At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
My Goodreads rating: ★★★★★
Firstly, thanks to Illumicrate & the publisher for sending me an advance copy of this book.
I’m slightly gutted I’ve read this so soon actually, because now I have to wait even longer for the second book in the series!
I was hooked on RED SISTER from the very first sentence – in fact, the only reason it’s taken so long to read is because my 600+ page ARC copy is a little too large to carry around with me.
Little Nona is so driven and I just adored her from the get-go. All the characters – all the friends and enemies Nona makes – are so well written. In parts I almost felt like I was at the convent with them, waiting my turn on the blade-path.
There’s a whole lot of backstory to this world, which is explained in a sort of glossary included at the beginning (!) so you know it’s there without having to risk spoiling the ending to see if it’s at the end. But even without the glossary, the world-building is so good you understand the basics (I skipped it at first and referred to it later in the book when I’d been out of the pages for a couple of days and had forgotten some things).
The synopsis for this book did remind me of NEVERNIGHT but having read both, they couldn’t be more different. I loved NEVERNIGHT but RED SISTER is so much better. The plot twists in such a good way! I also liked the way RED SISTER skipped over the boring parts of the story so you just got action all time. I’m going to have to check out some of the author’s other novels – if his earlier work is as good as this, I might have a new must-read fantasy author.
View on Goodreads.