Review: Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence


May Contain Spoilers

I was really excited to get my hands on Grey Sister, and when I finally had an opportunity to sit down and read it, I had mixed results. Again. I love this story when Nona is not at the Convent of Sweet Mercy. Thankfully, a spiteful novice sends Nona packing about 40% of the way through. Then Nona has to rely on her courage, wits, and abilities to keep herself alive in an exceedingly dangerous world. With the ice ever creeping into the Corridor, the tensions between the people of Abeth are at a fever pitch. Competition over land is fierce and deadly. Nona and the Sisters of Mercy are caught up in a plot to shake up the power base in the Empire, and any wrong move can mean their death.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, because part of the fun was being manipulated by both Glass and Sherzal.  Like the reader, Nona is a helpless pawn in the game being played between the two women, and she is buffeted along a treacherous path that she can’t avoid.

After being accused of crimes punishable by death, Nona must flee the convent, the only home she’s ever truly known. Helplessly, she finds herself going back to where everything began: the village of her birth. As she tries to piece together the puzzle that brought her to Sweet Mercy, she finds herself captured by mortal enemies. Her plight looks dire, and I wondered how she would get out of the mess she was in. Nona’s thirst for vengeance is a double-edged sword. It gets her so much trouble. She’s still a teenager, and she’s managed to earn the animosity of a secretive assassin clan, a powerful noble family, and the inquisitors. People skills will never be her strong suit.

The battle scenes are fun and furious, and unquestionably one of my favorite aspects of this series. Glass’s subtle manipulation of everyone around her was also a treat. She may not be a fighter, but she still manages to earn one victory after another over her opponents. I wish Zole hadn’t gone AWOL for part of the story because she is my second favorite character, and if she had been around, the fights would have been even more action-packed. She does reappear right when she’s needed the most, and I have high hopes that she and Nona will wreak some havoc in the next book in the series.

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

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 prayer and service.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain.
.
There will be blood.