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Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Book Name: Grey Sister
Author: Mark Lawrence
Publisher(s): Ace (US) HarperVoyager (UK)
Formatt: Hardcover / Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): Fantasy
Release Date: April 3, 2018 (US) May 17, 2018 (UK)

Mark Lawrence delivered an amazing story about a convent that trains young girls into warrior nuns in a world where they are feared and needed. The author is a storyteller virtuoso to know that sequels and follow ups to stories are best when they start where the predecessor ended. And, there is further development in both plot and characters. Lawrence achieves all of this in Grey Sister, the second Book of the Ancestor.

It should be mentioned that Grey Sister begins with the answer to THE question readers had regarding two characters. While it is unclear what measures were taken, both characters made it through the battle. Throughout the rest of the novel, the main protagonists are Nona—who is now around fourteen-years-old and starting Mystic Class—and, Abbess Glass—the Head of the Convent of Sweet Mercy. Both of these protagonists are at the center of political schemes whether or not they want to be involved. Once again, Abbess Glass knows more than what she is letting on, and Nona Grey struggles to stay in control of herself so that she doesn’t get expelled from the Convent. A lot is a stake as the two females do all they can in order to remain resilient.

All the while, both the allies and the enemies of Nona and Abbess Glass work towards their desires whether or not they are moral. The Abbess works with the other nuns: Kettle, Apple, Pan, Rose and Wheel in order to prepare everyone at Sweet Mercy for what will happen, eventually (refer back to both Prologues). Meanwhile, Nona works on her growing powers and abilities with Ara, Darla, Ruli, Jula, and Zole while avoiding attacks by Joeli Namsis, Lano Tacsis, and a group of assassins. All of these minor characters present the ways in which people are willing either to work together, or to destroy one another for their desires, and to distract everyone from the real danger in their society.

Grey Sister stands out in a way few books that are second in a trilogy are able to. First, readers continue to comprehend how any form of power can be used for one’s selfish purposes. Second, the lengths that some people are willing to go in order to display his or her dislike of something, or someone. Third, Nona’s ability to admit both her strengths and her weaknesses to herself and to those around her through her resilience. Last, how the prophecy—real or not—continues to influence all of the action within the story. The identity of the “Chosen One” is revealed to everyone in Abeth, and the response demonstrates the range of what is positive and negative of this belief. Not to mention, the length that someone went to in order to learn the identity of the “Chosen One” will leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Lawrence continues with presenting how prophecies can be just as destructive as they are hopeful.

Readers will enjoy how Lawrence incorporates the idea of “unintended consequences” in Grey Sister. In addition, the author continues to put Nona in numerous situations and let his readers witness how she attempts to overcome each one. She has become more infamous to the Sis families, the nuns, and the other novices. Nona struggles with her studies and with all of the setbacks she’s had to deal with. She is left with her known failures—the deaths and losses of her friends—and her inner demons (literally). Instead of succumbing to the pressure, Nona takes it all in stride with the goal of completing her studies.

The author explains how the truth of everything is revealed within the narrative, eventually. And, there are many truths that emerge in Grey Sister: The Abbess’ plans, the shocking revelation surrounding both Nona and Zole, and the (possible) interpretation of the “Chosen One” prophecy. At the same time, Lawrence continues to include the lessons Nona and the other novices learn at Sweet Mercy so that readers understand what is being taught and why, as well as reminding his readers that the majority of the characters are students and not warriors, yet.

Grey Sister provides the perfect continuation of Red Sister; and, the readers will appreciate the worldbuilding, the growth of the characters, the plot development, and all of the action. Nona’s growth and adolescence are relatable to anyone who recalls their schooldays as a mix of happy and dramatic moments in time. Not to mention, the twists and the revelations surrounding all of the corruption of all of the political and religious leaders—and, all of the consequences—will keep you reading and wanting to know what happens next, which is unearthed in Holy Sister.

Grey Sister is an action-driven novel that will make readers forget that this is the second book in a trilogy. The previous events of the first book re-emerge in this one and it will keep readers on edge and wanting more when it’s over. Nona is one of the most irrepressible female protagonists I’ve read in a long time and I thank Mark Lawrence for creating her.


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