Friday, April 21, 2017

#Saturday Review - Red Sister by Mark Lawrence #Epic Fantasy @Mark__Lawrence ‏ @AceRocBooks

Series: Book of the Ancestor # 1
Format: Kindle, 432 pages
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Ace Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic 

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…

Red Sister is the first installment in author Mark Lawrence's Book of the Ancestor series. Lawrence is also the author of the Broken Empire Trilogy, which I have not read. Red Sister follows a girl known as Nona Grey. When readers first meet Nona, she is only (8) years old, but in reality, she comes across as a young woman twice her age. Lawrence takes readers on a journey that sees Nona taken away from her mother, and sold. Later, she is spirited away to a place called Sweet Mercy Convent after she is nearly hanged.  

By the time Nona is saved from being hanged, and brought to Sweet Mercy, she had already faced more challenges than most students will face in a lifetime. Sweet Mercy is filled with girls from a whole array of backgrounds. Some rich. Some dirt poor. Everyone has their quirks and their issues. This is a story that features girls in a school. What happens when you have girls in a school? There are bullies. There is jealously. There is infighting, and hair pulling, and jokes played on the newbies, and it is a place where you better pay attention because you never know when your teacher might try to poison you. 

Sweet Mercy is a place where the girls are separated into (4) classes: Red (9-12), Grey (13-14), Mystic (15-16), & Holy (17-19). Along with the (4) separate classes, there are also (4) paths for novices to take. Bride of the Ancestor, Martial Sister, Sister of Discretion, and Mystic Sister. Four is a key component of this series. The story is set in a world called Abeth. It is a fictitious world where the people of Abeth descend from (4) different tribes; Gerant, Hunska, Marjal, & Quantal. Also, there are (4) key characters that stand out among a large cast of characters. Besides Nona, there is also Arabella, Zole, & Clera. Please don't overlook Hessa. She really is an amazing character who is not only disabled, but one of the few friends that Nona has.

A large part of this story is centered around the actual teachings, while there are flashbacks interspersed here and there which tells how Nona's past is something that should be not be ignored. There is also something very important about Nona that makes her intriguing to those at Sweet Mercy and beyond. Because of her blood, she has much more of a future than most of the girls she meets along the way. I am just going to jump feet first and say this; The beginning and the ending are the most action packed and dramatic than most of the story. While there is a bit of a let down in the middle, I rather understand what the author is trying to translate to us as readers, rather than just take things as they come. 

Upon finishing this story, I compared the book to Grace Mercy but with the girl from Logan as the lead character. 

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