• The Girl and the Stars

  • Book of the Ice, Book 1
  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 18 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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The Girl and the Stars

By: Mark Lawrence
Narrated by: Helen Duff
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Publisher's 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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  • Atlas
  • 07-06-20

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-27-20

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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  • James Pougher
  • 05-27-20

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.

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  • Clarissa
  • 08-14-22

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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  • David Jones
  • 01-17-22

gripped

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

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  • K. Briskham
  • 12-07-21

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.

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  • chris calvil
  • 09-03-21

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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  • Calvin
  • 04-15-21

Brilliantly Written!!

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

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  • Rosaline Mcnestry
  • 03-29-21

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-21

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.

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  • Sam Burgess
  • 05-15-20

loved it

Mark's amazing literary skill to gift us, though fiction, such deep human truths astounds me. The depth of character and the vulnerable truth of human nature delivered in this science fiction world is exquiste.
I can't wait for the next book

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-28-20

somehow missed the mark

All massive Mark Lawrence fans in our house.
The Jorg books in particular may well be my favourite Sci Fi fantacy books of the decade.
Just couldn't get attached to the characters, even though I loved the IDEA of the story.
Sorry Mark

6 people found this helpful

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  • Valerie
  • 06-21-20

An excellent read

This new story arc in the world of his previous (and magnificent) Book of the Ancestors series is very promising. It’s a bit uneven in the way the plot moves, racing swiftly through some events and then slowing down for others, almost as if there could have been a two books here that have been edited down to one. Helen Duff is an excellent narrator and carried the book up a level.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-30-21

The ending

That was the most pathetic, disappointing, rediculous ending to any of the hundreds of books I've ever read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kellie
  • 07-25-20

Brilliant Book!

Brilliant book, makes me want to go back and re-read the Red Sister trilogy. Great!

4 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 07-23-20

Not Marks best but still worth a listen

Enjoyed the further world/universe building. Not the heights of previous works but still worth the listen. Sets up for some exciting followups.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-19-20

Great narrator

Helen duff does a great job narrating this book, as she did with the red sister series. This book was great, although almost a little too action packed, but still a sold book

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kim
  • 10-19-21

A different narrator would have helped

I really don't want to be picky or mean but I found narrator's voice to be very boring (to be kind I have given two stars instead of one). It was almost monotone all the way through, a bit of enthusiasm when something exciting was happening might have helped but it was just the same which meant that I would lose interest in what was happening. I stuck with it until the end because I thought that the story was interesting and had some promise - and maybe I would get used to the narrator, but I didn't, A rare thing for me but I wont be listening to the second book, perhaps I will consider buying a hard copy at some stage in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nicolo
  • 05-19-22

Unique plot, wonderful prose, fascinating world

I really enjoyed this book. The ice-bound world is fascinating and the details are gradually uncovered bit by bit as the plot progresses. Clearly there is an epic scale to the story which is only hinted at in this first installment.

The writing is top notch and there are lovely gems of poetic turn of phrase throughout. The characters are reasonably well developed, though some get more of a look in than others. Between the joy of discovery as the world is uncovered and the strong pace of the plot as it progresses, there is plenty here to keep readers engaged throughout. Looking forward to Book 2.

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  • Scott
  • 07-05-21

Spectacular

Absolutely fantastic!!!
Dark complex and thoroughly entertaining. One of my favourite writers and I especially love the links that loosely tie ALL of his books to the same broken world.
Highly recommend Marks other masterpieces. Especially “Prince of Thorns”, and the other books in this trilogy “King of Thorns”, and “Empire of Thorns”
Thank you Mark Lawrence, Excellent!!!!

For those who are fans of this genre, I would also highly recommend “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfus