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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

Spoiler-Free Book Review: The Book That Wouldn't Burn by Mark Lawrence


A book cover of The Book That Wouldn't Burn by Mark Lawrence.

The Book That Wouldn’t Burn ignited a burning desire to read more from Mark Lawrence; after finishing, I immediately bought The Red Sister—same author, different series—because he is good. Oh man, is he good.


His prose is a work of art.


In TBTWB, follow the pages of Livira's and Evar's stories in alternating, third person POVs. Livira is a smart and sassy; she unwillingly stumbles upon the opportunity of a lifetime by obtaining an internship (more or less) at the enigmatic Library, losing her home in the process. Evar is smart and sweet; he and his "siblings" are trapped, alone in the Library, until Evar finds a book with a mysterious note addressed to him.


Destiny unfolds as you might expect, with the pair meeting, but what happens next is not something you will see coming.


I will say, the first half of this book crept by like a sloth. The writing was beautiful, but there didn't appear to be a lot happening, giving TBTWB the feel of a tranquil river: beautiful, but still.


However, once Lawrence made a splash, I could not put the book down.

Lawrence also has a unique way of introducing expository information in this—I remarked to a friend that it felt like the reader was learning things backward. But there is an order to the disorder. Upon finishing TBTWB, I not only understood why Lawrence chose to exposit the way he did, but I loved it.


This story blew my mind. Oh, and it broke my heart. But I think it will be mended by the time the second book comes out, so I look forward to reading more!

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