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Grey Sister

(Book of the Ancestor #2)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  27,587 ratings  ·  2,304 reviews
The second novel in a brilliant fantasy series from the international bestselling author of Prince of Thorns.

Behind its walls, the Convent of Sweet Mercy has trained young girls to hone their skills for centuries. In Mystic Class, Novice Nona Grey has begun to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she l
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Ace Books
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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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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  27,587 ratings  ·  2,304 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Jul 07, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Note - if you've finished this book, you might want to read Bound before moving on to Holy Sister - it's not compulsory though.


An inline comment from my editor when going through it: "Woah, nasty!"

She didn't ask me to change it though! :)

Some lines from the book:

"Never be so focused on picking a lock that you forget kicking down the door is also an option."

"Nothing is as cruel as a righteous man."

She lifted a hand, as if it were the heaviest thing in the world, to XXXX’s cheek.
Elena May
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Spend too long watching the long game and the short game will kill you.”

I have a special place in my heart for chessmaster-type characters who weave complex plots and plans that takes decades in the making. Carefully placing pawns across the board, ready for moves to be made years from now. Setting everything up so that a single pull of a string would make all plots flow together into one glorious outcome. Abbess Glass delivers on that account, and it’s delicious to read.

But I have
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing

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 u
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Shelves: read-in-2018, fantasy
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
Daniel B.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Red Sister was a slow burn that was well worth its pace, Grey Sister has ascended to all new highs for the Book Of The Ancestor series.

One thing I failed to speak on full in my full review (, is how creative of a world is being crafted here as well. It seems ever possible element of this story is being masterfully worked to draw the reader into this dying world as deeply as possible.
Petros Triantafyllou
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.

Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
3.75 Stars

This book is pretty much exactly like the first book in the way it played out for me...

The first half was a trudge-fest and I borderline questioned why I was still even reading it...and then the second half made it all clear.

I am hesitant to talk too much outside of broad generalities here as I don't want to spoil anything that occurred in either this book or book one, so I will just say that I love Abbess Glass most of all. I love her wily machinations and the way she truly does care
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fantasy
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.
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
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
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
William Gwynne
I now have a YouTube channel that I run with my brother, called 'The Brothers Gwynne'. Check it out - The Brothers Gwynne

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 aga
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lucy Langford
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5**** rounded up!

There is purity in rage. It will burn out sorrow. For a time. It will burn out fear.... Rage is the gift out nature gave to us, shaped by untold years. Why discard it?

I was so glad to be back in Nona’s world of Abeth for the second book in this trilogy series. This book picked up right from the ending of the last book where we get to see a certain Sister’s fate. The book then suddenly switches to two years later where Nona has now entered Mystic Class at Sweet Mercy.

Here she i
Becca & The Books
Nov 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid instalment in the Book of The Ancestor series!

The first 150 pages of this took me a little while to settle into but after that I was immersed, once again loving the grim atmosphere and tone of Nona's story. Nona herself I still adore, one of my favourite things about this series being how you come to sympathise with and root for her throughout the story. I was however, a tad disappointed that this book unfolds in one part, as my favourite element of Red Sister was the interludes th
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Second book syndrome? I don't know her.

Review to come...
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.
Dannii Elle
This is the second instalment in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy.

Nona Grey is an inhabitant of the Sisters of Sweet Mercy convent, which trains its girls less in prayer and more in the art of death. Her new skills will soon be put to good use as all those outside of the convent walls, as well as a fair few inside it, wish to see Nona suffer for her past crimes and ultimately pay for it with her death.

Whilst I adored the first series instalment, which was largely set inside the convent and focus
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
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
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
Sherwood Smith
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
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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)

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If you're looking for a ticket into the far future or a faraway kingdom, science fiction and fantasy novels offer some of the best...
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“Never be so focused on picking a lock that you forget kicking down the door is also an option.” 38 likes
“Nothing is as cruel as a righteous man.” 28 likes
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