spoilers. On another note, we finally get to firmly place the Book of the Ice series in relationship to the Book of the Ancestor series, and get a few nods to more than one of his books.

It’ll be obvious by now that I came away from this book more than a little disappointed. So much so that I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll finish the trilogy. The book was a decent ride, but when there’s so many great books out there, I’d struggle to say this is worth your time. I’d recommened it only if you’re a big Mark Lawrence fan, or a completionist – but then, you’d probably be reading this book anyway.
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The Girl and the Mountain is an intriguing middle part of this latest trilogy regarding Yaz and her allies from amongst the Broken.

I love the world-building, and the background to this series, and those which went before, and really look forward to finally (and hopefully) having some answers to, well, everything he's ever written. Mark Lawrence is a demon at spinning a fantastic tale and keeping his readers guessing. You could really start to hate an author like that!

Roll on Book 3:)
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I did struggle a bit through the first half. It's been a few months since I read the first book, and it took me a while to get back into the story, even though Lawrence had written the things worth remembering from The Girl and the Stars, in the beginning of this sequel (which is something he does in his sequels, and it's super helpful).

I didn't find the story to be super interesting either, even though I liked the writing.

After I'd gotten through that first half, it got easier to read. I'd gitten more used to the writing (though not sure that's why I liked it more), the setting changed, there were fewer characters to keep track of, and the story was much easier to follow.

One of the reasons I loved the last half of this book more than the first half, is that I've read Book of the Ancestor (which I loved).

I loved how the characters were written. There are so many emotions in them, which, for me, is important if I am to really love a character.
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4.5 of 5 stars
My Five Word TL:DR Review : Let the long game commence

Two 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.
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One word review – Frosty!. Two word review Totally Iced!

Prepare to forget everything you thought you knew from book 1 as this book turns it all on its head.

As this is the second book I don’t want to give away any spoilers so all I will say is we meet our favourite characters again, there is triumph and tragedy and a lot of ice.

I also loved the word play , especially name wise, that hints we may be more familiar with Abeth than we know..

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoy fantasy with elaborate world building and who like spotting references to our world in their fantasy.
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I was lucky enough to receive a free advanced copy to review ( ARC ), although I pre-ordered the book. I wrote my review from the advanced review copy of the Novel. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The 2nd book in the 2nd trilogy, set in the freezing world of Abeth, you need to read book one first. It is possible to read the trilogy without reading the 1st. I recommended you read the previous trilogy to get the most out of this series. Increasingly I read reference you wouldn't understand to the same level otherwise.

I will hate spoilers, and the book description gives a pretty good overview. Our core group of friends remain the rock the tale is based around. Sometimes chapters are titled after and develop one of the protagonists, e.g. Thurin, Quell, Yaz. I was a bit anxious about how long it would take to get back up to speed before I started reading. Luckily there is a brilliant overview at the start of the Novel. As I was brought back up to speed, I wished more authors would provide summations for the story so far.

After the climactic ending of book one, I desired to know what happened. I eagerly devoured every page and quickly became absorbed into a world of wonder as my mind imagined a beautiful dream, its gossamer threads spun by Lawrence.

I loved the first book, and it set up the backstory and the world simultaneously as advancing the plot. In the second book, we reap the benefits of Marks work in book one. Free of the constraints of having to explain the world, the plot thickens. It proliferates, snowballing in complexity and increasingly intertwined. We reap the benefits of book one; characters evolve, early connections even more complicated.  The convoluted tales advance in elaboration, grow ever more intricately fascinating. It is a magnificent improvement. The narrative is exceptional. I enjoyed satisfying resolution to some storylines as ever more are spun out, spinning the web for the final book epic conclusion. 

I love the pacing; to me, it adds to the experience. Just as the empire strikes back, ended Lukes hero's journey from Jedi apprentice. Mountain girl progresses the narrative to the second arc of Joseph Campbell the heroes journey, possibly into the third. 

It's a grand work from an already impressive author. I have heard and read that all of Mark Lawrence books are interconnected. If this is true, then I genuinely wish he creates a magnum opus like the dark tower.
Buy this book if you liked the first, otherwise buy the first book and settle in to enjoy the journey.
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So I was one of the lucky readers who got their wish granted in Netgalley!!! Big thanks to HarperCollins UK, Mark Lawrence, and Netgalley for the e-ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

The Girl and the Mountain is a brilliant follow up to The Girl and the Stars. Rich in action, adventure, danger, and magic that readers will definitely enjoy.

The Girl and the Mountain is the second installment to the Book of Ice trilogy. It picks up immediately where The Girl and the Stars left off.
Told from three perspectives; Yaz, Quell and Thurin. It follows their journey to the Black Mountain, danger and challenges are everywhere and they must survive to escape.

Readers find out more about the history and lore in The Girl and the Mountain. We also get to see more of the place unlike in the first book where it was confined to one location. The world building was top tier. Mark Lawrence can seriously paint detailed, vivid, and realisitic scenes. I can't help feeling the danger and excitement the characters undergo.

The character development is remarkable. We get to know each character better and start to have a connection and care for them. The mix of fantasy and sci-fi really worked well. Also, the pacing was well done. It's better compared in the first book.

Overall, this was an excellent and enjoyable read. It was a hell of a ride and that ending?! Goodness gracious, the third book couldn't come soon enough!
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This is one of the books out this year that i sent begging emails to review, i mean its Mark Lawrence, if you review fantasy you would have to be nuts not to be begging for a copy. Thankfully for me Mark himself took pity on me  and sent me an advance copy…. and just wow, its everything i expected and anted and more…

Yaz and her friends return, we left them ascending back to the ice after their exploits under it, what lay ahead ware the priests of the black rock, the wind, the cold and their new weakness to the cold brought on by the flourishing of their powers. This book see’s old friends perish, new friends appear, battles with old enemies and a better understanding of who and what they are, we finally get inside the blackrock and see what the priests have been up to as our team can even try to start the endless trudge across the ice in search of the green which is their hope.

As always Mark Lawrence blends his stunning world building with his real heartfelt characters, how an author can bring miles and miles of white ice bound scenery to life so well just astonishes me, but the secret is in the people he has crossing it and the very real dangers they face, as a reader you feel spell bound and on the edge of the seat for the whole journey… a journey that ends in (while not unexpected) such a way to really warm the heart and melts the last of that ice that grips you tight during the book…. what comes next, honestly I have no idea! Mark Lawrence has such a fantastic ability to blend magic and science into a plot that i’m never not amazed with the plot twists and turns, and that is the mark of a true great of the genre.

A MUST read for the year… in fact i guarantee that you will read and reread, its just so good.

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Love, love, loved this book. The character growth is exceptional as is the story that is being told. I absolutely love all the characters and I think Yaz is phenomenal. She feels so real and the author has done an amazing job of creating an emotional connection to her. I love all the others too - Thurin, Erris, Maya, Zox, and so on. The world-building is so well done and the descriptions make everything come to life on the page. There's danger, excitement, action, adventure, magic, and everything a good fantasy has and fantasy lovers everywhere while absolutely adore this world the author has created. I flew through this book and can't wait to see what happens in the next one. After finishing this story, I have decided it's time to read all of Mark Lawrence's trilogies while I wait on the next book in this series.
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The sequel to The Girl and the Stars returns us to the icy world of Abeth and picks up immediately where the cliffhanger left us - then cruelly leaves us with yet another...
The world building is excellent and Mark Lawrence's writing style allows you to feel the cold, the ice, the darkness & danger. It's a very readable style and I flew through it, keen to find out what was going to happen next.  
In my review for the previous book I confessed to not having finished the Book of the Ancestor series. Well... I still haven't and I still don't think it prevents you from either understanding or enjoying the story of the Book of the Ice. There are definite hints and easter eggs relating to Lawrence's other works but nothing hinges on previous knowledge. 
This instalment continues to develop the mysteries & conspiracies revealed in the first book and provides more development for the tribes & societies of the ice.  The main characters, particularly Yaz and Thurin, grow quite a lot as characters whilst also developing their powers.  Thurin is more of a fish out of water in this one- unused to being on the ice rather than below - and Yaz has a stronger sense of self, becoming more of a leader as she learns how to deal with difficult situations without losing her compassion and drive.
However, this book doesn't feel like a complete story of its own.  The first half feels more like the continuation and ending of the first before the second half starts another phase of the main characters' stories - almost like it should have been a chunky duology rather than a trilogy.  
The second half also reduces the number of characters down and I did miss the interactions of the large group.
I'm still very keen to continue on and see what follows on from the next cliffhanger and how everything will come together.
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Thankfully the girl and the mountain picked up where the previous book ended ... a lot was rapidly resolved (honestly waiting after that cliffhanger killed me!) but then whole lot of new things started! 

My favourite part of this book was the fact that aswell as Yaz's POV we also got both Quell and Thurins POVs - it was really nice to have added perspectives throughout, especially when they were all separated.
I loved the character growth in this book and I still love Yaz, Thurin and Erris. I also get so many found family feels from this book and I can't help but love that!! 
The world building is as brilliant as the first book and I swear I spent majority of my time reading this book cold!! It really gives you all the feels.
There is also alot more travel in this second instalment which I throughly enjoyed - although my main negative is that it seemed to slow in pace during the middle part of the book …the pacing just seemed a little inconsistent at times which was a little annoying but it did pick back up again and that ending .... another cliffhanger!!! I hate cliffhangers ... but I love them!!

Overall,  I really enjoyed this second instalment in the series and so much more than the first.  It really excelled compared to the girl in the stars so if you loved that one you will definitely love this one and if you didn’t still give this one a shot. it is worth it.

Mark Lawrence is a brilliant writer and I can't wait to check out more of his work as I have seen nothing but good things.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for this advanced e-readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

(4.5 stars)
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Such a fun and exciting read! As always, Mark Lawrence never fails to entertain. 
This was a much awaited book for me after THAT ENDING in The Girl and the Stars and this sequel somehow was even better! The magic system in this world is something I've always loved, and Abeth, is a world I want to visit (ONLY through my imagination) over and over again. I was really glad to see Yaz's character growth in this one. She hasn't grown on me like Nona, but I think she's getting there. I can't talk much about this book without spoiling, so I'm just gonna end this review here. 
Highly recommend this series!
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4.5* - slam dunk again!

Book one spoiler alert!

Book one, The Girl and the Stars, ended on a cliff-hanger. Yaz and her friends were being lifted to the surface. Yaz made it to the top and was taken by the priests and the mechanism for the lift was released to drop her friends back down to the bottom of the pit. Thurin—one of three suitors for Yaz—had been left behind, in the pit.

The story is told from three main povs, Yaz, Quell, and Thurin. Yaz being with the priests in the Black Rock worried about her friends, Thurin in the pit wanting to get back to Yaz, and Quell with the others hanging perilously in the lift wanting to both survive and find Yaz.
We can view The Girl and the Mountain as a book in three stages, each of which Mark writes brilliantly.

The first part of the book focusses on events getting to, and inside of, Black Rock. Through each of the three povs Mark builds a vivid picture of the internal makeup of Black Rock with its massive network of paths, mines, and rooms filled with secrets. We meet a variety of new characters, interesting and powerful beings/machines, and learn a lot about the history of the priests, ice tribes, and plans for war—this is something Mark did wonderfully well in book one; constantly feed you history and lore in a natural way. The worldbuilding is masterful.

The second stage of the story is a perilous trek across the ice, towards the green belt. I did wonder how Mark would handle the pacing of this part of the journey. After all it’s miles and miles of ice and nothing much else, and the group are heading in the opposite direction of the ice tribes, so it is unlikely they’ll be encountered. He hadn’t left himself a lot to work with given the sparse frozen world. 

"“Yaz would wonder what the holothaur had found when he had tried to invade that iron head. What had it taken to set Arges forgetting his revenge and go fleeing in terror instead?”"

I need not have worried. The pacing in this section is slower than in the earlier parts of the book. There is a focus on the mental fortitude of the characters trekking across the ice and the psychological impact it has on them. One more step. Keep moving. Don’t give up. Protect your friends. Leave nobody behind… or do you? These sections are well written, whether they are hunkering down for the night, searching for food, or trekking over the ice. This could have become tedious; however, Mark does a great job of intruding pace at various times in the journey. He introduces the panic of staring death in the face, that burst of adrenaline when you are fighting for your life.

The third section takes place in a city of sorts. We meet Taproot again and other city minds—this provides more insight into the history of Abeth and the motivations of the city minds. There’s a mix of science and fantasy here with a sprinkling of mythology. And Theus raises his head again, though in a surprising way. There are also more technological horrors about. The addition of science, technology, and the city minds allows Mark to really increase the pace of the story again and adds additional interest.

Finally… cliff-hanger again!!! I do believe Mark has already written book three though, so we hopefully won’t have to wait too long to find out what happens next.

Overall, this is a brilliant follow up to The Girl and the Stars. Abeth is a history-rich world of technological marvels of the past mixed with the struggle to survive of the present. Mark’s worldbuilding is second-to-none—he delivers history and lore in a way that is very natural and rich in detail and imagination, painting vivid pictures. The pacing is also great. Some people may find the middle section a little slow, especially in contrast to the first and third sections of the book, but, as I mentioned earlier, he introduces enough—in the face of death—pace at times during the trek across the ice to keep you sated, while also driving home the harrowing nature of a journey across the ice in a bleak world.

“Welcome to the green lands, child… you came a long way to die”
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I started my review for book 1 in this series with "Oh my giddy aunt...". This one should begin "Oh my giddy, giddy, flippin' aunt...". What an absolute rollercoaster of emotions this book is. I won't ever forgive Mark Lawrence for two of the events in this book... maybe! I could spend all day telling you about wonderful characters, superb writing, amazing plot, but just read it for yourself and enjoy!

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
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The Girl and the Mountain is the second installment in author Mark Lawrence's Book of Ice series. It picks up instantly after the cliffhanger ending of The Girl and The Stars and we don't have to wait too long for the answers as this book is very nicely paced. The world building in this second book is just as amazing as the first one, and I could easily imagine being part of it. I’m a little on edge to see what kind of ending is in stall for us in the final book after that cliffhanger ending!
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