Series: Book of the Ancestor No. 1 Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4/5 stars The Overview: Goodreads
“Red Sister” surprised me in quite a few ways. I’d heard a lot about this author’s Broken Empire trilogy, and much of the hearsay led me to believe I wouldn’t enjoy those books because of difficult subject matter. However, when the author offered me a review copy of “Red Sister,” I decided to accept it … with reservations.
As it turns out, I didn’t need any. “Red Sister” was a really good first installment of The Ancestor series. What surprised me the most was how beautiful his writing and composition were: very lyrical, but always careful not to overwhelm the story. The same could be said about his world building. It was a subtle integration of details that gradually described the interesting ailments of this world. There were a lot of cool ideas that I can’t wait to see expanded on in the next book.
My favorite part of the story was Nona, the main character. She was such an enigma! As with the world building, Lawrence revealed bits and pieces about her past as the story went along, and I enjoyed diving into the mystery of it. She was a very compelling character.
“Red Sister” primarily takes place in a convent where the Sisters train on everything from spiritual focus (involving a bit of magic) to hand-to-hand combat. I love school settings, but it was cool to read about one in a dark and gritty context. But thankfully, it wasn’t too dark, as some of his other works are rumored to be (which I’m sure are still good books as lots of people really like them. I’m just too squeamish). “Red Sister” wasn’t nearly as gritty as I was prepared for, containing just enough to make the events realistic and intense without being off-putting.
Overall, “Red Sister” is a book I’ll be thinking about for a while. I’d recommend it to fantasy readers who don’t mind a little blood and gore. It’s definitely worth your time.
Thanks to Mark Lawrence for the opportunity to read and review “Red Sister.”
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