Here’s the blurb:
All books, no matter their binding, will fall to dust. The stories they carry may last longer. They might outlive the paper, the library, even the language in which they were first written.
The greatest story can reach the stars . . .
This is the start of an incredible new journey from the internationally bestselling author of Prince of Thorns, in which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned…
Evar has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.
Livira has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.
The world has never noticed them.
That’s about to change.
As their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time, each will unlock vast secrets about the world and themselves. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another.
The Book That Wouldn’t Burn is the beginning of Mark Lawrence’s newest trilogy. Now, he’s said this isn’t related to the previous trilogies, which were all interconnected, but I’m not at all convinced, and perhaps neither will you be when you read some of the chapter headings – which are all taken from made-up books, and perhaps, written by characters from those previous books.
The Book That Wouldn’t Burn, like all Mark’s previous offerings, sucks the reader in almost immediately. It might not quite have Red Sister vibes ‘When killing a nun it’s important to ensure you have…’ but it’s not long before you can’t put the book down.
And yet, as with many of his stories, it can feel as though you’re not entirely sure why you’re enjoying the story so much, and so invested in the two main characters. This isn’t a complaint.
The narrative, skipping between two points of view, moves at odd intervals (again, not a complaint), and just when you might be considering putting the story down, there is a new development, and I warn you all now, without giving away any spoilers, there is one development that will have your jaw dropping in delicious delight.
As with all Mark Lawrence’s books, The Book that Wouldn’t Burn will leave you both satisfied and demanding more. It is a magnificent addition to his already magnificent collection of stories, and I can’t wait for the next instalment. It will also take you some time to reconcile what you’ve read. It’s taken me a good few months to write this review, because to begin with, all I could think was that my mind had been blown.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy. I have ordered the limited edition hardback as well, and it will go, pride of place, next to my other Mark Lawrence editions.
Check out my previous reviews for Mark Lawrence.
Red Sister, Grey Sister, Holy Sister
The Girl and the Stars, The Girl and the Mountain, The Girl and the Moon
For those who don’t know, my obsession with Mark Lawrence’s books began when I was given a free copy of his first book when I preordered the last GRR Martin book in the Game of Thrones series. As of yet, I’ve not finished reading that book, because I want to wait for the next part, but I have read all of Mark Lawrence’s books since then.
Connect with Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence was born in Urbana–Champaign, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, THE BROKEN EMPIRE, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Following The Broken Empire is the related RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. THE BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy is set on a different world and is followed by the related BOOK OF THE ICE trilogy. There is also THE IMPOSSIBLE TIMES trilogy, a D&D/sci-fi work set in London in the 80s. All of these trilogies can be read in any order. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.