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Publisher's Summary

It's not until you're broken that you find your sharpest edge.

A brilliant new series from the best-selling author of Prince of Thorns.

'I was born for killing - the gods made me to ruin.'

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 10 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.

©2017 Mark Lawrence (P)2017 HarperCollins Publisher Limited

Critic Reviews

"Dark, passionate, tense, with a female hero anyone could relate to - I was utterly fascinated! This is no pretty, flowery tale, but one of vastly different people struggling to survive when a hostile government comes to power." (New York Times best-selling author Tamora Pierce)
"This is a book very distinct from everything that came before; what it has in common though is a narrative that pulls no punches, and characters that are beautifully, brokenly, repellently, cleverly human." (Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews)
"I had never thought it was possible to find a greater character than the Emperor Jorg Ancrath. I had never even slightly considered that there might be a fantasy world out there toppling that of Τhe Final Empire, and most definitely, I had never thought that I could love a book more than The Night Angel. But here we are." (BookNest)
"Any other author is going to have to smack the ball way, way out of the park to top this read." (Parmenion Books)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Amazing!

I love it, the narrator was fantastic and the story intense. I am so glad that the main character, a small girl, was allowed and even encouraged to be angry.

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  • Strawberryskullcrusher
  • 04-14-17

Missed at your own expense!

I loved this book. So different and refreshing. I could not stop listening. It's my favourite book of the last 5 years. I cannot wait for the next installment. It's meant to be a trilogy.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sophie
  • 04-20-17

Excellent story + skillful narration!

Would you listen to Red Sister again? Why?

Only to tide me over until the next installment- which I am very much excited for!

What did you like best about this story?

The character introductions and development were one of the many great things about this story. This is no ordinary girl nor convent and these are no ordinary nuns. Listening to them grow up and make decisions (good or bad) was great.

Duff also narrates this with talent. Many characters call for many voices, intonations and she performs perfectly.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The action scenes were expertly told- Lawrence can create slow-motion in your minds eye just as well as a movie screen.

Any additional comments?

Definitely a joy to listen to, that will leave you twitching for the next installment.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Beccameriel
  • 07-12-17

Gripping, violent and exctiing

Utterly surprised to find that I flipping loved this! I can't remember what made me buy it now but I'm glad I did. I don't normally enjoy extended fight scenes and am usually bored rigid as each thrust and twist is described in lengthy detail (ususally muttering "skip to the end, skip to the end!") but by some strange alchemy, Mark Lawrence has made the fights - and there are lots of them - totally mesmerising. Maybe it helps that the slowness is part of what Nona experiences or maybe he's just a really good writer.

Anyway, I loved the premise, the nuns, the atmosphere, the world building, the consistent system of magic, I can't say I loved Nona herself but she is fascinating. Even the depiction of girls' friendships was believable. Some major plot developments are very clearly signalled but somehow it didn't matter as the execution (hah!) was so good.

Helen Duff's narration is great. I enjoyed the variety of accents she uses and her pacing is uniformly excellent. My only slight whinge is that Nona always sounds like an adult even though she starts off as a young girl.

Really looking forward the the next book in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • S. C. White
  • 05-17-17

Another perfect book from Lawrence

If you liked Prince of Thorns and The Red Queens Game, but were disappointed by a lack of strong female leads, this is the book for you. As a woman, I mostly buy male dominated books finding those written by and for women often lack grit. Not so with this one, Nona rages and slashes her way through the pages every bit as full of dark vitriol as Jorg Ancrath. If you haven't read those, you're in for a treat and I'm delighted to say that the narration is top notch for all books. Purchase without reservation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Creative Butterfly
  • 11-13-17

Amazing narration

I loved this book. A story of friendship, revenge, intrigue and guilt. I wonderful tale of children brought up to fight in a world where only the church can go up against money. Written from the point of view of Nonna, a child that gives her friendship sparingly but when it’s given she will be forever loyal. The book is written beautifully and the narrator makes you feel and love every character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs.Meri.Black
  • 11-01-17

Enthralling tale

A thought provoking book exploring the depths and twists of friendship. Easily understood by younger listeners as well as adults who will 'get' the nuances and not just enjoy the tale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Walter
  • 10-30-17

Great!

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I could wax lyrical for HOURS about how good the story, performance etc. is but really, stop reading this and just listen to the book. It’s really, really good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • brad
  • 09-27-17

Wow just WOW

The book was just completely amazing.
that's all their is to say about the book.
you just have to Read it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Martha
  • 09-21-17

Disappointing

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The reviews of this book were glowing and I suppose my expectations were too high. I found the story very slow, drawn out and boring and at times confusing because there were many names, which is always complicated with audio books. I stuck with it for a long time. I hate not finishing books, but in the end it was a chore so I had to give up.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Lawrence again?

Probably not

Have you listened to any of Helen Duff’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Narration was very good

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon Davies
  • 09-20-17

Fantastic fantasy

Nuns, demons, swords and fantastic character development. a wonderful and compelling universe that I couldn't even consider pausing! Narrator was wonderful with clever use of accents and soft engaging tone throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tegan
  • 05-06-17

Brilliant... Again

There is always that one kid that stands out in your memory, through out your education, who had an amazing talent for something. A talent well beyond you know what others will strain their whole life to achieve and barely make the edges of.

Mark Lawrence has an amazing talent for word smithing, able to weave you into a story, the meat of it is palatable between the teeth of your imagination, the juice, staining your minds eye and all from the first paragraph.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-09-17

Awesome Listen

Loved it from start to finish. Heroic fantasy at it's best. If you like David Gemmel, Robin Hobb etc you'll love this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-01-17

red sister bk 1

enjoyed this book, hope bk 2 is not far behind. enjoyed listening to the narrator. this is the first of this authors books have listened to will now seek his others

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  • Linda
  • 08-21-17

Couldn't stop listening

Loved the story, loved the narrator and loved the characters, didnt want it to end because it was going to be too hard to start something new.

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  • Abigail
  • 08-05-17

great audio book

Absolutely loved this book! the narration was fantastic also. This book is original and unpredictable.

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  • Brooke
  • 07-26-17

Awesome Listen

Loved it from start to finish. Heroic fantasy at it's best. If you like David Gemmel, Robin Hobb etc you'll love this.

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  • Luke
  • 07-08-17

Fantastic story & excellent narration

With this story Mark Lawrence, had me just as enthralled as when Jorg Ancrath first carved a vivid red path through my imagination. The excellent narration made this a perfect listener experience.

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  • Brad
  • 06-30-17

Too Ambitious And Hard To Follow

Unfortunately the author has bitten off more than he can chew with this book . There are way too many characters introduced & too many plot threads not fully explained . I kind of followed what was going on but not fully . I plan to find an online Plot Summary to fully grasp what I've just read which I never do when I complete a book . I have no interest in reading book 2 whenever that comes out . Finally I found most of the characters largely unlikeable

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  • Storm
  • 06-29-17

one of my favourites

one of my favourites, Helen Duff is FANTASTIC
her vpices and delivery had me sitting the the car not wanting to stop listening.

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  • Veronica Thomas
  • 06-23-17

Inconsistent volume was very annoying<br />

Although I enjoyed the story in general, and the narrator's various accents and expressions for the characters, I found the inconsistency in volume to be very annoying.

Just as I would turn the volume up to hear the continuing storyline, I'd be hit with a character's dialogue which was far louder than previous audio.

Therefore, I had to decide whether to continually alter the volume level... or put up with my ears ringing when a 'conversation' took place. A shame really, as I really enjoyed the book apart from this.