Book Review – Red Sister by Mark Lawrence


Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s not until you’re broken that you find your sharpest edge

A brilliant new series from the bestselling author of PRINCE OF THORNS.

“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.


So, I was a bit hesitant about reading this book as I didn’t really enjoy Prince of Thorns however the description was enticing enough I decided to give it a try. I was hooked from the first page as it has an absolutely fantastic opening (which I won’t post as I don’t want to spoil it for you). The opening is set in the future then it jumps back to the start to explain how we got to the situation we saw in the prologue and after such a great prologue, you’re hooked on finding out what happened.

The main character, Nona, is absolutely fantastic. She was about to be hung due to trying to kill a man that was harassing her friend and immediately I adored her. Nona is all about caring about her friends and wanting to help them and if there’s anything that will make me adore a book it’s female friendships and this book has plenty of them. It also has rivalry too, which is natural given that the characters are a group of girls being trained in a variety of skills so there will be competition between them. The rest of the characters are all really lovely too and I enjoyed seeing them all grow and their own motivations.

Because the setting is mostly at the convent, we don’t get to see too much of the world but we get a lot of tantalising glimpses of the worldbuilding which is fantastic and I’m definitely keen on finding out more about the world and the history of it. The main feature is that there were four different tribes that settled the area and every so often, children are born with the blood of one of these tribes prominent. Nona has Hunska blood which gifts her incredibly fast speed. The world is mostly covered in ice with just a small corridor of land that is suitable for living although some groups do also manage to survive out on the ice.

Tying all these fantastic elements together is some absolutely beautiful prose. It was a joy to read and I constantly found myself staying up late reading it as I just couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed this book so much that not only will I be eagerly awaiting the next in the series, but I’m going to go back and re-read Prince of Thorns and the rest of the Broken Empire books just because I enjoyed the writing so much.

If you enjoy Fantasy, I would definitely recommend this book although I doubt I’ll need to do that much given how much interest I’ve already seen focused on it (Also it would make an excellent choice for the Fantasy Bingo as it would fulfill a couple different squares).


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