Grey Sister

Grey Sister

In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of pra...

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Title:Grey Sister
Author:Mark Lawrence
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Grey Sister Reviews

  • Mitriel

    I still remember the way Prince of Fools took me by surprise following The Broken Empire trilogy and how I needed a little time to adjust to reading something so different from the same author. Both book series were very much character-driven. Jorg a merciless, broken, cold-blooded killer, but also fiercely intelligent and a philosopher at heart. Hence his tale, just like his worldview, became dark, gritty, dramatic, his observations clever and beautifully worded. Jalan was funny and shallow, he

    I still remember the way Prince of Fools took me by surprise following The Broken Empire trilogy and how I needed a little time to adjust to reading something so different from the same author. Both book series were very much character-driven. Jorg a merciless, broken, cold-blooded killer, but also fiercely intelligent and a philosopher at heart. Hence his tale, just like his worldview, became dark, gritty, dramatic, his observations clever and beautifully worded. Jalan was funny and shallow, hence in the Red Queen’s War the poetic prose had been largely replaced by humour, and instead of revenge-seeking massacres we embarked on epic adventures the protagonist got pulled into.

    I thought I learned my lesson then, which was that you shouldn’t start reading a new Mark Lawrence work with fixed anticipations. He’s incredibly talented and instead of trying to replicate what he did well in the past, what already proved successful, he will want to push himself and see how far he can stretch those creative muscles, reaching into different tones, styles or even genres. So it’s best if we just let go our expectations and keep an open mind, because if we don’t and keep on looking for what we want to see in his new books we might miss entirely what he’s giving us instead.

    And yet, Red Sister once again took me by surprise. It was such a departure from everything I’ve seen Mark write before. But at the same time it also allowed him to show off skills and qualities he couldn’t showcase in the previous books. One of these was the ability to present us with a larger cast and the complex ways their relationships move the story forward. While Jorg travelled with his brothers, he didn’t allow anyone too close to him, and so we only got a restricted, blurred picture of his companions, his relationships with them simple and without emotional complications. Jalan, similarly self-centered, cared little for most people around him. He had a unique friendship with Snorri, but otherwise we only occasionally managed to glimpse behind his well-guarded walls and it was even more seldom that his feelings towards others have influenced his actions. (Unless they were fear or lust, of course.)

    Nona however has always been someone who wanted to belong, to be accepted, someone who loved her friends, even when they turned against her. She’s both curious about people around her and cares about them. Which in turn allows us to learn more about characters who one way or other are important to her, and see how these relationships grow, change and affect her life, her immediate environment and ultimately her whole world.

    She’s also a hero, following a villain and an anti-hero in the previous trilogies, with a disposition towards good, towards helping others and making the world a better place. This might have also contributed towards the book’s popularity with readers, several of them who admittedly didn’t like The Broken Empire books very much enjoying The Book of the Ancestor. Red Sister in fact has a higher Goodreads rating than either Prince of Thorns or Prince of Fools and let me tell you now:

    If you liked Red Sister, you’re going to love Grey Sister!

    Here’s why:

    1. The strengths of the first book become even more prominent in the second

    Once foundations of a story are properly laid down in a first book, (think worldbuilding, (both in a geographical and in a cultural/political sense), introducing the main characters, or understanding the basics of how the magic system works, etc.), the second book should allow the author to build on those foundations and raise the story to the next level. Mark Lawrence doesn’t so much as takes things to the next level but takes off from those foundations and shoots for the stars.

    The characters become even clearer, easier to set apart, yet more complex, their relationships stronger, more vivid, more colourful. In turn readers will likely find themselves more emotionally attached, and not just to the main character, but to a number of them, so letting themselves to be moved even more by their story. Seeds that were carefully sown between the icy storylines a year previously spring to life now, blossoming into the main plot of the trilogy.

    “Who’s got something to report?” Nona looked to Ruli first. Ruli was on gossip duty, gathering any snippet of information that leaked into the convent through its connections with the outside world. Ruli had a talent for both creating and gathering gossip.

    “I do! I really do!” Jula stepped forward, half-​raising her hand before remembering that she wasn’t in class.

    “I was reading the appendices in Levinin’s older works. Everyone always quotes from the Seven Histories of Marn but—”

    “What did you find?” Darla had even less patience for Jula’s booklore than the others.

    “More about shiphearts in one page than I’ve discovered in all the books I’ve searched through since we started looking!” Jula grinned.”

    2. Fewer classes

    Reading a fair number of reviews since April I couldn’t help but note that in some cases people felt the classes were slowing the story down and they were eager to get to where they felt “things were happening.” I have to admit, this was something I also raised with Mark at the time of beta-reading, but he himself felt that they were important to understand how the magic system worked. Furthermore, he set out to write a magic school themed trilogy. How novices studied and trained there was very much part of the story itself. So if you didn’t enjoy them so much, fear not, there will be definitely fewer of those in the second book. And if you did enjoy them, you’ll be pleased to hear that those few that are yet to come will be really good!

    “Zole got to her feet, scowling, as the Poisoner beckoned her to the front.

    Sister Apple offered her a smile in return. ‘Now, Zole, tell me how much you love to dance.’ She raised a hand to forestall the objection. ‘And while you sell me the lie, also convince me, without using words, that you’re a native of Verity born to a merchant family of moderate wealth.’ In that moment the nun’s accent so mirrored that of Zole and Yisht that Nona could believe her born on the ice and raised for thirty years without sight of green.

    ‘I live to dance.’ Zole spoke through gritted teeth, tightening each word into something that sounded more like a Durnish sailor in pain than any subject of the emperor, let alone one of Verity’s moneyed class.”

    3. There’s more humour in the second book

    No, we won’t have anyone turning into Jalan Kendeth all of sudden. But there will be definitely more humour arising from situations and from the stark contrast of characters in the book. Some of this will be down to a new character called Keot. Having said that it’s best not to know who this Keot is prior to reading the story and I hope that none of the early reviews will spoil it for you. Just know that he’ll be a great addition to what’s ahead.

    4. There’s also more action and more tension

    Right from the beginning we get to worry about characters we grew fond of in the previous book. With the ice closing, the moon falling, the pressure grows on the world and on those who try to control it. Even the classes taking place won’t quite have that peaceful bliss to them anymore one might expect. With the inquisition’s deadly hand reaching into Sweet Mercy, its cold fingers trying to close around its prey, there’s a constant threat hanging over the Rock of Faith and it’s not the only one. Yet, it’s around the middle of the book when things really take off. Quite literally. In fact, it’s best to hide somewhere with the book from that point onwards, because chances are you won’t be able to put it down.

    (you can read the rest of my blogpost here:

    )

    ****UPDATE****

    Following reactions to this little piece below, which I foolishly thought was going to look clever, I've written an actual, spoiler-free review of Grey Sister, which I'll be publishing on

    probably sometimes next week. I really hope you'll like it. In any case I did my best. Will let you know once it's up.

    ***

    What is Grey Sister and what it’s used for:

    Grey Sister, Second Book of the Ancestor, falls under the heading "international bestselling fantasy titles", also known as bloody good reads. These books alter the levels of chemicals in the brain to relieve symptoms of boredom, restlessness, gloominess, melancholia and dispiritedness.

    What you need to know before reading Grey Sister:

    Grey Sister uses the foundations Red Sister was built on and takes your sacred journey to the next level. It’s faster, bolder and more perilous than its predecessor, for which reason we recommend you only start reading it once you’re in a safe, undisturbed environment. If that’s not possible, we recommend using any necessary signs/tools for discouraging fellow humans or pets from disrupting your deep spiritual experience.

    Possible side effects, warnings and precautions:

    Sleeplessness, sudden mood swings, losing track of time, forgetting to eat, getting off from public transport, everything else you might had planned. As always, we recommend discussing your symptoms with your fellow readers once you finished the title, as this will help the production and distribution of further books.

    Keep out of the sight and reach of children (and everyone else in the family until you finished reading it).

    Grey Sister might make you over-emotional or lost in your thoughts. If you experience this, do not drive or use machinery.

    As with any Mark Lawrence novel: Please purchase and read responsibly!

    For more information and possible early copies follow:

  • Petros Triantafyllou

    Grey Sister might as well be the most well-written book I've read in my life.

    It's been two years since Nona Grey killed Raymel Tascis in the Corridor. Now she's back in the Convent of Sweet Mercy and the Mystic Class, training to join one of the four orders: Holy, Grey, Red, or Mystic Sister. But when an Inquisition arrives, Nona has trouble trying to hide two secrets that could get her expelled: A forbidden search of the stolen shipheart, and a demon that she's carrying under her skin.

    Grey Sister might as well be the most well-written book I've read in my life.

    It's been two years since Nona Grey killed Raymel Tascis in the Corridor. Now she's back in the Convent of Sweet Mercy and the Mystic Class, training to join one of the four orders: Holy, Grey, Red, or Mystic Sister. But when an Inquisition arrives, Nona has trouble trying to hide two secrets that could get her expelled: A forbidden search of the stolen shipheart, and a demon that she's carrying under her skin.

    In Grey Sister, Mark Lawrence is reminiscent of a well-trained juggler, for he excels in balancing the most important elements of a story such as theme, plot, setting and conflict on one hand while he juggles character development, world-building and magic system on the other. I once said that Mark's work is one of beauty and ingenuity, and that is once again evident through his prose. Prose that not only assembles, orders and modifies, but also weaves together and adds value to the many layers of a story which unfolds with the precision of a timepiece crafted by a master artisan and excels at depicting realistically how deep loyalty lies in one's soul, for it is the paragon of love.

    I could keep going. I could rave about how Grey Sister is an epos in its original meaning; a literary masterpiece with no equal that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. I could praise it until I run out of words and need a thesaurus to continue. But I'll not. I'll simply tell you to read it and decide yourself.

  • Iryna Khymych

    5/5 Stars

    I am not really sure that I can review this book and give it justice. Anyone who knows me knows that I adore Lawrence’s writing and he is one of my favorite authors. However, I feel like The Book of the Ancestor series is his opus. While I loved both, The Red Queen series and The Broken Empire series, I feel like The Book of the Ancestor takes all the best aspects of both of Lawrenc

    5/5 Stars

    I am not really sure that I can review this book and give it justice. Anyone who knows me knows that I adore Lawrence’s writing and he is one of my favorite authors. However, I feel like The Book of the Ancestor series is his opus. While I loved both, The Red Queen series and The Broken Empire series, I feel like The Book of the Ancestor takes all the best aspects of both of Lawrence’s previous series and combines them. And I honestly believe that this is the genius of Lawrence, nothing is what it seems with him. I read all of his books in order, The Broken Empire series, The Red Queen series and then The Book of the Ancestor, and not one of these was like the other. First series took me by surprise in its brutality, second in its humor and third in its humanity. Let me explain what I mean by humanity.

    Red Sister laid the foundations for an incredible story of Nona Grey, an orphaned girl who wants to belong. Her journey in book one is one of self-discovery, of learning to trust, of overcoming her insecurities. Lawrence lets us very close to Nona and her feelings in these books, unlike with his others, and in a way Nona is a reflection of the reader. She is at once a hero and an everyday person, her journey is an inspiration and a shoulder to lean onto. This is what I mean by humanity. This book is not all darkness, nor all humor – it is complexity.

    While book one was the groundwork for the story, book two is the world building. Grey Sister introduces the reader to the complex world of The Belt, the political structure of the society, different kingdoms and religions. For all of the information that the book contains, I must say that Lawrence never let the story lag at any point. Grey Sister is action packed, much more so than Red Sister. Nona, Sister Kettle and Sister Glass are in constant motion in the book, and each POV leaves off with a cliff hanger, which makes you never want to put it down, sleep or eat.

    I will not delve too much into the details as I want the readers to experience the book in their own time and on their own terms, but be prepared to be completely blown away. And trust nothing.

  •  Charlie - A Reading Machine

    If you thought Red Sister was good reading then Grey Sister is going to blow your mind. Full review to come.

  • James Lafayette  Tivendale

    Review to follow shortly :) x

  • Mark Lawrence

    Some quotes, photos, and background on Grey Sister here:

    April 19th in the UK, pre-order it here!

    April 3rd in the US,

    An inline comment from my editor when going through it: "Woah, nasty!"

    She didn't ask me to change it though! :)

    Some lines from the book:

    "Never be so focused on picking a lock that you forget kicking down the door is also an

    Some quotes, photos, and background on Grey Sister here:

    April 19th in the UK, pre-order it here!

    April 3rd in the US,

    An inline comment from my editor when going through it: "Woah, nasty!"

    She didn't ask me to change it though! :)

    Some lines from the book:

    "Never be so focused on picking a lock that you forget kicking down the door is also an option."

    "Nothing is as cruel as a righteous man."

    She lifted a hand, as if it were the heaviest thing in the world, to XXXX’s cheek. “You’re bleeding.”

    XXXX took the fingers and kissed them. “You are my blood.”

    "Hers the anger of an ocean wave rolling over deep waters to spend its white fury against the shore, one and then the next, relentless, tearing down high cliffs, pounding rocks to pebbles, grinding pebbles to sand, and thus are mountains laid low. Hers the storm’s wrath, thunder-shaken, sharp with lightning, blown on a wind that rips the oldest trees from the hardness of the ground. Hers the defiance of stone, raised in outrage against cold skies. Hers the anger that sits like broken glass within a chest, the anger that will allow no sleep, no retreat, no compromise."

    “I am my own cage.” She lifts her sword. “And I have opened the door.”

  • Eon ♒Windrunner♒

    THE COVER HAS ARRIVED!!!

  • Melanie

    #1.)

    ★★★★★

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  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    Can't wait to get my hands on this hardback! It comes out in my Bday month!

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