Format: E-Book, 432 pages
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Epic / Fantasy
The second novel in a brilliant fantasy trilogy from the international bestselling author of Prince of Thorns.
Behind its walls, the Convent of Sweet Mercy has trained young girls to hone their skills for centuries. In Mystic Class, Novice Nona Grey has begun to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the convent, Nona must choose which order to dedicate herself to—and whether her path will lead to a life of prayer and service or one of the blade and the fist.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the designs of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a knife, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she is sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pulls of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain: there will be blood.
Story Locale: Fantasy world
Series Overview: A stunning epic fantasy trilogy about a girl of rare talents who enters a convent to learn the art of combat and is drawn into a battle for empire.
"There will be blood."
Grey Sister is the second installment in author Mark Lawrence's Book of the Ancestor trilogy. For those who have waited a year for this installment to be released, let's summarize what has happened to this point. The series takes place on a planet called Abeth. Abeth orbits a dying red sun. The planet is sheathed in ice and the vast majority of its people live in a 50 mile wide ice-walled Corridor around the equator. An artificial moon, a great orbiting mirror, keeps the Corridor free of ice by focusing the sun's rays into it each night.
It has been thousands of years since the four tribes of man arrived on the planet. The tribes are gerant, hunska, marjal, and quantal. Gerant - Great size and strength. Hunska - Quick speed. Marjal - The ability to tap into lesser magic. Quantal - The ability to walk the Path and work greater magic. It is said that there are four shiphearts that are able to enhance the magical abilities of quantals and marjals. One of those shiphearts was stolen from the Convent of Sweet Mercy in the previous installment.
Nona Grey is the main protagonist of this series, but in this installment, Abbess Glass has her own role and her own storyline that really is important that you don't ignore what happens to her and the Convent of Sweet Mercy where novices are trained in service to the Ancestor. There are four classes of novices; Holy Sister (entirely religious duties), Grey Sister (Sister of Discretion, assassination & stealth), Red Sister (Martial Sister/trained in combat), & Holy Sister (Witch/Mystic Sister/trained to walk the Path).
Nona has been proven to be a triple-blood which is incredibly rare. She has hunska, marjal, and quantal skills. Nona has rapidly risen through the ranks of novices, but there are still a whole lot of challenges that lie ahead of her. Nona has plenty of enemies as well, including Lord Thuran Tacsis and his son Lano after she killed Raymel Tacsis. She's also been betrayed by someone she thought was her friend/sister, and faces even more bullying from fellow novices working with her enemies. Nona has faced some of the most deadly assassins around known as Noi-Guin and they haven't forgotten about her. Nona is also known as the Shield for the apparent Chosen One, Zole who is four-blooded.
In Mystic Class, Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But, so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy, Nona must choose her path. As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has been sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty. Thankfully, Nona has the friendship of Arabella Jotsis, Darla, Jula, Sister Kettle, and even Zole to help her out.
In the previous installment, we learned what name Nona will eventually take once she is done with the Convent. We learned Arabella's name as well. If you loved the first book, Red Sister, you are going to be ecstatic with what Lawrence does in this book. Now that the characters have been introduced, and the worldbuilding has been explained, the author can easily build on that foundation and extend his world even further. There's a bit more levity in this book and there is a steady stream of action, tension, and suspense as well. Lawrence doesn't go easy on her characters, especially Nona. I can't even discuss the ending without having a mouthful of expletives. Oh, did I mention Nona's new friend? Nah, let's not go there. All I will say is that Nona's new friend is sick, and twisted, and dark, and humorous as well! Her friend also gives her some pretty cool new abilities as well.
The third installment, Holy Sister, will release in 2019. I look forward to seeing what Lawrence does next, especially after he shocked the hell out of me with that ending of his. I look forward to learning more about Zole, Abbess Glass, Sister Apple, and of course, Nona.