ARC Review: Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence


Title: Holy Sister | Series: Book of the Ancestor #3 | Author: Mark Lawrence | Publisher: Harper Voyager | Publication date: April 4th 2019 | Num. Pages: 352 | Genre: Fantasy


5 stars – A truly epic ending to a brilliant trilogy

Previous reviews: – Red Sister | Grey Sister

My thanks to Mark Lawrence for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


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.


It is important when killing a nun to bring an army of sufficient size.

There is something to be said about a series when the opening line to the first book is that. You know from the very first page it is going to be an epic read.

Mark Lawrence has never failed to disappoint me and as a reader Mark Lawrence is on my auto-buy list. I don’t care what it’s about I’ll buy it because I know it’s going to be fantastic.

Holy Sister unfortunately marks the end of an era – dramatic? Yes. Does it matter that it’s dramatic? No, not really. As a reader you become so invested in the characters that you’re reading about that you feel what they feel – joy, sadness, love, despair. I’m simultaneously delighted and devastated to say I experienced all of those and more whilst reading Holy Sister.

I have two words for this book: Holy Schit. Bravo Mr. Lawrence, Bravo!

Holy Sister begins with a start like an electrical shock – its quick, its sharp and would hurt like fuck if you stick a fork in a toaster (Disclaimer: don’t do that).

Lawrence has this signature flare for the dramatic that hits you with a gut punch and keeps you begging for MORE! The writing style – as always – is totally on point and I can’t fault it. Except one thing – why? Why do you do dis?!

One of my all time favourite characters is no more. I am devastated for both that character and all the others. Mark you know who I mean!

I don’t think I have ever been so sad for character death than I was when I read that. Books can come and they can go but it takes a true master of the written word to make their characters stick with you and that ladies and gents is something Mark Lawrence’s work does.

I loved how fluid the switch between the past and present day was, practically seamless in its switchover with no drop in quality or consistency.

I was shocked at the ending as that wasn’t how I thought things were going to play out so kudos to you Mr. Lawrence. Always got us on the edge of our seats.

There is so much I want to say about the book but I refuse to give anything away.

Read. This. Book. Read. This. Trilogy.

I leave you with the best quote I could give to signify the ending of this great trilogy.

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

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