“Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch.”
This ARC was provided by NetGallery in exchange for an honest review. Release date in Australia is 6th if April 2017.
I went into Red Sister with apprehension, because I didn’t love this authors other series Broken Empire. So automatically knowing this was a YA I thought I’d hate it. However I got it completely wrong, I actually really enjoyed reading this book and it was actually a fantastic coming of age, YA book. I honestly thought Mark would have struggled transitioning from grimdark and adult fantasy to a YA novel, however the transition was smooth and it was the best book I’ve read by him yet. However it had a few issues, that’s why it isn’t getting five stars from me, but I honestly think the rest of the series will be awesome and more then likely a favourite for myself.
“Truth is a weapon and lies are a necessary shield.”
The book is about an orphaned girl named Nona who has been accused for a crime and is to be hung, however she is brought by the sisters of the Sweet Mercy nunnery, where their girls are taught the way of the blade and fist. After ten years of training they become badass nun assassins.
Seriously this book is as good as it sounds.
Reasons why I loved this book;
• Nona is a total badass and I really enjoyed her POV. Nona is aged 9-12 through majority of the book but is extremely mature.
• The background characters were amazing.
• The world building was beautiful and VIVID.
• All storylines were all interconnected. So it was very interesting.
• The FRIENDSHIPS were so realistic and wonderful, like I wish the girls were my best friends in real life.
• It was so BADASS! It had nuns who were basically ninjas and kicked butt, there was lesbian relationships and a whole lot of gore and delicious death.
• All characters were girls. Even tho it lacked the sass you’d expect from a female driven cast, it still was well written. Especially because a man wrote it. It touched on issues like periods and cramps and like I said before it explores bi-sexual and lesbian relationships within the nunnery. (please note: these relationships will likely be broadened in future books).
• The storyline is awesome and extremely well thought, obviously Mark Lawrence spent a lot of time planning this novel and it definitely paid off.
• It was BRUTAL and extremely STABBY, just the way I like it.
I found this image on google while searching for Nona fanart, funnily enough this is exactly how I picture my badass cinnamon roll.
Like I said before it wasn’t all good.. In Fact I found a few issues, I didn’t like the fact that majority of this book was spent in training. I get that the characters needed that training to develop, however it was kinda boring and I could have done without half the shit that I read, but that’s just me and some people would have loved it because it was realistic and definitely had the usual things that come with training in a school eg bullying, making friends, learning skills etc. But I just find all that stuff boring. I live for the action and gore. I also didn’t like the start, I’ve always found Marks writing hard to digest. Don’t get me wrong his a wonderful world builder, there’s just something that doesn’t agree with me and it’s his use of words and the way he describes things, it definitely needs to be read slowly and you must get used to that style of writing as it is very unique. After a few chapters I stopped noticing the writing and it was no longer a hinderance for me, it actually became quite beautiful. I also found this book to be abit of a slow burn some parts would be exciting then it would get boring then exciting again, which I don’t enjoy I like consistent badassery. But those are my only three real issues with the book and are all very minor. I think most readers of YA and adult fantasy would enjoy this novel.
“Every star, turning in the black depth of heaven, burns for no better reason than that humanity raised its face to look. Every great deed needs to be witnessed. Go out there and do something great.”
Recommended to fantasy and to YA readers 15+ who are looking for a coming of age novel with a twist, it’s very gorey and quite brutal, it had animal torture and castration. So don’t rush out and buy it for your 12 year old daughter.
Review by Luna.