Petrik's Reviews > Holy Sister

Holy Sister by Mark  Lawrence
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it was amazing
bookshelves: owned-ebooks, favorites
Recommended for: Coming-of-age fantasy fans

ARC provided by the publisher—Ace—in exchange for an honest review.

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 I am now. I have binged read and reviewed the entire series within a week, and I can say with confidence that this series has become one of my favorite coming-of-age fantasy series of all time.

“To sow knowing that you will not reap is an old kind of love, and love has always been the best key for unlocking the future.”


Holy Sister is the third and last book in Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor trilogy. The ice is closing, the Corridor is narrowing, and the empire is under siege from all direction; dangers are everywhere and Nona Grey will have to exceed her own maximum capability in the upcoming final battle. In my opinion, this is by far Mark Lawrence’s best series and it's also his best work so far. I’m still amazed by how clever it all came together. We’ve always known that Abbess Glass is playing the long game since the first installment; it all came to fruition here. Just like Abbess Glass’s long game, we can only know what Lawrence’s saving for us by reading this outstanding installment to the end. The plot of the series is so cleverly planned and structured; connecting every single plot-thread all the way back to the prologue, interlude, and epilogue of Red Sister. Unlike Grey Sister, we’re back to having Nona as the sole POV to read here. The narrative is divided into two timelines:

1. Continues immediately from where the last book left off.
2. The present-day; three years after the end of Grey Sister. Nona is now in Holy Class and she has to choose which order she’ll become when she becomes a full sister.

The story starts up slowly and it was well-paced. From the beginning, the buildup of the tension escalated non-stop until the pulse-pounding conclusion. The usage of the two timelines—both from Nona’s perspectives—was smartly executed; it was never confusing and it felt crucial in enhancing the compelling nature of the novel. The book was deftly written, extremely well-polished, and the storytelling style felt like watching a pendulum that swings from left to right continuously in order to create a smooth flow of emotional impact. I mean it, the second half evoked a variety of emotions; laughter, sadness, anger, and tension were there; making the climax sequences gripping and utterly hard to put down. The carnage, the thrill of battle, the blood-soaked war, the brutal magic unleashed, and the clash of weaponry were vividly written; it truly felt like I was there with Nona and her friends.

“The fight matters. But in the end it is never truly won or lost, and victory lies in discovering that we are bigger than it is.”


Before I close my review, I would like to say that the greatness within this series was achievable due to how well-written the characters were; their developments throughout the series was astounding. Nona Grey has officially become one of the greatest heroines I’ve ever read in a fantasy novel. She’s flawed, loyal, kind, and simply inspiring as a person. The present may be full of darkness; familiar landscape changed by war. The future may be bleak, but she never gives up. Her friendship with her friends remains her beacon of hope and I loved every moment of reading her journey with her friends. By involving and developing every single character brilliantly, it honestly feels bittersweet to me to have read the conclusion of this series; I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters, but I'm glad to have read this trilogy.

Picture: Sister Cage by banishedshadow



If you’re reading this review, rest assured that the best of parts of the book are purposely excluded from this review; you simply have to read and experience them for yourself. Mark Lawrence has outdone himself with the creation of Holy Sister. I have mixed feelings on Lawrence’s previous trilogy, I wouldn’t have thought that Book of the Ancestor would become one of the greatest trilogies I’ve ever read but here it is; suffice to say that I recommend this series with all my heart. That's all from me.

Series Review:

Red Sister: 4.5/5 stars
Grey Sister: 4/5 stars
Holy Sister: 5/5 stars

Book of the Ancestor: 13.5/15 stars

Official release date: April 4, 2019 (UK) and April 9, 2019 (US)

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

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Mason Newton Do you think book of the ancestor is better than his broken empire trilogy


Petrik Mason Newton wrote: "Do you think book of the ancestor is better than his broken empire trilogy"

With all my heart, yes.


Mason Newton Oh wow well I thoroughly enjoyed the broken empire I'll definitely have to check this trilogy out


Petrik Mason Newton wrote: "Oh wow well I thoroughly enjoyed the broken empire I'll definitely have to check this trilogy out"

I'm a bit mixed on Broken Empire though. This series is not grimdark but imo it's more well-written. I hope you'll love it! :)


Mason Newton Yeah I can get that broken empire is definitely a series that'll appeal to everybody and for sure when I have time to get to this series


Petrik Mason Newton wrote: "Yeah I can get that broken empire is definitely a series that'll appeal to everybody and for sure when I have time to get to this series"

I hope you'll enjoy it when you get around to it! :)


Mason Newton Won't appeal*


Petrik Mason Newton wrote: "Won't appeal*"

No worries. I get what you meant! :)


Swiffer MISTRESS PATH


Petrik Swiffer wrote: "MISTRESS PATH"

SISTER CAGE


Celeste Wonderful review, darling. I’m ecstatic that you loved the series as a whole and this book in particular!


Petrik Celeste wrote: "Wonderful review, darling. I’m ecstatic that you loved the series as a whole and this book in particular!"

Thank you, dear! I'm very pleased myself, and thank you for listening to my thoughts as well! :D


message 13: by Kiki2907 (new)

Kiki2907 Great review, made me so excited about this trilogy. I loved The Broken Empire, but Prince of Fools was somewhat meh so I haven't countinued with that trilogy. Should I, like you did with Red Sister, give it another chance with a reread?


Petrik Kiki2907 wrote: "Great review, made me so excited about this trilogy. I loved The Broken Empire, but Prince of Fools was somewhat meh so I haven't countinued with that trilogy. Should I, like you did with Red Siste..."

Thank you, Kiki! Hmm, I don't know, do you have the inclination to reread Prince of Fools? For me, although I loved Red Sister the first time, it felt like I should've loved it more and that's why I reread it. Anyway, can't hurt, give it a go if you feel like it! :)


message 15: by Nikhil (new)

Nikhil Intriguing. So, I'm clueless. What is the magic system in this series like?


Petrik Nikhil wrote: "Intriguing. So, I'm clueless. What is the magic system in this series like?"

Hmmm, without saying too much, descendant from the old blood in the book, think of it like an x-men. Depending on the blood, you either have physical enhancement (power or speed) or magical capabilities (that I think you should find out yourself.) It gets way more interesting than what I'm saying but that's the basic.


message 17: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I really enjoyed both Red Sister and Grey Sister and this review is making me so incredibly excited for Holy Sister!


Petrik Natalie wrote: "I really enjoyed both Red Sister and Grey Sister and this review is making me so incredibly excited for Holy Sister!"

Awesome!!! I hope you'll love the trilogy, Natalie! :)


message 19: by Nikhil (new)

Nikhil Petrik wrote: "Nikhil wrote: "Intriguing. So, I'm clueless. What is the magic system in this series like?"

Hmmm, without saying too much, descendant from the old blood in the book, think of it like an x-men. Dep..."


Thanks, I'll try to check it out without stepping on spoiler landmines. :)


Petrik Nikhil wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Nikhil wrote: "Intriguing. So, I'm clueless. What is the magic system in this series like?"

Hmmm, without saying too much, descendant from the old blood in the book, think of it lik..."


Yes! I just don't want to be the one to spoil you xD I think Melanie's review in Red Sister is safe and she talked about it. Check it out! :)


message 21: by Nikhil (new)

Nikhil Petrik wrote: "Nikhil wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Nikhil wrote: "Intriguing. So, I'm clueless. What is the magic system in this series like?"

Hmmm, without saying too much, descendant from the old blood in the book, ..."


Sure thing. :)


message 22: by ChopinFC (new) - added it

ChopinFC kudos on the review... i'm jealous u got to read this one already!!


message 23: by Katie.g (new)

Katie.g Can’t wait to read this series. Think I’ll finish the ones about Jalan and Snorri first though. Fantastic review!


Petrik ChopinFC wrote: "kudos on the review... i'm jealous u got to read this one already!!"

Thank you, Rodney! I consider myself lucky! :D The wait will be worth it though, just one more month! :)


Petrik Katie.g wrote: "Can’t wait to read this series. Think I’ll finish the ones about Jalan and Snorri first though. Fantastic review!"

Thank you, Katie! Ooohhh nice! I hope you'll enjoy this one too. I think it's Mark Lawrence's best series so far! :)


message 26: by TS (new) - added it

TS Chan Excellent review, my friend! With yours and Celeste's resounding praises, I'm really looking forward to finishing this trilogy.


Petrik TS wrote: "Excellent review, my friend! With yours and Celeste's resounding praises, I'm really looking forward to finishing this trilogy."

Thank you, my friend! Woohoo, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did! :)


message 28: by Joey (new) - added it

Joey Stettnisch That good huh? I was listening to Red Sister last year and my phone broke so I lost the file and forgot to get it again. I'll have to make this series one of my next reads. I trust you, you like the good stuff haha


Petrik Joey wrote: "That good huh? I was listening to Red Sister last year and my phone broke so I lost the file and forgot to get it again. I'll have to make this series one of my next reads. I trust you, you like th..."

Oh it is that good. And this is coming from me, who's not a fan of Mark Lawrence's previous trilogies. Thanks for the kind words man, I hope this doesn't disappoint you! :)


message 30: by Marcos (new)

Marcos I am impressed that this one made it to your favorite's list. Especially considering how low you rated some of Mark Lawrence previous books.

This instantly jumped my desire to read this series. Good job Petrik! :)


Petrik Marcos wrote: "I am impressed that this one made it to your favorite's list. Especially considering how low you rated some of Mark Lawrence previous books.

This instantly jumped my desire to read this series. Go..."


I know right? I wouldn't have thought to... It's crazy! I'm so glad I gave it another go.

Thank you, Marcos! :)


message 32: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clouser I'm excited for this one. I just read the first two, and it only took me a couple of days (I'd say two days, but really, I stayed up basically all night reading Grey Sister, so it really went into three days).


Petrik Daniel wrote: "I'm excited for this one. I just read the first two, and it only took me a couple of days (I'd say two days, but really, I stayed up basically all night reading Grey Sister, so it really went into ..."

Hahaha not long now, one more month! Grey Sister was great but imo this was even better! :)


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