Red Sister by Mark Lawrence | Book Review

★★★★★
April 1st – 6th

This review has been proving difficult to write, and I’m not entirely sure why. I loved this book. I feel like I’ve been looking for a series I can sink my teeth into for such a long time, and this was definitely the start of that.

Nona Grey is a peasant from an unnamed village. Her people gave her to a man who sells children, where she was sold to become a fighter. But along the way something violent occurs and Nona is accused of trying to murder the son of one of the wealthiest men in the country. As she’s about to hang for her crime, she’s saved by Abbess Glass of the Sweet Mercy convent and ushered into training to be a sister.

There’s a lot to unpack here. It’s a high fantasy novel that takes place on a planet which is mostly covered in ice, where only a 50 mile stretch of land is still inhabitable around the equator. The ice is kept at bay by an artificial moon which focuses the heat of a dying star to keep it away. There’s magic and poison and fight sequences and relationships all within this book.

About 100 pages into the story, I realized I was totally hooked. And the best part was that I was hooked without anything really having happened yet. When I’m hooked by the world-building, I know I’m in for a great ride. Red Sister didn’t disappoint in this way, and Lawrence’s writing is absolutely breath-taking, even when he’s just describing the day to day happenings of Nona and her friends.

The full trilogy is out now, and I’ll definitely be continuing in this series.

-Siobhan