I am sitting down to write this review of a book that I have enjoyed so very much, I am just putting that out there. I am not sure how to translate how I feel about this book, it is incredible, brutal, beautiful all at once. My initial reaction was this....
This is a beautiful novel, it has just about everything. A compelling set of characters, an awesome and effective magic system, a bleak and intriguing world and a brutal coming of age story. This is everything that I would expect from Mark Lawrence and more, I have seen it noted that is the best book of 2017, I will reserve my judgements as there are quite a few months to go, but I will say this is easily one of the best books to read in 2017. The story of Nona is powerful and unforgettable, Mark Lawrence I take my hat of to you once again.
Here is a brief description of this book
I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.
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 challenge you not to read this with an introduction like this, Mark has created a bleak dangerous world that is dying, this has given rise to many different religious sects, as well as an obsession with finding bloodlines. I will say absolutely no more as it will spoil the story. Needless this is an excellent story, the magic system is awesome as it applies to so many different parts of what the characters can and cannot do. Speaking of the characters, they are wonderful, memorable and everything in between.
The central character is Nona Grey, her story is unforgettable, the journey she goes on is brutal, a coming of age like no other. An other character that I really reading was Abbess Glass, her story, back story and journey are as intriguing and exciting as Nona's and many things are brought to forefront when it is known that Nona is at the convent. The convent itself is almost like a character, it is home to Nona and so many others and is a convent like no other, as it trains killers, and effective killers at that.
This is an intense story, heavily thematic with issues of race, religion and spirituality but Mark does not bog you down, this is only a 467 page book. It is an immersive story, I felt like a like a silent observer when reading this rather just a reader. I have said before and will say again, there is a beauty to Mark Lawrence's writing that makes him one the best writers working at the moment. A joy to read and wander at the worlds and characters that he creates, one again Mark I take my hat off to you for writing one of the best novels of 2017.
Remember, find your path and control your demons.
If you have read and enjoyed Red Sister, leave a comment so that we can discuss this wonderful novel.
As always Happy Reading!