The Girl and the Mountain

Written by Mark Lawrence⎮ Narrated by Helen Duff

Author: Mark Lawrence
Narrator: Helen Duff
Length: 16 hour 51 minutes
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Released: Apr. 13, 2021
Genre: Fantasy

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Sophia Rose's Review

4 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its publisher, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Penguin!

The Girl and the Stars ended on a dark, breathtaking cliffhanger and so with trepidation I took up my earbuds and launched in to this second leg of the trilogy which must be listened to in order.

Yaz and her friends have spent most of the first book learning about the world below the ice where her tribe and others have always lived a harsh existence. Now, she must journey through the hair-raising tunnels under the ice to the black mountain where the magical priests reside, enter the priest’s mountain, and learning what is needed to reach her and her friends’ goal. If they can survive long enough in lethal conditions against wicked odds.

Because this is book two and there are some stunning surprises and twists from the first book and this one, I will purposefully not be detailing out a summary. Readers should definitely check out the publisher’s blurbs for that.

The world building is amazing as is the intricately layered character and relationship development going on including the villains of the piece. The tone is edgy even though the characters are mostly young adult. They must explore and make choices that have far-ranging consequences that are often life and death. I enjoy the fantasy world the author has created, but the breath-stealing action moments and surprises about the characters are just as fascinating. And, the narration is now split so that Yaz, Thurin, Quell, and others get their turn to tell the story from their own perspectives giving it a much grander feel.
I loved that we were past the introduction to world and characters and the author could push forward with plot and start filling in backgrounds and further knowledge of the characters that make sense as the book progresses. It does tend to drag in parts through the first half even while they encounter trouble after trouble on their journey because the troubles under the ice start to get repetitive to me so I hoped for something new to happen, but that last bit is fairly flying and my head was spinning from the dizzying excitement and reveals.

The first book had me a little confused how this trilogy fit with the previous one though I understood that chronologically this one was probably running slightly parallel just in a different part of the world. I knew Yaz, the heroine, is a crossover figure, but finally started seeing things coming full circle as events in this book marched toward Yaz showing up and playing her part in the Book of the Ancestor series.

As to the narrator, Helen Duff, does an incredible job bringing Yaz and the larger cast of characters to life. She is a great match for the tone of the book and helped me keep focus during long descriptive or contemplative stretches of the story. Like any splendid narrator, she made a good book even better. The production side was excellent.

All in all, this latest did not surprise me when it left things in a dire place once again and set up the third and final installment so that I am impatient to get my hands on it. Fantasy lovers really need to give this series and the original Book of the Ancestors a go.

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