The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence : Review

A boy has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.

A girl has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.

The world has never even noticed them. That’s about to change.

Their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another. A journey on which knowledge erodes certainty, and on which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned.

Having read only a couple of Mark Lawrence’s books in the past, I approached The Book That Wouldn’t Burn with some uncertainty about what I was getting into or how much I would enjoy it. Happily, the novel exceeded my expectations, offering a captivating and thought-provoking read that kept me engaged from start to finish. Even weeks after finishing it, I still find myself pondering the story, a testament to its lingering impact. Defying easy categorization, the genre of this book proves difficult to define, adding an intriguing layer to its overall appeal.

I loved many aspects of The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence. The characters were fascinating, with each one having their own unique qualities and motivations. The worldbuilding was impressive, transporting me to a vividly imagined setting that was filled with captivating details. The story itself was engrossing, full of suspense and unexpected surprises. Overall, it was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated for its memorable characters, immersive world, and gripping plot. As someone who typically doesn’t enjoy grimdark stories, I found it nice that The Book That Wouldn’t Burn struck a commendable equilibrium, weaving in elements of grimdark without overwhelming the overall narrative.

One thing that deserves special attention is the importance of reading the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. I must admit, I tend to overlook them in books, and the same happened initially with this one until one caught my eye. It was a bit peculiar to find myself in the midst of intense scenes, only to unexpectedly laugh at the cleverness of an epigraph or the name of its attributed author. These witty additions brought a delightful and amusing layer to the overall reading experience, and I would hate for others to miss out on them.

Overall, I found this book to be absolutely fantastic,  and I can’t recommend it enough. My only disappointment was that it had to end, leaving me eagerly anticipating the release of the next book in the trilogy. I’ve been excitedly sharing my enthusiasm for this book with everyone I know who likes to read and anyone I know who doesn’t but is willing to listen. It definitely left a lasting impression on me.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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