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  • The Girl and the Stars

  • Book of the Ice, Book 1
  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 18 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (278 ratings)

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Summary

From the critically acclaimed author of Prince of Thorns and Red Sister comes a chilling new epic fantasy series.

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.

©2020 Mark Lawrence (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"An excellent writer." (Number one New York Times best-selling author George R.R. Martin)

"Dark, passionate, tense, with a female hero anyone could relate to - I was utterly fascinated! This is no pretty, flowery tale, but one of vastly different people struggling to survive when a hostile government comes to power." (Number one New York Times best-selling author Tamora Pierce)

"If you like dark you will love Mark Lawrence. And when the light breaks through and it all makes sense, the contrast is gorgeous." (Number one New York Times best-selling author Robin Hobb)

What listeners say about The Girl and the Stars

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not as good as Red Sister

I will preface this review by saying that I LOVE LOVE LOVED Red Sister and the sequels. I adored them. I loved Nona Grey and her world and I was thrilled to step back into it. I wanted to once again live in Abeth and it's ever encroaching ice. And The Girl and the Stars started off strong but slowly devolved into something that I had to slog through.

Yaz is of the Ichta tribe who roam the coldest ice. Any child who cannot survive on the ice - including those who have one of the four bloods inside of them - are tossed into the Pit. Yaz knows she will not survive the regulator's inspection. She has seen that she is not as strong, not as fast, not as resolute against the ever invading chill of the ice as the rest of her tribe. And she is right. Down beneath the ice, Yaz discovers another world and questions everything she has ever believed.

So far, so good. I was enraptured, taken in by the story and the desire to know what happens next. But as the book went on, my interest waned. Predominantly because this book is way too long. I listened to the audiobook and it was 18 hours. Too long. This book could have lost at least a hundred pages. It is far too long for the fact that it essentially only has one setting and that there is never any down time: Yaz is constantly either in a fight or running from a fight. This book is 480 pages of:

Thinking about her brother
Trying to choose between two (three?) guys
Fighting
Thinking about how she's going to be in a fight

That gets old pretty fast. I'm not all that interested in picking up the next book. I'm still a big Mark Lawrence fan, but The Girl and the Stars just didn't impress me all that much.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Slow and repetitive

The story stars well with an interesting culture based on the Ice. The world is from another series and so is the magic system, considering this it was disappointing to hear the same story line within the book over and over again. Searching for someone - find them - fight - repeat. The story doesn’t move on at all and most felt like filler. Very disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not Mark Lawrence's best work

I finished this out of a sense of obligation and a hope it might live up to the Red Queen trilogy, unfortunately i don't think it did and i wont be finishing this trilogy. The ending felt episodic and the protagonist wasn't as complicated or likeable as I was expecting from this author.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Una lettura interessante

La meravigliosa scrittura di Mark Lawrence compensa in parte i punti deboli che secondo me penalizzano il racconto. Più di una volta mi sono ritrovata a pensare "Ah, che fortuna, proprio al momento giusto!".
Trovo che alcuni dei personaggi principali siano overpowered, specie considerando che sono ragazzini con nessuna (o quasi) esperienza delle proprie abilità.
L'idea di base è originale e ben costruita, si intuisce l'esperienza e l'impegno dell'autore. Ho una teoria per cui la protagonista sia un personaggio della trilogia di Nona Grey, ma staremo a vedere.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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gripped

really enjoyed listening to this, great author, can't wait to listen to the rest during my walks

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    1 out of 5 stars
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misleading

If this book was labelled as YA, you would have a better understanding going in of the tone of the book. Worst book i have read by this author.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

very slow narration

very slow narration, very nice voice and character voices but very slow. i had to speed it up and I've never felt the need to before
Unfortunately I didn't particularly like the world or story but there is no accounting for taste.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliantly Written!!

Truely a wonderfully unique Story. Also read Beautifully. Would highly recommend to all fantasy lovers!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A little grim, but still highly enjoyable!

Ignore the negative reviews, if you like Mark Lawrence's work in general, you'll like this one. It's not as light hearted as some of the others, and definitely reads as the first of a trilogy, but is still an excellent story well told. The injustice of it all just makes you root for the characters even more.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Bit of a young adult book

Lots of interesting philosophical ideas about life and society as we progress through it. I'm looking forward to hearing the next book in the series.