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Holy Sister

(Book of the Ancestor #3)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  19,717 ratings  ·  1,942 reviews
Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.

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 th

Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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Starrisa I am the GReat Stealer of Young Souls. If you offer your first and second borns to me, I will consider granting your wish...MWAHAHAHAHAH
James I finished the Thorns series, but I couldn't get into RQW. Thorns is a lot darker than the Sister series. A fair amount of literal raping and pillagin…moreI finished the Thorns series, but I couldn't get into RQW. Thorns is a lot darker than the Sister series. A fair amount of literal raping and pillaging, and more violence too, if such a thing is possible. The hero is much more of an anti-hero than Nona, who is fundamentally quite likable.(less)

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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Mark Lawrence
Jun 26, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition


In Holy class Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. The ice still advances, the Corridor still narrows, and the empire is under siege. Scithrowl have invaded in the east, Durns in the west. Everywhere the emperor’s armies are in retreat. It seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn the habit of a nun before war is on their doorstep.

Abbess Glass has played the long game all her life but with ev
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-releases
(4.5) This is one of my new favorite Fantasy series.

I love the characters and their growth, the dark post-apocalyptic world, the magic system, the fact that finally female characters are allowed to be muscular (!!).

My only issue is that this last book felt a bit too short and was wrapped up a bit in a hurry.

I wish there had been a bit more with the love interest (that's coming from someone that resent any romance in her books!) and that we had had a bit more about the apocalyptic bits!


ARC given to me by my amazingly kind friend - Alexa at Alexa Loves Books!

1.) Red Sister ★★★★★
2.) Grey Sister ★★★★★

“When they put us in that cage we never really came out of it again.”

Good Lord, Mark Lawrence has truly created a once in a lifetime series that I will cherish forever. Holy Sister is the third and final book in a series that will go down in history as one of the brightest shining lights in SFF history.

I very much implore you to read Bound after Grey Sister, but before H
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coming-of-age fantasy fans
ARC provided by the publisher—Ace—in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars

Holy Sister is an incredibly powerful and satisfying conclusion to one of the best trilogy I’ve ever read.

I won’t lie, a week ago I started rereading Red Sister mostly for the purpose of satisfying my completionist nature and eventually putting Book of the Ancestor into my “completed series I’ve read” list. However, the incredible of rereading Red Sister made me incoherently excited to continue with the series and here
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I love you, Nona!

There’s me done then. Damn, I wish the book was longer. I didn’t want to cry today.

Thank you for a great trilogy, Mr. Lawrence.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler free review! 🗡🗡🗡🗡🗡 ****OUT NOW****

When writing about a book that’s the third and final in a trilogy, there’s only so much that can be said without edging into spoiler territory. So this review, if it can be called that, is done with the lightest touch, hopefully just conveying some sense of the range of feelings the books evoked in me.

More than almost any other series I’ve read, the three novels which form the Book of the Ancestor feel like one continuous story. Perhaps this is a reflect
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A good enough conclusion, but some of the original magic was missing.
For me, anyway.


The second book built up to a lot of things that just seemed to have already happened when this book opened. Including a romancish thing with one of the characters that kind of seemed shoved in for no good reason. (view spoiler)
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
3.75 stars

I’m very surprised about this and I don’t know what caused it. I didn’t dislike this book. I just didn’t feel as connected to it as I have with the previous installments. It took me a long time to read and I wasn’t very motivated to read it when I wasn’t. I didn’t feel the big emotional moments like I have in the past. I wasn’t disappointed in the ending, but just feel no connection to it. I’m unsure if I’ve been slumpy lately and that’s what caused it. Truthfully, I find few faults i
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher. While I am thankful for the gift, the giving of it had no impact on this review. All views below are completely my own.

Holy Sister keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first page. It’s an incredibly smart conclusion to a standout, action-packed series, with heartbreak and triumph mingled on nearly every page. I can’t remember the last time I felt so satisfied upon finishing a
Robin (Bridge Four)
2.5 Show Me More Stars

Both Red Sister and Grey Sister made my top 10 lists the years they were published. I really wanted to love Holy sister just as much, but with a lot of final books in a series there was just something missing or my expectations were too high or a combo of both things happened and it ended up being just okay. I seem to be in the minority though as most readers seemed to really like it.

I will give props to Mark Lawrence that at the beginning of the book he does a ‘The Story S
Petros Triantafyllou
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Six times.
This book made me cry six times.
One of them was two whole days after I finished the damn thing.

It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Nona Grey, Lano Tacsis brought two armies and eight Noi-Guin, the deadliest assassins on the face of the earth. And of those eight Noi-Guin, one of them, the Singular himself, was rumored to be more deadly than the other seven together. Nona has two options. Fight, or run. But where can one run, whe
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Growing up can be tough. One day you’re sneaking home past curfew from a sexy rendezvous with your partner, and the next day you’re being hunted across a frozen wasteland carrying a relic that’s trying to poison your mind. We can all relate. But just in case you can’t, then the concluding entry in Nona Grey’s story will bring you up to date. In Holy Sister, the third and final entry in his Book of the Ancestor series, Mark Lawrence has crafted a powerful and heartbreaking ending to Nona’s story. ...more
TS Chan
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Incredibly satisfying, Holy Sister is a powerful conclusion to a remarkable trilogy that shines most brilliantly with its superb characterisation.

I am truly impressed with Mark Lawrence's ability to write such realistic and relatable female characters, and to achieve that across such a wide range of age, backgrounds and personality of all the nuns and novices. I loved how he managed to make each and every one of them shine in different ways. To top it all off, it was the amazing portr
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-sff-faves
* I was sent this for free from the author in exchange for an honest review *

I am so very glad that this final book was so brilliant, I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, but I would have to say that this is my favourite one and it's a superb ending to the series. I found it so easy to get back into the story and pick up where I left off, and I actually ended up binge-reading the entire book in one sitting! If that's not a sign of how engrossing it was I can't say what is!

The story p
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, fantasy
3.5 stars

One of the books that make me wish badly that Goodreads would have a half star rating!
It was better than Grey Sister and I'm glad I read it (even after months of its release date) and the story was wrapped up satisfyingly. It was a very fun journey and I'm surely going to read Prince of Fools (I was skeptical after Prince of Thorn). However, this book had its share of downfalls to me.

The pros:
- very fun
- great characters (Nona, Kettle, Apple to name a few)
- a fast read full of action

 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Holy Sister is a beautiful and staggering finale to one of the most remarkable series I’ve ever read. I’ve just seen Avengers Endgame and watched Arya disembowel the Night King and finishing the ridiculously brilliant Holy Sister is right up there with as some of the most epic fantasy moments of my life. This series just has so much heart and soul. I’ve enjoyed Mark’s characters before, laughed with them, been horrified by their actions and in awe of the courage but this is the first time I’ve l ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
I have spent the last year and a half waiting to read 2 series. This one and The Nevernight Chronicles. Honestly I'd love to see Nona and Mia team up! Back in 2017 I read Red Sister. What a freaking revelation. Not only a gal who kicks butt, "actually, the whole nunnery" but also a "for me" different take on the Epic fantasy trope. This trilogy not only opened my eyes to slightly different fantasy, but also led me to Grimdark. I'll admit that I now have a great fondness for Mr. Lawrence, and hav ...more
William Gwynne
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size."

This book was an incredible ending to a trilogy that I have truly loved. It finished in a brilliant culmination of events that was extremely satisfying and unexpected with the largest and most epic conflicts of the series so far taking place and the consequences of defeat exceeding those of before with their severity.

Each and every great aspect of the previous two books in the series was present within thi
Lucy Langford
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it

The Book of the Ancestor says that for everything there is a reason. This was a time to real. A time for death. A time to die.

So after the ending of the second book I was excited to start the last book in this trilogy. Immediately we are thrown into what happens after the events of book 2- what happens to the escapees. The book follows the “Present day” with Nona in Holy class, 3 years after the events of book 2, as well as “Three years earlier” in the immediate aftermath of the events ta
Chelsies Reading Escape
Feb 16, 2018 marked it as backlist-priority-tbr
Shelves: 2019-releases
Then why do I have to wait a year between each book!! (cries silently in the corner)
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-priority
“A million words won’t push the ice back, not even the breadth of a finger. But one word will break a heart, two will mend it, and three will lay the highest low.”

Holy Sister is Mark Lawrence’s third and final book in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy. I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this final installment and thought the story was wrapped up nicely. Although, it wouldn’t break my heart to read more about Nona in the future.

Nona has grown and suffered so much since Red Sister, but sh
Megan ❀

ARC provided by Berkley Publishing Group via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts and review.

This defied every single expectation I had. I'm honestly in awe of how incredible this was. But before you pick up Holy Sister, I HIGHLY recommend you pick up Bound, a short story that takes place between the events of Grey Sister and Holy Sister. Not only is it a hell of a fun time, but it has some details that make the events of Holy Sister feel more well-rounded.

After absolutely LOVING Red Sis
Sincerest of thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Mark Lawrence, you've done it. You've created a high-ish, dark-ish trilogy that not only was executed perfectly, but also helped restore my faith in the fantasy genre. I don't read a lot of fantasy, mostly because it's long-winded, overly descriptive, and just plain boring (at least in the past I've felt it so, mostly because my mood for fantasy had long-since died). But, over the pas
sofia (sam willows)
i have deleted my rating in light of the recent harassment (non-sexual) stories against mark lawrence. this trilogy has a special place in my heart, but i don't want an author like this to profit from my words.


i hope everybody i ever meet is aware of how much i love this series. it's such a big part of me that tbh it should be a prerequisite

first impression:

this is without a doubt one of the best books i’ve ever read. wow.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Book of Ancestor says that for everything there is a season. This was a time to reap. A time for death.

Men don’t cry. We clench teeth, block emotions and rationalize. And yet Holy Sister hit me hard. Really hard. It draws most arcs to a world-shattering conclusion only a few will survive.

Feel warned and be prepared. Just don’t set Mark Lawrence’s house on fire as I’d love to read more books from him.

I could, probably, and only when pressed, highlight flaws of the book, but I have no des
i'll going to cry myself to sleep and wake up only when if it stops hurting
also, i need a second epilogue,,,,,,a more detailed and a lot longer second epilogue
also, if i ever get a cat, i'll name her after my fierce feral child nona grey

(ps- i hate you, mark lawrence....i'm going to get more of your books but i hate you)


i just now realized that there's a blurb!💖

okay, i'm seriously not liking the tiny lil "lovers lost" p
Dannii Elle
I have adored the entire trilogy, but this final instalment was its crowning glory. Review to follow.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-own, signed
I'd like to thank Mark Lawrence for sending me an early copy of Holy Sister in exchange for an honest review.

"I am Nona Grey and if you come against me I will make a ruin of your life"

Well that about sums up the book... I truly loved this final installment of Book of the Ancestor, it made me smile and it made me cry. Again Mark Lawrence took me on a journey to Abeth and made me experience Nona's story. It's fast paced, unpredictable, action packed and so beautifully written!

Holy Sister gave me a
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"The sound of a battle can be described as a roar, and sometimes it truly is. When a thousand warriors charge, a roar precedes them and swallows up all other noise. But in between charge and counter-charge there is the screaming of those too wounded to hold their peace and not yet close enough to crossing the Path that they fall silent. There is the clash of weapons, most often on shields, for tight-packed conflict is an ugly, graceless thing and there are few parries made. There are the despera ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
What can I say? A masterful conclusion to a superb trilogy? It's definitely that, but I don't think it fully conveys how brilliant this series is and how amazing Nona Gray is now, three years older than we saw her in Grey Sister.

The Empire is retreating against the forces of the Durns and the Scithrowl from either direction of the narrowing Corridor as the orbital mirror that the people of Abeth call their Moon slowly fails. Enemies of the Emperor have become reluctant allies, but the scheming c
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Other books in the series

Book of the Ancestor (3 books)
  • Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)
  • Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #2)

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