Your Thoughts on Red Sister – a Giveaway for those who finished reading the book (Spoilers!)

Cover art for Red Sister by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme

Have you finished reading the book, enjoyed it and would love to talk about it online without having to worry about spoilers? Or would you simply like to enter this give-away to win a doodled and dedicated (or/and signed) hardcopy of Red Sister? You are all in the right place!

To enter comment with your thoughts on the book under this post. You can tell us who your favourite character was, which scene you liked best, your favourite line if you had any, what intrigued you, how the novel made you feel or anything else you would like to share with us about Red Sister.

The give-away will be open all April, Mark selecting a random winner from the participants on 1st of May.

Needless to say, but if you haven’t read or haven’t finished Red Sister yet don’t read the comments below. Finish it and then come back! πŸ˜€


Once again, the prize is a doodled & signed/dedicated hardback of Red Sister (UK or US edition) and give-away is closing on 1st May.


I look forward to reading your comments and wishing you the best of luck!




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  1. “A book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one.”

    Shit is profooound. Also I love Nona, because apart from being badass AF, Nona respects mealtimes in the same way I do. 😁


  2. β€œBut be warned, young Nona: a book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat books with respect.”

    Something that is so true, a lot of the time we wouldn’t even realise it, but with certain other books when you’ve finished reading you just know that something changed, and that what happened in the book will stay with you, hello Hobb and Nighteyes, I’m looking at you!🐺😒

    Also, Mark made Nuns cool…….NUNS COOL, two words that certainly do not go together!πŸ˜‚


  3. My favorite character was Kettle.
    My favorite part of the book in the timeline of the prologue.The entire prologue is essentially prose at it’s finest. it is the finest piece of Mark’s writing I have ever seen. The scene is set in such a way that we link Nona as Sister Thorn but later it is revealed that Ara is Thorn.That was an eye opener. At the beginning of the ‘Grey Class’ of the book when Thorn says ‘Don’t do it, C…’ Holy hell that was a brilliant scene. It puts a thought in the reader that somewhere down the line Nona will betray the nuns but the reveal is so much more better….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just wrote up a full review this morning for my blog/goodreads. πŸ™‚ I also posted about a half dozen quotes on goodreads. ^^;; I loved this book and can’t wait for the next!

    It’s hard to pick a favorite line, but if I had to pick one: β€œA book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat them with respect.”

    For characters it’s hard to pick just one! So my top three are Hessa, Kettle, and Nona.

    All of the scenes with Thorn at the start, the middle, and the ending were also brilliant. They built up so much suspense and were so well written. I also really liked how I found that my perceptions of characters changed with Nona’s as she matured and got to know the other girls better. I thought Ara was horrible just as Nona did in the beginning, and then was completely thrown off later over how nice she actually is. It was like feeling manipulated by peer pressure to think or view others a certain way. It was clever, and also really showed Nona’s progress from merely following those she views as friends to making decisions for herself.

    I also really loved the scenes when Nona first enters the school and begins learning. It’s hard to describe, but I guess I could say that it was a feeling of awe. I had only ever had that same feeling very few times while reading in the past. It reminds me of when I first really got into reading when I was younger and used to read voraciously. Jumping into new worlds was so exciting.


  5. I loved the ending of the first part of the book with High Priest Jacob, it was intense. God I hated him, and so glad that he was voted for vacation of office.
    I love Nona, and Hessa is great too!


  6. My favourite character was Sister Kettle and I’m still reeling days after finishing Red Sister, my thoughts lingering on the scene where Nona finds Kettle injured. I was wretchedly sobbing the entire time reading that scene, but surely Kettle’s parting words of being able to reach Apple, even if it were a thousand miles between them, drove the knife home for me. I know I wasn’t reading a romantic novel, and I’m not really sure what I expected of one of your books where the trademarked moniker seems to be that everyone dies in the end. I will say that I had an awful feeling the entire way through that last sitting that something awful would happen to Kettle. I had nearly finished the book and I guess I was waiting for the #buryyourgays trope to rear its ugly head.

    I have had many mixed feelings about that scene, let me tell you. It’s the type of mixed feelings you can only experience as an LGBT person who has seen themselves portrayed in media and die so many times over the years, be misrepresented, be fetishised and pigeonholed over and over… I couldn’t help but love Kettle. I loved that Red Sister wasn’t about gay nuns, but they just sort of happened incidentally in the background. When I first saw the signs that Kettle and Apple might be a thing, I clipped my excitement short and convinced myself I was reading into it. The slow build unravelling their relationship as tiny details in the background of Nona’s story was authentic and honest in a way that doesn’t really happen unless you’re specially reading LGBT fiction, which rather defeats the purpose. I thought as a minor background character, Kettle might be safe. I pleaded with you as a reader in my head, that she would be spared, knowing the type of books you write and the way they usually go. When Nona found Kettle, I became angry. Then, I became desperately sad. I pleaded with you again as I read her scene that she wouldn’t actually die. Then later, as Nona was coming up against Tascis men, surrounded in the cave, my thoughts lingered on Kettle and I analysed the scene over and over again in my head. ‘Well, we didn’t actually see her die. Apple is a super-genius poisons expert, maybe she has a way to save her…’ but I knew I was grasping at straws.

    I don’t know what to say. On the one hand, you made me genuinely connect to a fictional character of your creation so well that you reduced me to a sobbing mess when you killed her off. On the other hand, it feels like a cheap and personal blow. I love you as a writer and I feel conflicted. I’d just as easily read Red Sister again, and I’m already impatient to devour your next book.

    I didn’t really want to write this, but I really, really did want to write it too. I know you meant nothing personal by what you did. As a reader, it’s pointless to jump up and down and get so offended by a 10/10 book. But something in the core of me is offended. Something inside of me would return to a blubbering mess a hundred times, re-reading that scene (and I did).

    But I can’t thank you enough for writing Red Sister in the first place and giving me the chance to read a character like Sister Kettle into existence. Thank you so much!

    – Stephany. ❀


    1. Stephanie-

      Not being LGBT I can’t know your feelings precisely but being African-American I can relate, we always die : )

      That said, aren’t you mourning Kettle a bit early? She may die or be dead but Apple is alive. I guess what I mean is a lot of people die and will die in the story, Hessa comes to mind, a disabled character. I’m not sure, no I am sure, orientation shouldn’t be a reason for death or survival.


      Liked by 1 person

        1. I definitely hear you, Bill. Red Sister was so fantastic because it has such a wide cast of characters without making a huge deal about it. Mark Lawrence did an expert job in that regard and I honestly can’t thank him enough as a reader. I was going to mention something about Hessa too ! ~ Reading Kettle’s and then Hessa’s scenes one after the other towards the end of Red Sister was so heartbreaking, and I loved them both as characters. Undoubtedly, you’re right. I’m sure there will be plenty more death in the books to come, and I look forward to reading them. It was still very hard to read Kettle’s death for me, but I feel resolved with it for now (time to reflect and re-reading most of the book has helped) and you’re right, there’s still a chance she might make it and appear in Grey Sister next year. I hope so ! πŸ™‚ But either way, I loved Red Sister and would still give it 5/5 stars πŸ™‚


  7. β€œThe Path had filled her and in doing so had woken her to the understanding that for all her life she had been hollow. It turned her flesh to gold, her mind to crystal. She wanted more. Even as the power of it terrified her and she felt her body shaking beyond her control, she wanted more.”

    For me, as much as I found myself fully immersed in the world and intricate magic system, this was a truly character driven experience. I was in admiration and deep appreciation of Nona as such a young female lead. She was so raw and fierce!!! Perfect imperfection.


  8. I absolutely adored Red Sister as a whole – but there were a few things that really struck me as unique and wonderful about it.

    The comradeship between the girls – this is so uncommonly expressed on any platform at all, let alone fantasy. It was so wonderful to see the building and genuine love and support they gave each other, even friendships that started with hatred. It was lovely to witness, especially Ara and Nona and how their interactions changed.

    Keeping Nona young was also something that struck me – it’s so unusual for the main character to not jump to being 18-20 after the opening sequence. It was amazing to see things through Nona’s young eyes. To see what she overlooked and watch things unfolding for the adults in the background. I love the extra layer of trying to think like a little girl and understand why she did what she did and felt how she felt. It also, to me, had a commentary that yes, Nona is a child, but horrible adult things happen to children all the time – it’s realistic and gut-wrenchingly sad.

    Obviously as a long time Mark Lawrence fan, and lesbian, I was overjoyed at the subtle, so not-a-big-deal way that the romantic relationships were dealt with. They were so alive and honest. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but -of course- it would happen (I’ve read countless romance letters from one nun to another from the real world!), and the way Mr Lawrence wrote it was delicate and thoughtful. The (implied) death of Kettle shook me deeply and I wept inconsolably for more than an hour (so much so that the news of Zole as the chosen one almost completely went by me) or more. It still hurts. ‘Bury your gays’ is never a fun trope to handle. I still hold out hope that she’s okay. Desperately. :I

    Nona’s bloodlust – I loved it. I love that part of her character development was accepting that she was who she was. No serenity would help on the blade-path because it wasn’t her and she came to realise that was her real strength. I’m -not- a violent person but gods, I found myself caught up and reveling in the blood spilled right alongside her. I found myself picturing the manic grin on her face and grinning right along. It was amazing – Jorg didn’t quite do that for me, his violence always made me uncomfortable as much as I loved him.

    Red Sister, from the first few pages, already leapt to the top bundle of my favourite books. I adore the dying world, the magic that gave me chills to think about, and the unbelievably believable characters. My only peeve is that I really want the US cover!! πŸ˜₯ Oh well, time to buy another one online..!

    I wait with bated breath for the second Book of the Ancestor – I can’t wait to watch Nona -really- ruin, as she was made to do. ❀

    – Mikaela.


    1. I’m aware that I’m replying literally a year later, but I just finished Red Sister again (audiobook this time) ahead of Grey Sister and went looking to see people’s thoughts again. I think it’s a bit harsh to call Mark out on a ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope – there were a few characters who died, and while Apple and Kettle were the gay relationship most in the spotlight, there were a number of scenes suggesting Clera was bisexual and other girls were bi or gay too.

      Mark isn’t as brutal as GRRM, but characters you grow to love are not necessarily safe, and sexual orientation one way or the other doesn’t seem to factor into it. Kettle’s possible death isn’t tragic because she was a gay female character, it’s tragic because she was a mentor to Nona and in many ways an older, slightly less extreme version of her. And also she was just damn cool.

      Because you got to see how much Kettle and Apple meant to each other, it really pulled the heart strings in Kettle’s death(?) scene. This relationship is literally the only serious romantic relationship in the whole story; there was no other character that could make the reader feel such a depth of loss at their death than Kettle, with the possible exception of Hessa – and of course 4-Foot.


  9. I just have three questions for Mark

    – What’s the obsession with Thorn(s)?
    – Can we make High Priest Jacob suffer more in the coming books?
    – Why oh why did you have to end the book with that line?!!


  10. “Friendship wasn’t something you gave up on or let slip: it wasn’t something to do in small measure or cut in half.” Nona’s views on friendship remained true through to the end, black and white, despite betrayal. I found her to be a refreshing change from Mark’s other main protagonists, who, by and large, are rather unlikeable. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved his other books, but this one is my favourite, and I can’t wait for the next book!


  11. I enjoyed it, I finished it, I’ll buy the rest in the series as they’re published, but it wasn’t my favourite of his books. Are teenagers really that stupid? Nona could have been poisoned in any number of ways, there was no reason to do all that dangerous shuffling around in the caverns – pertickly once they realised that the thingy was being stolen.


  12. I received an arc in an Illumicrate book box. I haven’t put it down in my spare time over the past week. I love that the girls are doing it for themselves and not needing a knight on a white steed to save them. I love that I’ve finished the book, but am still pondering the ice, will Clera do the right thing, whose side is Yisht on, will None see her mum again, will the donkey have vengeance and what is the ship shield?


  13. Overall I loved the book. Nona was very likeable and all of the side characters were great. Also the almost entirely female cast is a very refreshing change of pace from most fantasy. Many moments in the book stood out to me due to feelings of shock, excitement, or concern that they brought up in me. Abbess Glass’ fire trial was very disturbing for me, Nona jumping on Tacsis at the Caltess was surprising and of course Nona slaughtering the soldiers at the end was fantastic. I also really enjoyed the end of the encounter when the rest of the girls fought with her and cheered at the end rather than stared on in condemnation as Nona expected. Also as many others have said the Sister Thorn parts are great and so well written.

    Only thing that I would have really enjoyed that was absent is a map of Abeth, as the corridor is very interesting but at times difficult to picture its scope and proportions.

    I’m kinda pissed now though because the YEAR LONG WAIT for the next book is going to kill me. April 2018 is so far away. Give it to us sooner!


    1. A map would be hard to display as the corridor is long and thin … so it would be a narrow strip on a big white page, with the detail hard to see. Or a potentially confusing set of side by side sections of the strip…


      1. Good point.

        I agree though that a map would be nice. I’d go with the long strip version and try to show as little of the ice as possible.

        Or maybe just make one for your website and leave it out of the book. Then we can scroll down the corridor left and right.

        Just a thought. Awesome book.


  14. I loved it! Nona seeing the globe was one of my favorite bits; these people are living on a very scary planet. I also want to learn more about “the missing,” and the underground cities. Who colonized this planet? What are shiphearts? Are they the sort of technology that wrecked Jorg’s world?

    Also, I really hope that Kettle survives, as she and Apple were very sweet together. She’s been poisoned and Apple knows all about poisons and antidotes, so maybe she made it?

    Gotta reread πŸ™‚


  15. As an avid reader, of course my favorite line was, β€œBut be warned, young Nona: a book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat books with respect.” My favorite character was Nona, the bloodthirsty Valkyrie. I did not want the book to end.


  16. Loved it! Finished it this morning and took the entire day for the thoughts to settle. I really liked Nona: she is different than most female protagonists. Knows who she is, what she is and I can respect that, if not exactly commend it. I loved the framing of the narrative, with the prologue, epilogue and the interludium. And your style-of-not-planning-but-letting-the-flow-lead-you fit in great with the structure of the book. I did think that a bit more closure would be nice, but oh well. I’m sure someone prefers it this way. Can’t wait for Grey sister!


  17. Loved this book. My favorite of yours so far. I listened to the audiobook and it was done well.

    I’ve got three daughters. I like seeing the girls kick some butt.

    Clera is my favorite character. Intelligent, complex, and conflicted. I’m interested to see where her character goes from here.

    I didn’t know “bury your gays” was a trope. In light of that, I hope Kettle lives, if it can still fit in with the story.

    Apple was another character I liked a lot.

    One minor thing I missed: when the gang found out about Yisht, they were afraid to tell people at first because they were worried they would get in trouble for stealing from the stores. Couldn’t they just have left an anonymous note? Not a big deal, but it messed with my suspension of disbelief for a minute. Maybe they just didn’t think of doing that..

    Anyway. Awesome book. I’ll be buying the sequels as they arrive.


  18. It’s been a while since I read (or watched) a piece of entertainment that twists tropes so well. After the introduction of the “school” setting, I had my expectations set. We had the best friend, the rival/bully, the wise old mentor, a “Chosen One” prophecy. Now, I don’t dislike this type of story. I’m a firm believer that the execution is more important than the idea, and I as sure that Mark would do a good job of it. But man, did he surprise me.

    There were several moments while reading that I had to sit back and admire the ingenuity of the narrative’s structure.

    The first was when Nona realizes that Arabella is actually a nice person. Before that point, our perception of Ara came from both Nona’s misled thoughts (which was brilliant writing) and out familiarity of her (assumed) character stereotype. This twist was refreshing, not only because it toyed with reader’s assumptions but also because it showed humanity in our viewpoint character, in her ability to make misconceptions and serve as an unreliable narrator.

    The second was but shortly after, when we discover that Thorn is not Nona, but Ara. This one threw me off more than the last. Many books, particularly fantasy, alternate between a couple of different timelines, following the same character. The Broken Empire and Red Queens, for instance. So naturally, I was shocked when Mark turned his own story-telling technique against us and the character in the flash-forwards was not the character we’d been following for most of the book. Beforehand, I’ll admit, I felt a bit restricted by the knowledge of how Nona would end up. But lo, it was never Nona, and her entrance in the epilogue was all the more epic for it.

    Now, lets talk about the entrance and the ensuing fight. Only a fraction of a chapter, but one of — if not my favorite — moment in the book.

    “Sister Cage lifted her face to her enemies, night-eyed, a narrow beauty among the scars, half a smile that promised her to be more than a little in love with death, and invited them to dance.”

    That line sent shivers down my spine. We see the culmination of Red Sister, what Nona has become. She embraced the monster she once hated, accepted herself for who she was. Her character-arc comes full circle. But the girl we spent so many pages with is still very much there, never more apparent than in the final conversation.”

    “I’m not playing. And I’ve always been on your side, Clera. You’ve just not properly understood it.”

    Anyhow, thank you Mark for another great book. Looking forward to seeing where this new trilogy goes.


  19. Aside from the story, great writing and characterisation, I like the little references. The poisons teacher being called Sister Apple was my favourite of those, particularly given her focus on not trusting.
    Like others, I’m rooting for Kettle to have survived.


  20. Favorite character: Hessa
    Best Scene: When Nona and Clera both get poisoned with the truth potion
    Favorite line: The first line of the book and subsequent echoes of it. “It is important when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”
    Quite possibly the best first line of a book ever. I’ve been studying these things and was just furious with him for creating that amazing opening. I’ll never be able to top that.

    I loved the book. I loved the world. I want to know more about the shiphearts and see more of the world. I also feel cheated that it skips from killing Raymel straight to the frame story and we miss all the in between. So I’ve said, that felt abrupt. It’s my only criticism of the book, otherwise its damn near perfect.

    Surely Nona would have gone to see her mother being so close to the Grey and having that question now about being given away. And you skipped it. As long as there’s a sequel I am mollified. But the ending wasn’t really an ending.


  21. Mark, you have done it again! Awesome book. Can’t wait for more of Nona Grey. Started out slow and steady and I wasn’t sure what to think but I knew it would go wild eventually and boy did it. Thank you for writing the books you do!


  22. Interesting world. I can’t wait to learn how and why they are there…and are others coming to check in on them down the road?

    Nona is a great character, flawed and powerful as those before her, maybe more so.

    So many great supporting characters as well, with flexible alliances and abilities.

    Good opening salvo.


  23. Nona is a BADASS. That final fight scene where she shredded through soldiers like they were paper was incredible! I went from crying because Hessa died and Clera is horrible to screaming because Nona was going insane. I can still see that fight in my head!

    Like many others, I loved the truth potion scene but I thought the epilogue was spectacular. It definitely set up the next books and I can not wait to find out how the girls got to that point in their lives.

    So basically I need the next book in the series like yesterday. I need to know what happens!!!


  24. It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.

    After this i was hook.

    And of couse as a bookworm:
    A book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one.


  25. Long awaited and I got it right at the start of my spring break and finished it by the weeks end. As always, Mark has made a world that I felt I was living in as I read. I would love to know something about how those that are in other academies are taught. I would like to see how Markus overcome what happened to fourfoot. I would also like to know more about the raiders.
    Even though it is only a short scene, the most memorable are the lines already written about by others concerning the books in the library. I will add to this “And I have a very unpleasant poison for anyone who so much as folds a page” I feel kindred to Kettle as I always felt at home in a library. Anytime I see a bent page it makes me upset. Working in a library the books became my ‘babies’ and any that were returned damaged hurt.
    ” My other favorite scene is when Sister Apple says “You didn’t think that someone who would poison you might also stoop to not telling the truth on all occasions?” This shows how an author could in turn make you believe one thing is going to happen, or that a person is a certain way, only to flip your perception upside down. I love books that give subtle hints and make you become the sleuth. (personally I hate mysteries, so this is kinda wierd).
    My favorite nuns are Apple, then Pan and then Nettle. I keep hoping that Wheel gets better, but she seems to enjoy pain too much. My favorites of the novices are Hessa, Ara and Nona. I disliked Clera from the first sentence and her coin obsession made me distrust her. And I do have some favs for the rest of the book, although they don’t have much so far in the book, Markus, Regol and Malkin.
    I would like to know why anyone would allow someone to be taken over by demons. Using power to do this seems more of a hanging offence than defending someone who is being hurt.
    I am anxiously waiting the next one.


  26. Fantastic book that I wanted to go on and on. My favorite character, aside from Nona, was Ara…and that made the epilogue scene particularly poignant. However, my favorite scene, and maybe the best written in the whole book, was the scene in the woods with Nona and Sister Kettle. Gut wrenching, emotional and just outstanding writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. β€œA book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one.”
    Well i liked pretty much everything. The only thing that i didnt like (I HAVE TO KNOW) is the we didnt get to know if sister Kettle died.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I have mixed feelings for this story. I didn’t love it but I liked it a lot and I will read the next one. Red Sister was a little slow in the middle with all the school “class work” and training sessions and youthful social complications. I look forward to the next one, however, because I believe it will have more adult action, and political intrigue.

    There are several favorite quotes in this book but because I am getting older this one really struck home.
    .β€œYour death has not been waiting for your arrival at the appointed hour; it has, for all the years of your life, been racing towards you with the fierce velocity of time’s arrow. It cannot be evaded; it cannot be bargained with, deflected or placated. All that is given to you is the choice: Meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch.”


  29. I love love love the challenges posed by Mark Lawrence’s works. He never looks down on his readers or treats us like we need to be fed little tiny bits at a time (e.g., note the apology Mr. Lawrence wrote for including the bit at the front — I so appreciated that, chuckled, and immediately skipped over it). But this book may have exceeded me at times! The confrontation between Hessa and Yisht left me a bit confused and, in the end, terribly unhappy. I’ve read it a few times now, and all I know for certain is that lovely Hessa is dead. First question, exactly what killed Hessa? Was it the knife wound? Was it whatever Yisht was doing with the shipheart (which I could not figure out really)? I can’t tell. When the reaving (?) shadow was released, Yisht retreats into a tunnel from which there is no escape. The shadow continues its attack. Are we really supposed to believe that a presumably heavily wounded, depleted (? — she’s confronted at least one presumably skilled nun and finished working her way to the shipheart) Yisht found the resources to resist the shadow and then successfully escape despite her predicament? Or was this supposed to be her end? Nona clearly didn’t think Yisht was dead based on something she “thinks” afterward (about wishing she could cross the miles to kill Yisht “herself” — if the shadow trap had worked, then she already would have). Are we to think that Yisht’s mission to take the shipheart was ultimately successful in light of the convent’s state in the Epilogue (e.g., upheaval indicated by absence of personnel)? But the Epilogue is also clearly occurring at some time in the intermediate future and not in the immediate aftermath of that fateful trip. So are the details of Hessa’s and Yisht’s fates are just loose threads to be caught up with the next book? Or am I just missing a bunch of stuff (entirely possible) and those fates/details are clear? Help!


  30. Loved the book. I was gutted when Hessa died, elated when Ara was revealed as chosen one and not Nona, intrigued when it was thrown into doubt with Zola arriving. A vs Z ??? Are they opposites or twins?


  31. I loved the book. I love when the patterns I expect are turned upside down. Of course the misdirection starts with the diabolical prologue, then the shield and chosen one- twice, then Nona’s ever shifting background story. Then we have “NO C…..” I love these things because they keep me thinking, wondering… I thought the reality of sexual exploration was portrayed as natural and without labelling while acknowledging LGBT characters in healthy relationships. While not LGBT, I too see the normal portrayals and am glad this book rises above them.

    Just really, really well done

    Liked by 1 person

  32. β€œThere are some things that must be done quickly or not at all. If someone asks you if you love them you cannot hesitate. There are some paths that must be taken at speed.”
    This is a great book with a strong lead female characters. I must say Nona is a female character I can understand, she kills, she loves and she hoards are secrets. As for now Mistress Poison is my favorite with her sadistic sense of humor but still funny, she brought the comedic relive in this book. The world is unique and as always with Lawrence a mix of sci-fi that creates fantasy and is led by fantasy. I like the way he writes his novels and I feel they should exist as a new genre of their own. Nona is simply bad ass, she’s not over-powered yet just a bad ass, I am like how much stronger will she get, i wanna know that’s all I care about. I hope to see her evolving in this trilogy.


  33. I just finished it a couple days ago and I am scrEAAAAMING! It’s so freaking awesome! I love the world building so much and the idea of an impending ice age and a blood red moon and just – everything! The cast of characters were so vivid and the twists the turns and that part where Thorne says “No C-” I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK! Anyway, the writing was the bestest part of it all. It was so dramatic and and so atmospheric I could almost feel the Corridor wind blowing through. Looking forward to the sequel!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I bought this book expecting nothing. I finished this book wanting more!!!!! I loved Ara’s character. First, I was like she’s gonna be a horrible snobby person who has nothing really to do with the plot. However, I was proved wrong, everything that is mention throughout the book was relevant to the very end, helping drive the plot. I grow really attached to her character for some reason, the way Ara and Nona slowly bonded I was reallly attached. Let’s just say my mum just very annoyed with my cause every time something good happened I literally started jabbering in her ear about it and she didn’t understand a thing I said. 5/5 stars XDDDDD


  35. “Here’s a moment.
    All the world and more has rushed eternity’s length to reach this beat of your heart, screaming down the years. And if you let it, the universe, without drawing breath, will press itself through this fractured second and race to the next, on into a new eternity. Everything that is, the echoes of everything that ever was, the roots of all that will ever be, must pass through this moment that you own. Your only task is to give it pause – to make it notice.”

    My favorite character was Nona! So smart! So quiet! So stabby! (Although I really loved Ara and Kettle also).
    Favorite scene was the one where Nona kills Raymel. The fighting scenes were so so good.
    This is the first book by Mark Lawrence I have read but I will definitely be trying his other ones. The writing was so beautiful and captivating, could not put the book down.
    I often get very disappointed with the whole female-assassin plots since the main character usually doesn’t do anything that proves how stabby she is said to be, but this book! really! delivered!
    5/5 star read, can’t wait for the next one!


  36. β€œI was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.” This one line drew me in to read the preview, and I’m so glad I did! For someone who has read sooo many books in my life, I struggled to find the beautiful words the rest of your fans have written. They write beautiful things that do this amazing book justice! So all I say with my meager words is, thank you for another interesting world to escape to! I even took this to the gym with me, and I’m sure I was that crazy girl jogging on the treadmill with my iBook propped up! Haha loved every page :-).


  37. Fell in love with that novel. At first I was disappointed we didn’t get to see more adult Nona & Co, but then realised it was the book I always wanted to read – on female badass in training. And I am 38 years old, that says something, isn’t it? πŸ™‚


  38. Excellent read, fun and thought provoking (more fun, though, as it should be).
    From the advice on the proper way to kill a nun, to the advisability of allowing people to see their errors rather than entrails, to the difference between protecting and joining forces.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Just finished and immediately went looking for next book. Than I remembered this book was just released and sadness descended but I researched on authors fb where he stated all 3 books are finished and I just hope he doesn’t keep us waiting too long. Don’t be a prig. Be like Netflix for now on, set a new trend with full season (trilogy) releases. Utilize you faster writing process to set new standards and trends of marketing outside the box. Really I just can’t wait and reading red sister has put me in an aggressive state of mind. My thoughts? I don’t think the chemistry of the characters relationships could have been done any better. And what’s a book if you not in love with the characters and what they love. I tip my hat and bow. Bravo


  40. “She would find that distance in time, and there would be sorrow enough to make the dead weep, and she feared it.” I can relate.

    This quote alone shows how much Nona grew up throughout this book. From someone who didn’t understand friendship or relationships in general to experiencing gut wrenching grief at the loss of a friend and understanding what such emotions can do to a person. Its amazing. I’m proud of Nona in a way and I can’t wait to see how she grows in the next two installments. Just have to wait until 2018.


  41. I’m almost ashamed to say this the first Mark Lawrence hardback I’ve purchased… I read the Thorn’s trilogy from my library, and only bought the paperbacks of the red queen’s war. However, I couldn’t wait to read this book… I absolutely loved Nona. Such a complicated and conflicted character. I loved the slow reveal of how she ended up in the cart, he’s so damn good at slowly bringing in flashbacks and surprising you with how a character got to where they are. Can’t wait to read the next installment!


  42. I absolutely loved this book. Lawrence did a masterful job. I felt really emotions for Nona and all the otherror characters. That’s how I judge a book. Did it make me feel Anything? Did I become anxious? This was deadly and bloody and suspenseful and other adjectives I can’t think of. The scene in the cave may be my favorite fight sincentives Stephen King had a young Roland and pals fight the Big Coffin Hunters in the old saloon. Only bad thing about the book is that it ended.


  43. This book grabbed me from the first line. But I especially loved Nona when she talked about what friendship means to her:

    “‘Friend’ can be a dangerous word,” Nona said.

    Clera laughed. “Friend? Really?”

    “It is if you mean it.” xxx Much of what people did, how they acted, confused Nona. But ‘friend’ she understood. A friend you would die for. Or kill for.'”

    “Friend” has become somewhat of a mundane word easily thrown around in this age of Facebook, etc. Nona has brought back its essence. It tells me that friendship for her does not come easily and is thus cherished and protected. Nona is fierce, even in her faults and errors, and you can’t help but root for her.


  44. There is so much to like about this book that it’s hard to list just one. My favorite character is a toss up between Hessa and Nona they were sort of each other’s ying and yang. With every debut to a series its the author’s job to dot all his i’s and cross all his t’s and Mark did an excellent job in introducing his audience to his flora and fauna. The enigma in this novel for me was Abbess Glass and I’m really interested to see how he uses her in the next installment. What a fabulous, fabulous read!!!


  45. My favorite part was in the epilogue. How Nona was described as Sister Cage. “Cage. She would not release you; you would not escape. The tales said she made her first kill in the same year she learned to walk. They said she tore a boy apart with her bare hands and took his heart to show her mother.” Everything about the epilogue just left me with more questions and wanting to read on.(Also, I love that her eyes are completely black.)


  46. Ok – first ever online review so please bear with me. Big fan of the author and loved the previous two trilogies, in my opinion some of the best characterisation in recent times. However, I find myself a bit torn over Red Sister. Nona is superb as a character and I think will grow into one of fantasy’s great female protagonists but the overall feeling I got was just a bit too Harry Potteresque. Unrealistic “problems” that must be solved by the students/novices that would simply not be an issue if not for plot exposition. Some aspects were really good, the world building, the “blood” magic and path focus are all new and interesting. Overall I’m going for a 7/10, great potential for characters and world but more sophisticated plot required to make the most of these elements. Cheers


  47. I love the setting, with the corridor and the dying sun and the focus moon fighting every night against the ice. And all that wind.

    I can’t really relate to the friends are something you would kill or die for theme. But it is a nice concept.

    I love that Nona had to ignore the path as it was set out for everyone else and find her own way. Serenity shmarinity. πŸ˜‚

    I can’t wait to find out more of the secrets of this world. Ship hearts and all that. Gimme Grey Sister! 😍


  48. I did not inform myself of what the book was about beforehand because Mark’s stuff has always been win. I was a bit confused and befuddled in the beginning as I realized this was not the Broken Empire.
    It took me a bit to set that aside. Once I did I pretty much fell in love with the book.

    One part I found myself sharing with people though was Nona’s introduction to one of the cities favourite contact sports! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I enjoyed that passage probably far too much.


  49. Loved the book! My favorite line was “I have been too young to know, and I have been too old to care. It’s in that oh so narrow slice between that memories are made.” I dont quite know why this book appealed to me.. probably all the action and the writing style. I have tried to read prince of fools but the beginning just didn’t interest me and I didn’t relate to the main character at all and I gave up after only a couple pages.. wrong vibe. I found Nona much more likeable though and enjoyed this book very much! I got a little confused about where this book was going and felt like the plot could have been stronger but it still made me want to continue reading!


  50. “Knowledge is a rug of a certain size, and the world is larger. It’s not what remains uncovered at the edges that should worry you, rather what is swept beneath.”

    What an incredible line. All of the scenes with Amondo are incredibly written, and I hope we get to see him again in the next books. My only complaint is that the book wasn’t 1000 pages long πŸ™‚


  51. My favorite part of the book was when Nona was fading in and out of seeing what Hessa was doing to try to save the Shipheart from being taken. After being kicked out the last time, she just cuts her entire shadow off and sends it to destroy Yisht. That so awesome! Sister Cage the Shadowless is such a badass name.


  52. Favourite quotes were the one from Tarkax, when he spoke about rage as an “evolutionary weapon”, and Sister Tallow’ initial speech about what she is going to teach and why. Both extremely well written, believable and gritty in a somewhat poetic way.

    Threadworking and its “entanglement magic” is quite interesting as well, along with the idea of flawblades, the different bloodlines, the slowing down of time, etc. There was much more I wish I could read about the “magic system”, especially spoken by characters who really know their shit, but it makes sense that Nona doesn’t. At least there was Hessa and those academics who briefly spoke while Nona was recovering herself from the attack.

    Really like the worldbuilding; the idea of the corridor, of the focus moon keeping the ice at bay, of different types of civilisations being forced to share the same diminishing space, the worshipping of the ancestors and the overall “we came from outer space to colonise this planet and we have to do some changes in our DNA to survive in it” were interesting and different things to read about.

    Another thing I liked was the fact that Ara became a friend instead of an antagonist. And one of the most powerful scenes was the one about Four-Foot’s punishment. Damn.

    And I really, really want to know more about Giljohn and Amondo.


  53. I really enjoyed it! I got some Harry Potter vibes (but a far more stabby version!) and I’m curious to see where this series goes. I can’t wait to find out how Nona ends up at the situation in the prologue/epilogue. I also liked the sci-fi vibes with the history – I’m betting space travellers crash landed or something and that populated the world, because who would choose an ice ridden planet? Can’t wait to see if my theories are correct!


  54. “The world is a dangerous place. We do you no favours if we hide your weakness from you” Universal truth or what?!? I liked Nona, but I also really liked Clara. I am actually more curious to hear her story. Also, I bought this as an audiobook, and I really, really need it in print if I’m going to continue!! I hate not having the print versions. I also liked the dual nature of Sister Apple. Seriously great story!! Cheers πŸ™‚


  55. OK, so…

    I yelled out loud ‘Not the donkey!’
    I made everyone in the family jump when I yelled again (I don’t make a habit of it, honest), having reached the naming and realised who grew up to be Sister Thorn.
    And I cried when Sister Apple (hope it was her – my dad’s borrowed the book so I can’t check her name) lay dying before the final confrontation…

    Loved the concept, loved the world building, loved the cast of female characters. Only disappointment? That it finished where it did in Nona’s story. I needed more. Immediately. Waiting for Grey Sister is going to be hard…


  56. That shift in the middle interlude, learning that Thorn was not who we expected–that was brilliant. So many things about this book, it made me rethink my own writing. I also loved the length and rising horror through the ordeal of the priests with the shield/no shield testing. It just got worse and worse…excellent.


  57. Well, I am not going to open with a favorite quote; I’ve done that in a review. Nor am I going to gush about the character development or other somesuch. I am reading Red Sister for a second time for the main fact that it is good, in fact, it went too fast the first time. Mark’s use of retrovision perspective is different from The Broken Empire trilogies, and actually has improved ( I write this simply because, though TBE back-and-forth was perfectly fine for me, many other lesser creatures found it confusing.) I think only a father with a young daughter could have the insight to create and depict such a character as Nona as well as Mark has.
    This is the second cosmology/world that ML has given us in a future far-flung from some world-cracking catastrophe (messing with Planck-space/causality in TBE, a dying sun in Books of the Ancestor,) and I find the underlying logic of his creation in this instance to be almost as fascinating as the conflicts and characters in the narrative. Good stuff.


  58. Another amazing book from Mark Lawrence, yet again he creates an extremely loveable main character. Nona is an intriguing girl whose adventures you don’t want to stop even as you know you’re approaching the end of the story. A book that I tried to make myself read slowly to savour!


  59. I loved everything about the book. One of the scenes that just tore me apart was when the Abbess burned her hand in support of Nona.
    I was planning to re-read it at some point in the future, but after reading these comments I need to re-read it very soon!


  60. Head’s last stand was probably my favorite moment in the book. Thinking that everything wasn’t all good with Clera and then seeing it come full circle only for Nona to be a step ahead was awesome. The fakeout thinking that it was Cage who might have thrown that spear at thorn to find out the truth in the epilogue. Another great all around work and I don’t want to wait for the next book to come out.


  61. Loved the book, read it so quickly will again too, lived Nona awesome, but apples I think was brilliant and inspired especially the checky crafty truth drug


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