Audio: Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence @mark__lawrence @recordedbooks @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub @LexCNixon #LoveAudiobooks

Posted April 9, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Giveaway / 22 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio:  Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence @mark__lawrence @recordedbooks @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub @LexCNixon #LoveAudiobooksHoly Sister by Mark Lawrence
Narrator: Heather O'Neill
Series: Book of the Ancestor #3
Published by Recorded Books, Ace on April 9, 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Length: 13 hours
Format: Audiobook, ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & Noble
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona Grey faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that she and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

I have loved this series and these characters so much in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy.   I got the ARC but decided I really wanted to read this first on audio and was able to do so, although only barely by release date. I also forgot to read Bound, a very short novella set shortly after Grey Sister.  I read it and while it gives insight into personal relationships Nona has, it didn’t help me with a couple other things I didn’t understand.

Holy Sister begins 3 years after the end of Grey Sister.  I LOVE the fact Mark Lawrence always gives us a bit at the beginning about where the story left off, since the books are coming out a year apart. I really commend this since whether reading or listening, you could always skip it if you don’t want it.  I still had a few things I didn’t understand about what happened in those 3 years, however.

There are flashbacks to the time right after Holy Sister ends at various points.  Nona is working from a plan she promised Abbess Glass she would execute. She keeps the details from her friends somewhat and also from us.  The various groups of peoples on the planet with the dying sun are all fighting to keep a place and control the ever limited resources. War is coming and faster than they knew.

Nona works to follow her plan. Nothing is easy but she does seem to be allowed somewhat more leeway than ever before with the other Sisters.   When war arrives, Nona fights beyond what anyone would believe possible. She uses both her brains and skills. In spite of the people who have wronged her, hurt and betrayed her, Nona surprises them all in the end, perhaps including herself.

Lawrence tells us the epic, gritty story about these passionate Sisters who have a huge impact on their world. Holy Sister is beautifully written and I wouldn’t miss it.



I have enjoyed Heather O’Neil’s narration throughout the series. very much. I did listen at 1.5x speed which is new this year.  I am well comfortable with her voice for Nona. Her voices for different characters and genders were distinct.  She brought forth the emotions of the characters for me.

Listen to a clip:   HERE


The publisher was kind enough to send me a print ARC of this book. Since I collect digital now for convenience when moving and traveling,  I am giving this away.

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About Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbana, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight.

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2019 Audiobooks
  • 2019 Releases

Posted April 9, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review, Giveaway / 22 Comments

22 responses to “Audio: Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

  1. I forgot to read that novella, too. Maybe someday. I’m still having book withdrawals after reading this last one. I think this will be a series that I go back and re-read to catch some of what I missed since there was so much. 🙂

    • Yes, that’s why I wanted to get it on audio. It is so, so beautifully written. Bound gave a little insight into Nona’s personal relationships at the start of Holy Sister based on what happened between then and Grey Sister. I re-listened to all the flashback sections last night. The thing I kept looking for is a bit more on what happened 3 years ago to Nona and even Abbess Glass after they went back.

  2. How did I miss this was out. It is on my really excited to read list of 2019. Good to see that the series finished out strong for you Anne and the audios for these have been great so I could see why you would want to wait for that. I read Bound and it was a pretty fun short story that I think would add to this.

    • This series is my first of Mark Lawrence but I loved it. It is dark and brutal in some aspects. I like the female MC. I have purchased his other series but not read them yet. They seem to be also dark with male MC. I hope you love them.

  3. Colleen

    I think I’m lucky I just discovered this series, so I can read them back to back while details are fresh! I haven’t been this engrossed in a series since Anne Bishop’s “The Others.”
    I started and finished “Grey Sister” over the weekend (by ignoring all housework LOL) and am now eager to read the final book.