Wednesday 2 August 2017

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Book Title: Red Sister
Author: Mark Lawrence
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Review Copy (but I loved it so much, I'm buying that the moment I get a chance.)

Goodreads, Amazon UK

Goodreads Summary: 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…
I got a review copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

What did I think?
"It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men."
I fell in love with this one almost immediately. Mark Lawrence's writing is beautiful, almost poetic. You can tell he chose each word meticulously. If I was one to highlight, half this book would be highlighted by now.

I enjoyed Lawrence's Broken Empire but Red Sister may as well have been written by an entirely different author.

It's a dark story. It's right there in the premise, of course: a convent where young girls are raised to be killers. But it's oh so beautiful. At no point is the violent excessive and at no point do bad things happen just so the author can claim his work is grimdark or gritty.

The protagonist is a young girl, Nona. She's a terrific character and not only feels real but is well developed and someone I could immediately connect with. She's damaged, but fiery and passionate and fights for what she believes in.

The magic system and world building are both mesmerising and full of potential and possibilities. It's a captivating world. The main theme is friendship and a lot of what happens is heartbreaking.

I'm not usually a fan of the school trope and I found some of the time we spend following Nona through her training dragged a bit, but that's the only criticism I've got. Other than that I loved it and can't wait for the next instalment.

Highly recommended to any fantasy fans.


  1. Oh! Nice cover! Plus a 5 heart rating? Excellent.

    I also love the synopsis! What is worse than murder?

    I like that this one has such a dark premise and yet there was nothing done just to make it gritty. I also like that the magic system and world building are well done - that's always important. Also friendship as a theme is a great one for me.

    This one is going on my TBR. Lovely review!

    1. I hope you will love this one, just like I did. Thank you for stopping by.