Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor #3)

Synopsis:

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

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 the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

This has been one of the most eagerly awaited books of 2019 for me. It was the perfect end to what has been a pretty much flawless series for me – a series based on female rage, loyalty, conspiracy and stabbing thing.

Nona Grey is an exceptionally complex character and she has matured throughout this series and grown into her power, she’s grown from being a feral child with poor impulse control to a formidable force. It’s been one hell of a journey and Nona Grey has forever earnt her place as one of my all-time favourite heroines.
She and her fellow nuns have to make some difficult choices and fight some brutal battles to save the world as the corridor in the ice narrows and the different empires fight against each other for space.

The narrative jumps back and forth between the present and events from three years prior, so we get to see the how events immediately following Grey Sister have led to the final scene. I think I love the author’s world building above everything else, this world has a strange combination of science, magic and general medieval-ness that just works. Throw in the artful building of suspense, devilishly well laid out plot lines and then a handful of battle nuns with magical gifts and I’m one happy reader.

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