Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third installment of Book of the Ancestor.
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 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 Nona 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.
Author: Mark Lawrence
Narrator: Helen Duff
Publisher: Harper Collins
Series: Book of the Ancestor (Book 3)
Length: 13 hrs 54 mins
Audio Release Date: 25/04/2019
My Rating of ‘Holy Sister’: 5 out of 5
Having just finished Holy Sister, all I can say is that I am a little upset that Mark Lawrence is one of those rare authors that doesn’t drag a series on for an uncountable number of books. Ordinarily, I hate those massive series, but I really enjoyed the Book of the Ancestor trilogy and would have loved it to continue. That’s not even a selfish ‘I don’t want this to end’ thing. It’s more a the world itself is in a pretty delicate, on the edge of a knife kind of balance, so I am curious to see what happens next etc …
The narration from Helen Duff is perhaps some of my favourite narration I have ever had from an audio book and I have a total listening time over the years of ‘3 months, 20 days, 8 hours and 33 minutes’ according to my audible stats. So that’s saying something. She has an incredible talent for voices and each character has their own unique voice. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for future fantasy titles with her narration. I’m only a little bit in love with her voices for Nona, Arabella and Clera. What can I say, I’m a sucker for an accent.
There is one slight negative (very slight) and that’s the fact that. Unlike book two, Holy Sister doesn’t have a little ‘what happened last time’ bit at the front. It’s not overly necessary due to Mark being a workhorse that gets a book out every year, but a little recap really helped me in the second book and I kind of took a short while to get re-focused on this one.
There were no negatives, as far as I could see, where the story was concerned. A good portion of the book is set in the present and a fair bit is relayed through flashbacks of when Nona and Zole were making their escape. The flashbacks worked really well and slid into the main narrative seamlessly.
In Holy Sister the events of Red Sister and Grey Sister come to a head and Mark Lawrence’s version of Endgame ensues. The battle scenes are excellent and the strength of the characters radiates out during these scenes, giving them that little bit of extra awesomeness. We are also treated to learning the extent of Abbess Glass’ long-game style thinking. Well, maybe. I can well imagine that genius of a woman still had all sorts planned for the future that we’ll never get to see.
Speaking of the characters, everyone from Nona to Arabella and even Clera, get continuous character development that just adds so much richness to the reading/listening experience. Holy Sister really felt like a fitting end to the Book of the Ancestor Trilogy. I have already added it to my ‘must listen again’ list.
If you’re like me and want more from the Book of the Ancestor series, but was entirely unaware of the short story (Bound) then its best to read it before Holy Sister. Sadly I only learned of its existence after finishing Holy Sister. Ah well, I doubt reading it out of order will lessen the enjoyment.