Release Date: 4th April 2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Page Count: 352
As always with a series written by Mark Lawrence, I laughed. I cried. I mourned. I celebrated. The events and threads throughout Red Sister and Grey Sister all converged perfectly into a heart wrenching conclusion that left me hollow, but also contented – hopeful – for the future ahead of Nona Grey.
“The roar of a crowd invades you like a living thing, reverberating in your chest, taking its answer from your lips without permission.”
We join Nona looking back to the ending of Grey Sister, 3 years ago, and present day leading up to the impending war we’ve been marching towards, and those opening scenes of Red Sister with Sister Thorn. The two timelines, and stories, come together to give us one hell of an ending – this series does not end quietly.
Nona surprised me in this one. She has always been a strong and powerful character, but the amount of growing she does – the choices she makes and the way she evolves – all of it fascinated me and kept me guessing.
“‘At Sweet Mercy they made a weapon out of me. They honed every skill into a sharp edge. They put a sword into my hand, because there will always be foes who must be opposed, always violence that must be met with violence.
‘But that was never the heart of Sweet Mercy. The shipheart wasn’t the foundation of the convent. It was always the faith. Always the notion that all men and women are our brothers and our sisters. And that faith doesn’t end with our borders. It doesn’t care about heresies used to divide us, or whether you speak your prayers to a white star, or to the fields and forests and stones…”
This whole series has been marvellous, and it’s not just the one, lone, strong female that we see – it’s a whole convent of them from the ages of under 10 to over 100 years old. It doesn’t matter the age, or background, each and every one is fierce in their own right – all with their own strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and fears. Old friends also stay with us – some characters from the previous books I didn’t think I’d see again continue to have a hand in the story through Nona’s actions and recollections (I’m not saying more, doing my best to avoid spoilers!).
Mark’s writing always enraptures me – he is masterful in how he builds it all up, weaves in a sprinkling of science to a fantasy world, and keeps up the same level of perfection throughout the entirety of a series. This series was no different, and since finishing I have been unable to stop thinking about the book.
Although I want more, I always want more, Mark brings the series to a close in such a way that I’m also happy – the timing is perfect, as always, and I can leave Nona at the end of the book quite contentedly. I wholeheartedly recommend this series to everyone.
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