At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
Alright. So I've been gone for awhile.
I said I was taking the month of December off... and just kind of extended it through March. Nice, quiet little vaca from blogging, right?...
Right, anyway, I read Red Sister months ago, in February of this year to be precise, as soon as Netgalley finally allowed me to download a copy after the 5000th time trying to send it to my kindle.
I don't blame them, but I will hold a grudge against their sharing system for the rest of my life.
While I was reading Mark Lawrence's newest work, I'll admit I was tired. I was in a slump (that's what we'll call it) and I hadn't picked up a book since this one until a couple days ago. So I haven't been secretly reading soon to be released, popular novels and stowing away my opinion just to spite all the readers anxiously awaiting release day (which is tomorrow btw), I simply haven't had any opinions to share. My brain quit working, I'm still not quite back yet, and that has made writing this review incredibly difficult.
I was actually, really, really excited to read Red Sister. I love Mark Lawrence's other works and I was really hoping to be a great reader and spread the word on his soon to be released novel Red Sister (again, releasing tomorrow), but I've failed miserably and I didn't even take all these months gloat about my ARC like my usual selfish self.
Let me say, first and foremost, this is a really good book. Mark has created a solid concept with a new, refreshing take on fantasy, and it's a strong piece of feminine heroism. And what more could this Trump ruled world need than a good old ass kicking heroin to look up to? These girls work their asses off, and then they fight their asses off and it is epic.
I enjoyed seeing the world through a non-chosen-one perspective. Nona isn't anyone special, she's a normal girl with a terrible past and a hard life to look forward to, but she takes the opportunity she's given to learn and to grow and to become something more than the simple farm girl she would have been had she not been thrown into the convent with the other sisters. This book isn't about being special, it's about becoming special, about becoming empowered and confident in your abilities and it's really a fantastic look at the world.
Everyone who has been fretting, waiting, biding their time, kicking themselves for not being a blogger to get their hands on an advanced copy and cheating the system... Trust me, it is worth the wait. It may start off a bit slow, but I know Mark will grow this world into the epic tale he intends it to be.
About the Author
Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, 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 comes the bestselling RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. The BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy, in an entirely new setting, commences with RED SISTER in 2017. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.
Buy the Book