by Mark Lawrence
Series: Book of the Ancestor
Published on April 3, 2018 by Ace
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Behind its walls, the Convent of Sweet Mercy has trained young girls to hone their skills for centuries. In Mystic Class, Novice Nona Grey has begun to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the convent, Nona must choose which order to dedicate herself to—and whether her path will lead to a life of prayer and service or one of the blade and the fist.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the designs of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a knife, and the vengeance of the empire's richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she is sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pulls of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain: there will be blood.
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After reading Red Sister, I had mixed feelings about the series and was hesitant going into Grey Sister. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the first book a lot, but it also took a while to reach that point and if I hadn’t listened to it, I have a feeling things would have been different. So I decided to stick with audio for the sequel and I’m glad I did.
Grey Sister had some serious second book syndrome going on. Book 1 introduced me to a world of warrior nuns and unusual magic and plenty of action and mystery. Book 2. . . kind of continued that but was missing the shock value that Red Sister had. In truth, I felt like there were two different book here, mashed into one but not quite woven together.
On the one hand, there’s Nona’s story. Her attempts to track down her friend’s killer consumer her life and her storyline is composed of her interactions with the demon riding beneath her skin and the other girls at the convent. It became very high school, underdog beats the bully, and I felt like I lost Nona’s uniqueness a bit in the mix.
In contrast, we get Abbess Glass’s perspective now with a separate storyline involving treachery and schemes and it was interesting, but took forever to come to fruition. The back and forth between Glass and Nona (with a few other perspectives tossed in) served to drag the story out more than anything. I didn’t feel the build-up to something bigger because there wasn’t any tension. Even when the action picked up, it seemed more for the sake of action than what the plot actually needed.
Honestly, I was bored by this book. It took me forever to get through even the audiobook and I struggled with the same points I did in Red Sister. I’ll likely read/listen to the final book Holy Sister for the sake of completion but the writing lost me on this one. It’s a shame because these books have something unique to them that makes me want to love them if not for the writing.