cover image The Girl and the Moon

The Girl and the Moon

Mark Lawrence. Ace, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-1-984806-05-5

Lawrence continues to combine stunningly original worldbuilding and multifaceted characters in his third Book of Ice fantasy (after The Girl and the Mountain). The “ice-bound” world of Abeth has only a small habitable zone, the Corridor, at its equator, populated by the remote descendants of Earth, while the icy wilds surrounding it are weathered by tougher tribes. The title character, 16-year-old Yaz, has the blood of a vanished tribe, the Missing, which gives her the power to control the stars. A “wanderer from the ice,” she has finally made it to the Corridor, only to be threatened with execution. Things don’t ease up as Yaz learns more secrets about the Missing, which could impact the survival of all of Abeth. The prose, as always, is top-notch (“The green-landers merely had to stretch out an arm to take hold of the voice of some long-dead father’s father’s father, still strong and clear and perfectly preserved amid the marks left by the scratch of an inky feather”), and Lawrence resolves major plots while preserving the option of setting more stories in this complex, immersive world. With plenty of backstory to get readers up to speed, this will both satisfy devoted followers of the series and captivate newcomers. Agent: Ian Drury, Sheil Land Assoc. (Apr.)