cover image The Book That Wouldn’t Burn

The Book That Wouldn’t Burn

Mark Lawrence. Ace, $29 (576p) ISBN 978-0-593-43791-9

Lawrence (the Broken Empire trilogy) draws readers into a vast subterranean library in this thrilling romantic fantasy and Library Trilogy series launch. After monstrous sabbers attack Livira Page’s village in the backwater known as the Dust, she finds refuge in the big city, where she adjusts quickly despite prejudice against “dusters.” Meanwhile, Evar Eventari and his four siblings live in the mysterious library that stretches beneath the city. It’s the only home they’ve ever known and they share it with a mysterious Mechanism that transforms books into “something to be physically experienced, walked through, partaken in, interrogated, shared.” The quintet spent decades trapped inside the Mechanism before being spit back out again, though they did not age a day in all that time. Each of the siblings gained skills and knowledge from the books they brought into the Mechanism except for Evar, who emerged only with the vague knowledge that he is missing something—or someone—and now he needs to find her. Told over the course of years for Livira and mere days for Evar, this tale of knowledge and its cost flies by thanks to the gripping mystery and beautiful worldbuilding, ending on a devastating cliffhanger. Readers will be desperate for more. Agent: Ian Drury, Sheil Land Assoc. (May)