The Wulver’s Library’s Review of The Book that Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Mark Lawrence and HarperVoyager in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Publication Date: 9 May 2023
Series: Book 1 in The Library Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, Academia, Science Fiction, Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
Review of The Book that Wouldn’t Burn
The Book that Wouldn’t Burn is the start of a new trilogy by Mark Lawrence that is set in the pinnacle of those fantasy settings I adore.
I do adore the library setting in a book but not in the sense of academia, see: “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wizard of Earthsea”. Mark Lawrence’s setting here was ideal for the story it was willing to tell but parts did get a tad repetitive for me. The writing itself flows well and there are no incidents where I was taking out of the story because of this. The prose itself was enjoyable, quick to read and held my attention whilst waiting for me to dive right into each nook and cranny but the pacing itself was uneven. There were parts where I’d be involved in such an epic moment only to be taken out of by a polarising action.
However, the novel as a whole was largely fascinating and each chapter was perfectly woven and connected. The journey here was intricately detailed and extensive but the world-building itself I found lacking. I hope this is rectified in future books. I’m excited to read more in this series.