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Grey Sister

(Book of the Ancestor #2)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  14,820 ratings  ·  1,400 reviews
Second novel in the brilliant series from the bestselling author of Prince of Thorns.

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 blu
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Ace
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Nikki In a word - yes, Regal shows up more often in this second book and I fully expect him to feature in book 3 as well :o)

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4.44  · 
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 ·  14,820 ratings  ·  1,400 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Jul 07, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
STOP PRESS: Fewer than 24 hours remain to vote in Goodreads Choice Award FINAL for Best Fantasy 2018! You get a vote in each round, so don't miss out.

Vote here:

It's my first book to make the final since 2013 (the last year before the paranormal fantasy category was wrapped into the fantasy category and things got TOUGH!).

I do the numbers on this year's contest:

Some quotes, photos, and background on Grey Sister here:

Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
When I grow up, I want to be a Sister.

Welcome to my TED talk.

I can't tell you how refreshing this series has been for me. I've been so sick and tired of cardboard female characters who are praised constantly for being pretty and tiny despite being able to kill any man in a heartbeat. Or pure girl hate, just because.

Finally I'm getting description of diverse female characters, some loveable, some I personally want to slap. Some great friendships and overall interesting relationships between fema
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

ARC provided by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Red Sister ★★★★★

“But I must warn you, sister, that a sickness runs in me, and if you fashion yourself my enemy I will make a ruin of your life, for I am born of war.”

Grey Sister is such a wonderful addition to this world, and it was everything I wanted it to be and more. Mark Lawrence truly never disappoints, and Nona will always be one of my favorite protagonists of all time. If you guys haven’t, please pick up Red Si
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
I've never done one of those "book reveal" that seems so popular these days, so I thought I'd make an attempt at it for this one.

Did I do it right?

I figure since this book is like, all Harry Potter-ish, with an orphan girl learning about her magical talents, encountering rivals and making lifelong friendships along the way, my bunnies would make the perfect representative for this book. It's such a happy, cheerful, heartwarming book. Rainbows and bunnies and unicorns all the way

Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin


James Tivendale
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: freecopy, fantasy
I received an advance reading copy of Grey Sister in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Mark Lawrence and Ace Books for this opportunity.

The second entry within the Book of the Ancestor trilogy picks up events approximately two years after the exceptional and breathtaking finale of Red Sister. Nona Grey: the black-eyed and shadowless novice is still studying potions, blade-path, kingdom histories, thread-weaving, and all the other dedicated and required lessons a potential rel
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2018
All the goddamn stars!
This was some of the best authoring I've ever seen.


If you had any idea how lazy I've become with books that don't have pictures, then you would realize how unbelievable it was that I couldn't put this one down. As it is, you'll just have to take my word for it.
I'm lazy. This was unputdownable.


The Sisters of Sweet Mercy are back and they are kicking ass in their own various ways all over the place! I loved all the Sisters and novices at the convent (minus one or two, of cou
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An action-packed sequel that offers relatable commentary about faith, corruption, authority, and family.

So far, this is the highest and the most positive rating I ever gave to Lawrence’s middle-book installment; I gave both King of Thorns and The Liar’s Key 2.5/5 stars. I am very pleased to say that I loved Grey Sister. Even though I loved Red Sister more, Grey Sister was another great volume for the series and depending on how I feel about the third and final volume, Book of the Ancestor could
Petros Triantafyllou
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Grey Sister might as well be the most well-written book I've read in my life.

It's been two years since Nona Grey killed Raymel Tascis in the Corridor. Now she's back in the Convent of Sweet Mercy and the Mystic Class, training to join one of the four orders: Holy, Grey, Red, or Mystic Sister. But when an Inquisition arrives, Nona has trouble trying to hide two secrets that could get her expelled: A forbidden search of the stolen shipheart, and a demon that she's carrying under her skin.

Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Grey Sister brings us right back to Sweet Mercy, around two years after the gore stained climax of the first book, where Nona Grey and her new dark passenger dream of deadly punishments for murderer Yisht while continuing a life of relative normality within the convent walls. We're back where we were before, we're learning about thread-weaving, we're fighting with mean girls, we're spending time with friends. It’s a moment of relative calm, with each girl honing her tribal talents and developing ...more
4.25ish stars.

I've been reading a lot of good books recently. Makes me want to read a gutter book just so I can skewer it in a review. This is a solid follow-up to Red Sister and is a worthy addition to the series even if it can't match the feeling of surprise that came from experiencing the refreshing novelty and creativity introduced in the first book for the first time.

I was unsure about the first half-ish of the book. All of the petty middle school drama - mean, rich girl bully cliques; wr
Robin (Bridge Four)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[2.5 stars] I hate to say it, but I think Grey Sister suffered from middle-book syndrome.

It kind of did the opposite of Red Sister, which started out slow and gained momentum. Grey Sister started out with a bang and engaged me with all the things I look for in a good fantasy. It was a nice continuation of the story that took place primarily in a school setting (I never get tired of school settings). There were also a lot of great character dynamics and some really interesting training scenes. No
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

I still remember the way Prince of Fools took me by surprise following The Broken Empire trilogy and how I needed a little time to adjust to reading something so different from the same author. Both book series were very much character-driven. Jorg a merciless, broken, cold-blooded killer, but also fiercely intelligent and a philosopher at heart. Hence his tale, just like his worldview, became dark, gritty, dramatic, his observations clever and beautifully worded. Jalan was funny and shallow, he
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Mark Lawrence’s new Ancestor Series is a triumph. I enjoyed Red Sister but I feel like Grey Sister is its better in every way shape and form. This second book builds on the characters and the world in such huge leaps and bounds it makes the first book feel like merely a set up when in reality it was on, if not top of, every fantasy fan’s Best of 2017 list.

It’s two years since the events of Red Sister and Nona is getting ready to take her final test to qualify to enter the Grey order. Despite thi
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Just like the first book in the series this was a good coming of age action fantasy. Mark Lawrence has a fairly engaging writing style and the story had a good mix of action, humour, and drama. It also possessed characters that were easy to like and root for as well as a very intriguing fantasy world. The big plus is Grey Sister eliminated most of the flaws that held me back from giving Red Sister a full 5 star rating and was just a better book on the whole!

In terms of story it was more of the
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2018
Red Sister was probably the best first in a series book I read last year so even if I try to lower my expectations when I read any book, I can’t say they were none. The world enchanted me, the characters amazed me, and the plot entertained me quite a lot. While Grey Sister didn’t disappoint, it pales in comparison with Red Sister.

My memory was fuzzy when I started reading this book and Mark Lawrence provided a summary which was helpful, however, I would’ve liked more info about Zole and Joeli. A
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

Mark Lawrence, you've done it again. I raved about Red Sister (ps, thanks for sharing my blog post on your Facebook page! I got a bunch of views! WOOHOO!), well, because it was deserved. Like I said in my review for that, I struggle with high/epic/dark/true fantasy because it tends to be slower and harder for me to get into... and harder for me to forgive overused tropes and predictable plots.
I received an eARC copy of this book through the Penguin First to Read program.

Then, since school was bogging down my pleasure-reading time, I used an Audible credit to buy the audiobook once it became available. This was a great idea, because I was able to really devote some good listening time to one of my most looked-forward-to books of the year.

Ever since loving Red Sister so much, I've been itching to get back into Nona's world. Without spoiling anything, I will say that I found the earl
Will.J.R. Gwynne
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I loved this book. I thought it would be nigh impossible to equal or surpass the enjoyment I received from Red Sister, I was wrong, very wrong.

Grey Sister continues all the great aspects of the former book with an intriguing plot, diverse characters and a vivid world, then added a lot more consisting of larger conflicts and countless more twists.

The prose was once again wonderful from Mark Lawrence with a poetic edge that guided me from page to page which had me marvelling at how long I had
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Re-read in 2019, and changing my rating from four to five stars.

I got a review copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review, but I have since bought the book.
"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."

That is the first line in Red Sister, and the line that made me fall in love with Mark Lawrence's book. Just like in Red Sister his writing is beautiful, almost p
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the series, and I was very keen to get my hands on it after having read the first much so, that I picked up the audiobook which is out in the UK earlier than the physical book.

This once again follows the life of Nona Grey, the main protagonist from book #1. We pick up her story about 2 years after the ending of book one and we see her still as part of the deadly Nunnery and we follow her training and the way she has changed since events of book 1. She now has
Sherwood Smith
Mar 30, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy
The greatest threat to any faith is not other faiths or beliefs but the corruption and division of its own message

Lawrence doesn’t cop to the easy tropes popular in fantasy and sf: though in an earlier series he did indeed resurrect the old “fantasy land worships powerful god that turns out to be a computer!” storyline, the characters were so interesting, the action so compelling I kind of read around it once I figured out from early signs that the ‘surprise’ of the series was treading very fami
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The saga of Nona Grey continues in the second novel of the Book of the Ancestor series, Grey Sister. A couple of years have passed since the end of the first novel, and our protagonist finds herself advancing through the ranks at the Convent of Sweet Mercy, which has been her home since she was eight years old after being rescued from the hangman’s noose by Abbess Glass. It’s now time for Nona to choose a path—but so much
The Nerd Book Review
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Far too often I talk about how with a good book I don’t feel like I’m reading but more imagine it like a movie in my mind and there are few authors whose skill and style enables me to see this movie in my mind as well as Mark Lawrence. His writing style is so elegant and descriptive without adding unnecessary words that take me out of that movie in my mind.
Throughout his first six novels, set in the broken earth of the BE and TRQW series, you could see Lawrence honing his skills and every novel
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"[…] I must warn you, sister, that a sickness runs in me, and if you fashion yourself my enemy I will make a ruin of your life, for I am born of war."

I liked a lot Red Sister but this one I loved to pieces! It has it all: character development, worldbuilding, action, twists upon twists; I only slept 4 hours a night in the last couple of days but was totally worth it.

Nona is still that little devil, her powers gradually increased, on par with her rage. Abbess Glass plays an important part in t
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Whew, that took a while. I think it was a mistake to try and listen to this rather than read it. There's a lot going on in the book and I've been busy this week. I think I'll need to do a skim over to properly review this. I didn't take any notes while listening... also a mistake.

Really liked it though :D
David Zampa
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is like Harry Potter on Red Bull and cocaine chased with a bubble shot of gasoline. Its world is so damned creative in a grim, life-sucks-and-then-you-die sort of way.

[EDIT: Having read Holy Sister, I decided to drop my rating for this book down to 4*. Taken in context with the third book, this novel is a necessary but fairly inconsequential stepping stone in the story. That's fine for a 4* second novel in a trilogy and I'm not disappointed by it, but I've read plenty of middle books t
J.P. Ashman
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Grey Sister follows on from Red Sister and is the second book in the Book of the Ancients series. It’s set on a different world to Mark’s previous two trilogies and benefits from creative world building that is both familiar, yet fresh, intriguing and exciting. At least to me, anyway.

A strip of narrow land surrounded by huge (understatement) polar caps, anyone? Pretty new to me, that’s for sure. There’s similarities to our own histories regarding political structure etc. (hard to find a fantasy
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This gets 4-stars for me. It is a perfectly good book and well written and thought out; it just didn't enthral me the way that Red Sister did. I will go on to read Holy Sister in the future, though I have yet to acquire a copy, so not yet.

I'd like to thank Ryan Dash for buddy-reading this with me and my friend Melissa ❤ Dog/Wolf Lover ❤ Martin, for helping me learn how to post pictures in my reviews. No easy task given my ineptitude with computers and phones, lol. 🤣 Here are a few pics for you
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Other books in the series

Book of the Ancestor (3 books)
  • Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)
  • Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)
“Never be so focused on picking a lock that you forget kicking down the door is also an option.” 20 likes
“Nothing is as cruel as a righteous man.” 17 likes
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