“It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”
This is how the book starts.
“Hers the stillness of the forest, rooted restlessness, oak-slow, pine-quick, a seething patience. Hers the stillness of ice walls that face the sea, clear and deep, blue secrets held cold against the truth of the world, a patience of aeons stacked against a sudden fall. Hers the stillness of a sorrow-born babe unmoving in its crib. And of the mother, frozen in her discovery, fleeting and forever.”
And this is just an example of what to expect.
This was my first Mark Lawrence book but I’m going to definitely be reading more. I’m tingling all over, the after effects of a good book I believe.
“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.
My thoughts on the book:
I love school settings.
St.Clair, Harry Potter, Malory Towers I’ve read them all with great pleasure and excitement.
Red Sister is vaguely similar but with a young eight year old and lots of child brutality. And nuns. And instead of useless theory, they’re trained in the various arts of poison, death and careless subtly.
The classes. The food. The dorms. The bathhouse. This book has it all. But in a weird twisted way that you didn’t know you actually wanted unless you started reading it.
The book focuses on Nona Grey, little village child with a large as fuck destiny.
I think she may just be my favourite protagonist yet. She’s so fierce, and angry and protective. She’s unsure of herself, too trusting yet there are secrets that she would never sell over. She judges but never too harshly yet when she fights it’s to kill. Friends are more important than family because you can choose your friend. Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.
Nona is a chILD. A CHILD. But she still takes over the book like any teenage/adult protagonist would. She rules the story by herself. Everything she does.
Now the world. This is a harsh set world. Always cold, cruel, brutal.
The way it’s been written is- the whole world is covered in ice, except for this one long Corridor. It’s because of the dying sun, they say. How do you even think of something like that? The Corridor is ruled by the emperor and under him is the clergy. A church for the priests and a convent for the nuns. They both worship the Ancestor, hence the name The Book Of The Ancestor. There is a lot of violence in this book. Blood, poison, death, murder. If you’re not fond of things as such then you should definitely skip this book. But me being me, I quiet enjoyed this and it wasn’t the one line fight scenes either. It was the properly described fight scenes where you can see each opponent’s line of thought. Absolute gold.
I loved the side characters. I cannot stress how much I love side characters and these were exactly to my liking. They were all young girls ranging from seven to thirteen but the way they spoke, the way they killed was not like something you’d expect a child to do. Sometimes , while writing characters more mature and more ahead of their age authors mess up and instead of giving us a good character, we get a know it all. This book wasn’t like that. How, I don’t know but it wasn’t.
That’s pretty much it actually. There was nothing wrong with this book, as far as I can see. The writing was smooth, the scenes were well described, the characters wonderful.
By far my favourite 2017 read.
Five out of five.