The Book of the Ice 1
“There seemed nothing else to say. Sometimes all your words are the wrong shape and none of them will fit into the silence left when the conversation pauses.”
So what’s the book about?
In the ice, there are different tribes that fight for their survival day after day, against the icy wind and the deadly cold. Dedicating her life only to the fight against the cold and hunger, Yaz must also contribute a part to the life of the tribe. But Yaz is different from the other children and the fear that she will be thrown into the hole is great. Because the children who are pushed there are broken people who can contribute nothing to the tribes. And then Yaz falls into the black maw that does not want to give her back. The life she knew and thought she could continue with the boy she likes and her clan of Ictha is now gone. And Yaz experiences a world full of secrets, in which she herself is the greatest secret.
Why I wanted to read this series?
I am a big fan of the Ancestor Series by Mark Lawrence, it is even in my top 10. Since Mark Lawrence knows exactly how to write a thrilling story filled with really incredibly great characters and still packs so much detail and description into mostly not-so-thick tomes, I want to read all of his books. So if you want to start with another book like this one, definitely read his Ancestor series. And since I received a signed copy of The Girl and the Stars last year, I thought I finally had to read it. And it made me a little sad that I didn’t read this book much sooner because it really is so good, but now I can seamlessly read the second volume of his new series.
These aspects attracted me the most while reading.
- I could have stopped right after the first chapter. I was already so emotionally carried away that I had the feeling I had already lived through a whole book. You are thrown into the world in this chapter and you already find out what the coldness in this world is like. And not only do you experience the coldness of the world, but also the coldness of the people who live there. Nevertheless, one also feels hope here, which also runs through the love between the main protagonist and her boyfriend, but also through her family, her parents and her brother. Reference is made here to the weakness of the main character and thus an interplay of hope and hopelessness is given. And the end of the first chapter finally destroyed me completely.
- Yaz, the main character of this story, seems to be the typical girl at first. She blushes at times when talking to the opposite sex and she seems to be more focused on herself – she just has many characteristics of a typical girl. She also seems shy in many situations, but who wasn’t shy and struggling with themselves as a 16-year-old? But in the situations where it takes courage, Yaz is a completely different person. It seems that she doesn’t even think about what she is doing, because she wants to help the people she cares about and grows beyond her limits. And the powers Yaz carries within her are also extremely interesting. Anyone who has read the Ancestor Series knows what powers Yaz has inside her. And I am curious to see what else Yaz will reveal about her powers.
- The entire setting of this world seems very oppressive. The coldness that Yaz and her clan, or many other clans, have to live with does not feel like a world I would want to live in. It feels hopeless and depressing, as the only reason for their lives is to ensure survival. And that doesn’t change after Yaz falls into the hole and her life changes completely, but actually stays the same. Because in the world where the Broken live, it is also all about survival. And even though Yaz feels warmth here, I was still cold. For me, this underworld is more oppressive than being in the cold clutches of the wind in the overworld. And of course Mark Lawrence describes this world in such detail and imagery that you just feel cold.
- The Tainted, at first seem like monsters that live under your bed and only bother you at night. But actually they are not monsters, you are only made to feel that way, because they are people consumed by hatred. In the early chapters you are introduced to one of the Tainted, Hetta, who is a cannibal, so I thought they were monsters. But as you go along you get to know stories about the Tainted, also the Tainted themselves, but also someone who was a Tainted and is now human again. These humans are kind of demons, that have gone crazy and they’re not themselves anymore.
So what are my final thoughts about it?
I would like to say right at the beginning that you can read this series without having read his Ancestor series, even though of course many aspects are present in both books, here everything is presented anew.
And this book blew me away. I lost track of time, so immersed was I in this world. The book is slower paced like the Ancestor series, but I only enjoyed it all the more because of that. The dramatic start in chapter one becomes more descriptive and slower, because you have to learn something about the world. Because this world naturally raises many questions that first have to be answered. And that was just incredibly well done. For me, the tension was there, even if there weren’t so many fights and action, it pulled me along much more. I could have read 1000 pages just describing the world. Especially since Mark Lawrence is simply a master of words. I am really looking forward to the second volume!
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