Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

Summary:
They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.
The ice is advancing, the Corridor is narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are inn retreat.
Nona Grey faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that she and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.
Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.
The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.
A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.
Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)Review:
Holy Sister was everything I wanted and more. I am so glad to have found this series because it’s become an all-time favorite of mine, especially with this concluding novel. I have not a single negative thing to say about Holy Sister.
Nona, my girl, was kick ass and brave and loyal and kick ass just like she was in the previous books. I adored her and her relationships. She cares so deeply for the people she loves that she will risk her life for them again and again. She’s also so smart and somehow always managed to find her way out of the wild situations she gets into.
Holy Sister is told in two timelines. Three years ago, and present day. I liked this because ‘three years ago’ started us off right where Grey Sister ended. But we also got to see the current events and antics that the characters are getting into. I think Lawrence did the flashbacks really well, though I would have liked to seen more of Abbess Glass because she was a true Queen.
The world building was also incredible. We got to learn more about Zole and the ice people. I thought that was my favorite part. Learning about how her people have found things under the ice and learned how to use them to their advantage was so interesting. I wanted to know more about what was on the planet before the ice. All the talk about ‘the missing’ left me very curious to know more about them and the history of the world.
Overall, I adored this book. Nona will be one of my favorite characters forever. This world was fascinating and kept me interested the whole time. The magic was fun and complex but had limitations and rules. This is a series I will be recommending more often for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Summary:
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children, the old blood shows, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.
A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care, there is much more to learn than the arts and death. Among her class, Nona finds a new family—and new enemies.
Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even attracting the eye or the emperor himself.
Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.
Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)Review:
I had never heard of Mark Lawrence until making my TBR list for the BookTube SFF Awards. That is the reason that I read this book, but I will be reading the second book, Grey Sister because I enjoyed this first book so much. I’m trying to get more into adult fantasy. I’ve always read and enjoyed it but I’m trying to discover more authors and make more of an effort to read a wider variety of books. I’m glad I found this book because I will certainly be looking into his other books and series.

“Words are steps along a path: the important thing is to get where you’re going.”

This was a very character driven story which I didn’t expect. Because of this, it took me quite a bit of time to get into the story. The first fifty or so pages were tough for me to get through which I think is why it took me so long to actually get around to reading this. I had a few stop/starts with it before really committing to reading it for my O.W.L. Exams. But after I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down. I was sucked into the story.

“Anger had its place, it was a weapon not to be neglected, but so did patience, and Nona decided that control lay in deciding which to use and when.”

I needed to know more about Nona and her journey. There was a hint of an unreliable narrator which was interesting. She told a few lies about herself and made us wait to find out the truth, but I totally believed her until she was proven wrong or told us that she was lying. It kept me on my toes but frustrated me a little because I just wanted to know Nona’s story. Nevertheless, I liked her. She was determined and eager to learn.
I really liked the concept of the convent. The schooling, the levels, the girls all training together. There were such interesting dynamics and relationships. I thought it was really interesting that there were a few occurrences of girl on girl hate like there usually is with girls that age but it never lasted long and I appreciated that.

“Those that burn short burn bright. The shortest lives can cast the longest shadows.”

Part of me doesn’t really even know what to say about this book and what to even talk about. I loved the story. The characters were incredible and annoying and compelling. My only complaints would be that there was a scene of animal cruelty that I couldn’t read and had to skip a few pages to get past it and also ending was confusing and a bit complicated. It seemed almost rushed. Then there were the two bits that were in the future, but it wasn’t specified how far into the future or what really was going on. So, I don’t know that I’d say I was wholly satisfied with the ending. But overall, I was sucked into the story, the world, and I will certainly be continuing onto the next book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.