The Book of the Ice 2
There had been a great fire and there had been a great flood. Both are forces of nature that sweep clean, that wipe the slate and promise a new beginning. Thurin had been the cause of the fire and of the flood. And yet both had failed to wash away his desire to be with Yaz of the Ictha: the girl for whom the stars shone brighter.
So what’s the book about?
Yaz has lost her friends and must now fight alone against newfound enemies. For the priests, who are considered authority figures for the ice tribes, want to go their own way so that the survival of the ice tribes can be ensured. But this path raises some questions that will change the life Yaz has led until now. She is forced to go new ways, to find answers and to be at peace with herself. For the dream of Yaz and her friends, finding a world of green is still her goal, but before she can begin this journey, she must find out what happened to those she loves and save those who can be saved. Despite the many questions, perhaps the stars can light the right path for Yaz.
These aspects attracted me the most while reading.
- In this world, magical happenings are combined with advanced technology and therefore offer a completely new kind of fantasy. This magic is so subliminally underpinned with science fiction features that it creates something so unique that I have never come close to experiencing in any other world. Black Rock and its mysteries give an exciting insight into the possible connection between magic and technology. This book gives a mix of science, mythology and magic inhabited with monsters that give you goosebumps. Moreover, not every monster is human or has human features, for some seem like creatures from a science fiction thriller. For this world is home to a dog that is a killing machine, but you also see old monsters that you thought were lost or dead. And some vicious creatures are nicer than you think. The author proves that he always has extraordinary ideas that bring a truly breathtaking atmosphere.
- I was thrilled to revisit these claustrophobic and freezing icy landscapes of Abeth. For as I had previously described in my review for The Girl and the Stars, this is the place where events take place that feels like the coldest place on earth. The world still feels depressing and hopeless, where you get a depressing feeling as you read the lines. Through this feeling, an eerie atmosphere can be built up, which is only strengthened by various creatures. Not only the landscape is freezing, but also the metal creatures and the priests. But this cold world is broken again and again by people who carry warmth in their hearts. And also by three wonderful witches, who were my highlight, because they are so bizarre and somehow enchanting that I was sad that they only had a short appearance!
- The former girl who was clueless in many ways is slowly becoming a strong woman who is creating her own story. For Yaz has undergone a strong character development, in the process also becoming more and more the girl she seems to be and acquiring an individual personality. She shows much more of her personality in this volume than before and you finally know who she is. She felt like a flesh and blood girl who has been through a difficult journey and still faces it. In the first volume Yaz seemed more like a normal girl who didn’t seem flat but just not special, but through her actions and the things that are done to her she becomes more and more interesting and also special.
- The second half of the book was just beautiful, but like everything in this world also terrifying. Of course I don’t want to spoil the story so you can read it yourself, but there are some very beautiful scenes towards the end that give you a nostalgic feeling. This journey to this nostalgic point is full of hope and also wonder and is peppered with beautiful stories about myths and times gone by, which also carry a piece of truth. This journey with Yaz companions becomes all the more beautiful as this troupe becomes more and more united and they truly become friends.
It is a difficult question for me whether I liked the first book or the second one better. I would definitely say that you get the more exciting story in the second volume, because in the first volume, the focus was more on worldbuilding and you had to get to know the characters first. Moreover, this worldbuilding was expanded in the second volume and made even more exciting, because you learn a lot more and still many questions remain open. But what I didn’t like so much about the second book, in contrast to the first, was that although there were many very exciting events, they were not embellished in as much detail as I would have liked. As I mentioned before, I liked the three witches very much and somehow I would have liked to know more about them and have this event described in more detail. Moreover, that’s how I felt at many stages of the book, where I thought, there just has to be more written here. Therefore, I liked the story of the second book more, but caused by the fast narrative I would pick the first book as the better one.
So what are my final thoughts about it?
A beautiful story continues here, with so much emotion and warmth passed on through the characters of the story, and this is laced with cold and fear. Great characters inhabiting a harsh, gritty, unforgiving land. Yaz wants to go to the green land, thousands of miles away, but first she must find her way out of the Black Mountain and escape the monks who eventually have her in their clutches and also find her way to herself. The story now takes on a very unusual darkness, as it is not the typical grimdark components that sustain this book, but simply gives it an eerie feel. And as I mentioned, the second part of the book was able to really pull me in, because Mark Lawrence knows exactly how to take the reader on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Unfortunately, the first part had a few weaknesses, as the story was simply told too quickly. The ending is exactly what Mark Lawrence fans have come to expect and look forward to. A breathtakingly exciting journey that won’t let you stop reading and makes you feel the cold to your bones!
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