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Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
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Compelling!

I hung in every word, I was caged with the children sold by their parents, ran the path with Nona, sweated with Abbess Glass as the inquisitors took her for trial, and waited with baited breath as actions and plans came into being, at a cost and with little hope of survival.
Nona as the scapegoat, is pursued by assassins and is the target of a vengeful wealthy family.
Lawrence maintains the intensity and the raw untrammeled moments of terror brilliantly.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Mar 17, 2019 |
As much as I enjoy how fierce Nona is, I think the aspect I enjoyed most in this book was the unending love for the novices that was shown by both Abbess Glass and Sister Kettle. It was incredibly moving to see Kettle claim that even though Nona is a novice, she knows that Nona is her sister and that she will protect her no matter what. To see Nona's loyalty and love reciprocated by the people she looks up to was really satisfying and endearing. ( )
  Lahkesis | Mar 16, 2019 |
Read the first book of a series, and it stands on its own. Read its sequel, and I'm constantly judging it against its predecessor. I'm happy to report that Grey Sister holds its own. While in Red Sister, most of the story was from Nona's point-of-view, now we get to know other characters better (Abbess Glass and Sister Kettle, especially), and the story grows beyond just Nona's experiences. And I really appreciated Lawrence starting the book with a refresher on the important points from Red Sister, as the reminder was useful! ( )
  Silvernfire | Mar 3, 2019 |
4.5 stars. A strong follow-up to a strong first novel in the trilogy. I’m ready for book 3. ( )
  chavala | Dec 29, 2018 |
Mark Lawrence continues to get better and better with every new series. The Book of the Ancestor series may be his best yet. In book two, Grey Sister we return to Nona and the Convent of Sweet Mercy. Nona was sold into slavery and waiting for a hangman’s noose when she was rescued by Abbess Glass and sent to the Convent of Sweet Mercy to begin her training as a deadly nun in the first book, Red Sister. Now, several years later, Nona has continued to fill her potential as a “three blood” possessing skills of three of the tribes that came to this planet long ago. A planet covered in ice save for a narrow band around the middle that is warmed by an artificial moon that is slowly falling.

Nona has become even more deadly, but she has powerful enemies inside and outside the convent. Nona feels deeply. Her feelings sometimes pull her in opposite directions as she wants both to protect her friends and take vengeance on those who have hurt her and her friends in the past. Nona has to navigate this delicate tightrope as she is manipulated, driven to flee and pursued away from the convent. She must confront enemies from her past and fight her way to freedom. One thing is certain when Nona is involved; the path forward will be bloody.

Mark Lawrence has not only created another memorable character in Nona, but he has surrounded her with strong supporting characters, many of whom seem worthy of books of their own. Abbess Glass is a strong, fallible character who still manages to pull threads on a tapestry only she can see. We get to know Nona’s friend and classmate, Zole, a little better in this book. Nona’s enemies, including classmate Joeli, the powerful Raymel Tacsis, and the Emperor’s own sister, all have reasons to want Nona dead. These and many other characters are powerfully drawn and much more than two-dimensional characters.

The world-building in this series is incredibly vivid and interesting. Lawrence describes his world organically, revealing it through the way it affects his characters lives, their history, their motives and their actions. If the indelible characters and the fascinating world weren’t enough, Lawrence adds in great action and battles enough to satisfy the most blood-thirsty, particularly the battle at the end. The action is made all the more tense by the strong connection he invites to his characters, both those you love and those you hate.

Mark Lawrence is one of the top writers of fantasy in the business and Grey Sister displays all of his considerable talents. The series is a must-read for anyone who loves epic fantasy or just anyone who loves strong, character-driven stories. I can’t wait for the next volume in this series.

The audiobook is narrated by Heather O’Neill who was nominated for an Audie for her work on Red Sister and is equally outstanding narrating this book. The cast of characters, from young girls, nuns of various ages, courtly individuals and peasants are all captured with equal facility by O’Neill. Her narration easily helps you picture the distinct individuals speaking and her pacing reflects and enhances both the physical action and the emotional turmoil of each scene. An outstanding performance and one that makes audio my preferred method of reading this series.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this audiobook by the publisher. ( )
1 vote tottman | Jul 3, 2018 |
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For my grandmother, Beatrice "BG" Georgina, who knew with absolute certainty that I would be a ship's captain
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The dissolution of any monastery or convent is not something to be lightly undertaken.
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"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"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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