Holy Sister – Mark Lawrence

“The roar of a crowd invades you like a living thing, reverberating in your chest, taking its answer from your lips without permission.”

(Usual warning: while I try to avoid spoilers, mentioning a character here could serve as a spoiler of who survives earlier novels. The series rocks – go start at book 1! :))

We’ve followed Nona Grey from a scrawny waif to a powerful fighter. But as her strength and abilities have grown, so too have the threats: the ice is closing the corridor, the Empire is under attack from both sides, and powerful people have personal grudges against ‘little’ Nona.

Holy Sister is split into two timelines, one picking up straight after the events at the end of Grey Sister, and the other three years later – so, echoing the jump in the previous book. The short story, Boundserves as a good little bridge between the two time periods, without being necessary.

At first I thought this style might be irritating, but it works really well. We know certain things have happened, but have to find out how. And in the later timeline – oh my goodness, there is so much to find out! This isn’t just a wrapping up of events, this is an explosion of everything! What the shiphearts might be, all about the focus moon, and of course: what kind of Sister Nona will choose to be.

Assassin nuns with magical abilities is a fab premise for a book. But the characters – Apple and Kettle, Nona and Ara, Abbess Glass – these make the story. And what a story – and what an ending! Definitely recommended.

NetGalley eARC: 368 pages / 30 chapters
First published: 2019
Series: Book of the Ancestor book 3 (of 3)
Read from 16th April – 4th May 2019

My rating: 9/10

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