“𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗼 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿. 𝗜’𝗱 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀.”
- Release date : April 30th 2020
- Publishing house : Harper Collins
- Series : Book of the Ice
- Number of pages : 480
- Illustrator : Jason Chan
- Edition : Illumicrate
Only when it’s darkest can you see the stars. East of the Black Rock, out on the ice, lies a hole down which broken children are thrown On the vastness of the ice there is no room for individuals. 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 different. Torn from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her life with, Yaz has to carve a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of danger. Beneath the ice, Yaz will learn that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She will learn that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she will learn to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people. Only when it’s darkest can you see the stars.
“In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown”
Yaz : She is part of the Ictha tribe living in the far north. Since she was a child, she was different because she was more fragile than the others. Consequently, in a society where differences and weaknesses are killed, she resigned herself to a short life. Little did she know though that despite her differences, she was special. The kind of special which could save those she likes and change the world. She doesn’t know why she has powers and her powers are intriguing (controlling to this extent stars which would drive most people mad). Not only are they useful to fight people (especially the Tainted) but they come in handy surviving the ice.
All along the book, Yaz tries to remain true to her heart and as a result, she finds herself in difficult situations. However, most of the time her will (and her powers) to save herself and others overpowers the dangers.
« Your life will run that much smoother if there are no untruths between your heart and your head.«
The cast of characters was colourful and each one had a chance to shine, whether it was Thurin who is born underneath the ice and who can control both fire and ice, Maya, an assassin using the shadows who came here with a mission, Kao, the huge child with a lot of strength, Erris, a mysterious man who has been down here for hundreds of years and is now part of the Missing’s city. There are a lot of things we don’t know about him and I hope to see more of him in part two. Finally, there is Quell, a strong teenager who lived with Yaz on the ice and after she jumped into the pit, he struck a deal with the priest to take her out of it.
The world crafted by Mark Lawrence is one of richness, cruelty but also of friendship. Richness because there are a lot of different people coming from different tribes with specific features and ways of life. The descriptions added to the richness of the story and I could almost picture myself in this network of caves and tunnels. Cruelty because of the fate of the weak and different children shoved into the pit to live a life of miseries and wants. The entire story deals with the importance of human lives and the point at which, a human is considered useless. And finally of friendship as our protagonist becomes friends with some of the people living underneath the surface, creating meaningful relationships. I found her connection with some of the characters were deeper than the one’s she had with her brother Zeen while it was the reason why she threw herself into the pit.
I also loved the different factions living in this network. The Broken divided their people into groups such as soldiers, harvesters, blacksmiths and so on creating order and unity from chaos. What was left of the Missing (an ancient civilisation gone from the planet long ago) was really interesting but a lot of questions are left unanswered by the end of the book and that’s normal. What I have loved most was the faction (the Tainted) living with demons inside them and the fact that they are the Missing’s discarded emotions.
Mark Lawrence succeeds in blending together fantasy and science fiction. This new adventure is full of thrills, darkness and mysteries. The world-building is on point and so are the descriptions which painted a vivid world.
« There is no such thing as magic. If a thing is part of the world, part of how it works, then it’s real and obeys laws just like gravity and electricity do. »