Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
Narrator: Heather O'Neill
Series: Book of the Ancestor #3
Published by Recorded Books, Ace on April 9, 2019
Length: 13 hours
Format: Audiobook, ARC
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
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.
- Series on Saturday: Audio series @Rachel_Aaron @vikasadam @AndreaPenrose @KevinHearne @luckylukeekul @KelleyArmstrong #KateHandford @veschwab @booknarrator @HoJay92 @BaileyCarrVOICE #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 10, 2023
- Demons of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison @BurningBunnies @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub - June 8, 2023
- 🎧 All The Sinners Bleed by SA Crosby @blacklionking73 @alazarrewhite @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 6, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Audiobooks
- 2019 Releases
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.
Why haven’t I started this series yet???? Uggghh. Glad you enjoyed it so much and I was unaware of the novella so that’s helpful to know as well.
This series introduced me to Mark Lawrence and wow, he can write! I love this series. There is only the one novella, very short. You could do without it, but of course I can’t miss anything so I had to read it.
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.
Yes I really enjoyed Bound. It doesn’t majorly affect the story line though. It’s also very short.
Well it’s been on the blog Goggle calendar for months! 🙂 I’m sure you will love it.
somehow I let it fall through the cracks. Still I have it now and will read it soon.
Wow. Sounds like a series I should explore! The first line sure pulled me in.
It’s really an amazing trilogy. They are so beautifully written. This is fantasy and oddly, a genre I wouldn’t have read until the last 4 years and now I read it a lot.
yay I had such a great time with this novel! THis series is so good!
The writing is gorgeous. I loved each of these books in the trilogy.
I am reading this series and cannot wait to devour this.
It’s such a great, amazing series.
Great review. I’ve got book one on my TBR to try. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to do audio or reading… Opinion??
Well I loved the audio. Sometimes for fantasy with longer books audio just works best for me. These aren’t horribly long and I’m sure either would be great.
I’m leaning towards audio. Thank’s for the opinion.
I haven’t read this series but this story sounds really good. I might have to take a look at this series.
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.
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.
The writing is amazing. I love this series. Glad I was able to point out the novella.
I am so happy to see everyone enjoying this series. I have the first book that I picked up in an Audible sale somewhere along the way and can’t wait to get started with it myself. Great review!
I really love it. The writing is just so great. I hope you get to it soon.