Red Sister

Red Sister

by Mark Lawrence

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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The international bestselling author of the Broken Empire and the Red Queen’s War trilogies begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secretive order of holy warriors...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.
A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family—and new enemies. 
Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself.
Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101988879
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Series: Book of the Ancestor Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 21,075
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Mark Lawrence is a research scientist working on artificial intelligence. He is a dual national with both British and American citizenship, and has held secret-level clearance with both governments. At one point, he was qualified to say, “This isn’t rocket science—oh wait, it actually is.” He is the author of the Broken Empire trilogy (Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, and Emperor of Thorns), the Red Queen’s War trilogy (Prince of Fools, The Liar’s Key, and The Wheel of Osheim) and the Book of the Ancestor series (Red Sister).

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Excerpted from "Red Sister"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Mark Lawrence.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Red Sister 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Red Sister is the first in the Book of the Ancestor series, by British author, Mark Lawrence. In the world of Abeth, Nona Grey is given to Giljohn, the child-taker, by the village that doesn’t want her. After some months travelling in a cage of children, she is purchased by Partnis Reeve, the Caltess fight-hall owner in the city of Verity. That each of these changes is a genuine step up from the last says much about her village. When she is about to be hung without trial, the Abbess Glass plucks her from the gallows, taking her to the Sweet Mercy Convent to be trained as a nun. As a novice, Nona will undergo years of training, while her gifts and talents are assessed. The ultimate path she follows will depend on these, and if she is skilled in armed and unarmed combat, she may become a Martial Sister (Red Sister). But before Nona even arrives at Sweet Mercy, she seems to have stepped on some influential toes, toes of the rich and vengeful. More than one attempt is made to remove her and, as these are no sedate, non-violent nuns, quite a bit of bloodshed ensues. Lawrence begins his tale with a prologue that entices the reader to read beyond the first book, reinforcing that halfway through with another intriguing piece. As the reader follows Nona’s journey, Lawrence seamlessly builds his fascinating world, throwing in twists and red herrings to keep the tale interesting, before building to a dramatic climax. He kindly includes at the beginning an author’s note that can be referred to for information about characters and their world. Fans will look forward to Book Two, Grey Sister. Clever and original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"IT IS IMPORTANT, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men." When a story, the pro begins with lines like these, how do you not? Set in a world not unlike GoT, Nona's parents sold her off at 8, she's about to be hanged for killing an evil version of the Rock to save her friend and is, in turn, saved by the Head Sister of Sweet Mercy convent, school for bad ass novices to became kick ass nuns. We don't know why she got the special, personal invite, but, why not. Better than the noose. And that's about all I can say without feeling like I could spoil it - I totally could. Just read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves you with heart thudding, eyes tearing, and knowing much more about yourself than when you started. Intense action, intelligent plotting, no mistakes, and characters drawn with such intense honesty that you see youself in a new light as you read. Like a blend of Gene Wolfe and Joe Abercrombie, better than JRR Martin. Perhaps the best author I've ever read in literally thousands
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Red Sister Red Sister, book 1 in Lawrence’s new Book of the Ancestor trilogy is amazing and a testament to his masterfully unique storytelling voice. Using his characteristic dark prose he’s made sure to dot all his beautifully violent world building i’s and cross all his mystical magical t’s eloquently locking together all the intricate story pieces. His noir-ish lead character(s) and amazing co-stars drive this fast-paced action packed start to another of his epic tales giving new meaning to Holy War. Nona is not his first child protagonist and like his first is an unapologetic combination of innocence and maturity garnering not only empathy from his audience but a bit of terrible awe as he takes Nona and her friends from wet behind the ear novices to full-fledged, licensed to kill, warrior nuns. Abandoned by her mother, and sold by her village 9 year-old misfit Nona Gray eventually winds up in prison for the attempted murder of a despicable but noble bully. She escapes the hangman’s noose with the help of the Abbess of the Sweet Mercy Convent who takes her in as a novice with the intent to train her to become a fierce and deadly weapon to fight in the prophesied upcoming holy war. Is the convent and the Abbess enough to keep her safe until she reaches the maturity and skill to fulfill it, or will the factions who want her dead succeed?
Anonymous 8 days ago
I liked the story
Anonymous 11 days ago
Great book! This is one of those special books you find occasionally that you can't put down. I'm starting on the next book in the trilogy asap.
Anonymous 23 days ago
A fine book.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Ok. Characters not well developed and seemed like mix os Sharon Shinn’s books about the angels mixed with last Wolverine movie. Action moved along, though.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really appreciated the world and character building. The story was well developed and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good beginning and and an interesting magic system.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad but feels like there's a lot of filler.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Nona Grey is about to be hung! She has attempted to murder an upper-class lord who deserves the slit throat he gets but will never forgive his attempted assassin. Rescued by a nun, Nona is taken to the Convent of Sweet Mercy, a misnomer if there were ever one. The convent includes a variety of young girls and women who are being trained in multiple facets of war. Nona will spend three years preparing to graduate as a warrior. For most of the novel, the reader is never quite sure who a precise enemy is. We know that the Convent is located in a very cold, hard area where stone, cliffs and frozen rivers are the norm. So Nona begins to trust her classmates – somewhat as one is never sure who is friend or foe here as the competition is fierce for victory. She is taught the crafts of sword fighting, poisoning, wrestling, physical battle, reading and writing, and the path to serenity or “The Path,” as it is known. It sounds like a martial arts academy based on spiritual principles but with no room for weakness or giving in. The goal is success, no matter how violent, cruel or deadly. It initially is debatable whether Nona is “The Chosen One” foreseen in a prophecy believed by the Sisters at the Convent. There are various categories of humans who hold a secret skill in one form of battle. Nona must learn to conquer the weaknesses she carries that prevent her from doing better, most of all her temper. Yet that same temper will enable her to win her first competition against a relative of an upper class enemy. How to control that gift and use it to its maximum effect is the challenge! The last few chapters of this superb story will leave you breathless as Nona confronts evil incarnate. I don’t normally go for novels that are very violent but this one had a “ninja-like” quality that hooked me completely! Looking forward to the next novel in the series! Think most readers will as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. The story keeps you intrigued until the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's been a while since I've read a book I didn't want to put down. Red Sister is such a book. Onward now to Grey Sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It will be a classic. Nona Grey is one of the best badass female characters ever. I can’t wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark Lawrence's best book yet. My only qualm was that the plot twist was rather obvious in what was to come.
HouseValerius More than 1 year ago
Nona is about to be hanged as a killer when Abbess Glass intervenes, taking the nine-year-old girl away from prison to the comparative safety of the Convent of Sweet Mercy. As she is trained in the use of her gifts, Nona struggles to adapt to her new way of life, even as others plot to see her dead. Told almost exclusively through Nona’s eyes, Red Sister takes place in a declining empire. One where the phrase “he who has the gold, makes the rules.” seems to prevail and where ancient bloodlines sometimes come to the fore, giving Nona and several of her new sisters speed, strength or magical abilities. A lot of time is spent on Nona's varying lessons, ranging from unarmed combat to spiritual enlightenment, and the way she gradually comes to befriend and open up to some of her classmates. A lot of this may seem familiar but it's very well done, especially the gradual reveal, as Nona tells two different versions before finally confessing the truth of her past. Despite the fact that the plot rarely leaves the convent, we still learn a surprising amount about the world outside it. Never in any great detail but there enough hints to keep us wanting more. There are mentions of demons, a world where the available land has shrunk between huge ice fields, buried starships; certainly more than enough to have me wanting to read the next instalment. There's plenty of blood and violence in this book so someone picking it up with the impression that since the main character is as young as she is, it must be for younger kids, would no doubt be in for a shock. But fortunately the opening sentence, probably the best I've read this year, should make things clear pretty quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved every bit ogf this story. Its everything i want in fantasy and adventure and stong female leads
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books I have read and that's a lot. Congratulations to Mark.
FantasyRaider More than 1 year ago
Red sister was my first read form Mark Lawrence, not my only book from him but the first that I actually read so I can’t compare to those. It was a slower process than I would have liked which is partly because of the slow pace of the story and partly because I’m in the middle of a home renovation project so I couldn’t really find enough time to read. Anyway even so the plot starts out quite slowly just for the last couple of chapters worth every minute I spent on it. I really enjoyed this book and can recommend it to everybody who likes fantasy. The world building is remarkable intricate, quite complex and imaginative. It’s really interesting how the little things connect and different layers of this world wove together. And I know that the story is a fantasy so basically/possibly the world is a make-believe one but thorough the whole story it felt for me like a post-apocalyptic Earth, where after the death of the sun scientist created a artificial moon which substitutes the some of the factions of the sun but all of this left an ice age like situation on Earth also the people kind of reversed back into the dark ages. I don’t know why but for some reason for me it felt like it based on the stories the characters told about the moon, the ice plates, the ark and even the shiphearts. Other than the actual appearance of the planet the world building also consists of a magical, otherworldly element with the paths. This part of the world also really complex but this also left me confused because the way how this power works is explained, taught by the nuns but in a really obscured and sentimental fashion which didn’t help me to understand it. Nona sighed. It was all very well Sister Pan making pretty speeches but it would be much more helpful if she would just tell them what they needed to know. If you understood something you should be able to explain it: if you didn’t understand it then you had no business teaching it. Either way, having the old woman spout poetry at them didn’t help at all. So as I mentioned earlier the plot is quite slow burning but really interesting and keeps you glued to the pages from beginning to end. I also need to mention that it has a lot of bloody and brutal, here I mean broken and hurt little, some abused animals and such. So if you are sensitive about things like that then this book is not for you. Practically the whole story is narrated by Nona but there are a couple of chapters that are not. These add a certain level of mystery to the story also first they confused me but later I realized that their purpose probably was to throw us off, to put a spin in the events. Why? Because they made me doubt everything I thought I figured out about the story and the characters. All in all they are a great addition to the structure of the book. There are quite a few characters in the story and most of them play a really big part in it but the main character is still Nona. I absolutely loved her character, despite my reservations in the beginning regarding her age. She is a phenomenal, well fleshed out and astonishingly complex main character. She develops a lot during the plot. She is a fiery and a bit wild, a young girl who is not just lonely and mistrustful towards almost everybody but also trying to understand her newfound powers. She is really smart even so she can’t read and write in the beginning but she knows to ask the right questions. I just can’t get over how multilayer and amazingly built her personality is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very fun writing style, just the right amount of depth, and a really creative setting makes for a delightful read. Highly recommend for fans of dark fantasy/ epic fantasy