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Publisher's Summary

From the international best-selling author of the Broken Empire Trilogy comes the first in a brilliant new breakout fantasy series. A searing novel set in a brand-new world, this series follows a young girl who enters a convent where girls are selected to train in religion, combat, or magic. Nona is selected to learn combat and finds herself at the center of an epic battle for empire on the outer reaches of a dying universe.

©2017 Boblinga Ltd. (P)2017 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story supported by great narration

An excellent offering from Mark Lawrence, one in which he departs from the brooding grimdark tone of the broken empire setting in favor of a lighter (though still dark) coming-of-age story about a young girl, Nona, with extraordinary abilities that she doesn't understand. The writing is consistently excellent, capturing the world of Abeth with wit and often colorful strokes of language.
The middle section of the book drags slightly, but is punctuated with spurts of action to support the emotional character development that goes on between the girls. If anything, I enjoyed the book even more because of the middle third's more relaxed pace and emphasis on the daily lives of the young novices contrasts nicely with quick beginning and dramatic ending of the story.
As for the narrator, don't listen to the people who say she ruined the book. The narration fits perfectly in tone and delivery. Each main character has a distinct voice and mannerisms. The narrator's performance of Nona deserved much praise, and I adored her Irish accent. As anyone who listens to a lot of fantasy audiobooks can tell you, the generic male British narrator gets old, and Heather O'Neil's colorful performance enhances the text and makes it vastly more memorable.

Overall, I would highly recommend this audiobook. Engaging and well-performed, the story of the Sweet Mercy Convent will stick with you long after the final line is delivered.
9/10

144 of 149 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome start to a new trilogy & a talented reader

Red Sister is a fun read, not too dark but certainly not PG either. The setting is rather unique, I'm definitely intrigued and can't wait to see where it goes. I don't like to give too much away about plot but I will mention one thing that I appreciated. Our hero is no Mary Sue. She is nonetheless deadly and rather awesome. Lawrence did a great job of finding that balance.

I was really impressed with Heather O'Neil as a narrator. Along with a nice reading voice she used distinct but believable voices for each character. I really hope to hear much more of her work!

66 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolute Bliss

Ill start by saying Ive read a literal ton of books and I almost never leave reviews. I loved the hell out of this book! Well, I love all of his books, but still! I think this was by far the best writing he's done yet and I can't wait to see what unfolds in the next ones.

It's reminiscent of both Blood Song and Name of the Wind, but only in that it's a framed narrative and the warrior-monk coming of age bit. It's still very much it's own story with a very unique world whose people seem to have a rich history. Subtly post-apocalyptic, concise yet poetic prose, and an interesting yet mysterious (even to the reader who's in her head) main character; this book is a winner. 100%

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So Much Love for Mark Lawrence!!!

I raced through this book. Raced. I didn't want to stop. There was such an awesome mix of action, character building (& development), and... just... storytelling! I was there, with all Nona's novice sisters as she told and retold her story. I felt like I was just another character in the background watching her.

I found the pacing was just right. I was never bored or left waiting for something to happen. I do, however, often accept and even look for authors to spend time developing characters through dialogue or ... less adventurous moments. These are not boring or dull in Red Sister.

Heather O'Neil's narration was wonderful. I delighted in listening to her give voice to Nona's thoughts and actions. I look forward to listening in the rest of the series!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another good book from Mark Laurence

I'm not sure what people disliked so much about the narrator, other than her voice being slightly neutral the accent didn't detract and she spoke well and was easy to understand. I have listened to much worse.
As to the book, the characters were varied with good personalities and the plot is good.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to finish, but I made it!

This book had such good reviews that I picked it up during the Black Friday sale. Unfortunately, I found the majority of the book quite dull and hard to get through. The only part of the book that I really got into was maybe the last two hours. Even still, the death of characters didn’t resonate with me at all. I wasn’t sad, just ready to move on.

Some reviews I read put this on par with the Kingkiller Chronicles. Having completed the book, I find the comparison to be offensive. This isn’t even in the same arena.

Other reviews said that the all female cast might have made men a bit out of touch with the characters, but I disagree. I’m a woman and I felt out of touch with the characters. I think it is just the writing.

I’m looking forward to getting to a new book that will, hopefully, leave me feeling much more satisfied with my experience. Finishing a book should never feel like a chore, but this one was for me. I’m glad other enjoyed it; however, that love does not transcend to all readers. If you buy it, I hope you enjoy it. I won’t be terribly surprised if you don’t though.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Damon
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 06-27-17

Not As Great As His Others

It pains me to say that this book didn't grab me like Lawrence's others, but it's undeniably true, and I think it should be said because many other reviewers seem to think this is his best work. I'm not one to question a reviewer's opinion, and I'm glad they all loved the book, but my opinion is more lukewarm. Lawrence is a great writer, and as some have noted, this book suggests he continues to increase in skill, but to me, the story just wasn't particularly interesting, and it seemed awfully familiar. One reviewer called it Anthony Ryan's Blood Song, but with girls, and I have to say it's an apt comparison. I really hope my mediocre view isn't due to the main characters being female rather than male, but I did find some of the girlish dialogue tiring. Reminded me of the Wheel of Time and the hours of female-only interactions, which also wore thin. Ultimately I think I must prefer more of a mixed cast (all guy books are equally problematic), and I really missed Lawrence's bizarrely twisted writing found in the prior series. It would likely be inappropriate here, as the book focuses on young girls, but I guess that's the problem. Or my problem. Still, it's a solid book, and I could see the next in the series being better, as the protagonist is definitely interesting and super badass, so the next installments could be more like his other books. As for the narration, she seemed solid to me. Strong voice acting, and despite what one reviewer said about stilted pauses, I think her pauses were perfectly timed to represent the flow of the dialogue.

36 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Feminism, Gotta Love it.

A good story in a time when it seems like most are founded on an illustrated storyboard. Set in an alien world it has the overtones of a "What if" Wolverine and Wonder Woman had a child plot. Though interesting, the story seemed to sometimes lose its power like a vehicle that is going up a very steep grade. The good thing is that it never stopped and we finally made the journey. Though Dark and tragic. The plight of the young protagonist, through the author, definitely brings about sympathy and could even wring a tear or two from a sensitive reader. The authors desire to show the strength of his heroine in a well rounded fashion is well done. Reluctant heroes and heroines show their real strength in their selflessness and desires to benefit others. A book not for everyone, yet what book is?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • shocker
  • Wichita, KS, United States
  • 04-11-17

Another Mark Lawrence Work of AMAZEMENT

I loved this book. It was definitely a different flavor of Empire from the Broken Empire series, but it had the same combination of elegance and edginess. I'm only disappointed in the fact that I've finished it and the next installment isn't available yet.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best narrators I've heard.

Just a few thoughts-

This is different than Mark Lawrence's other series. It doesn't have as many references to old world technology and has a more midevil feel to it imo.

For me, it's my favorite book 1 of Mark Lawrence's previous books. I LOVE fiction. about battle clerics. And the sisters of sweet mercy are extremely badass.

Lastly, I thought Heather O'Neil did an amazing job. I always have a transition period when I listen to new narrators, but once I got used to Heather I really appreciate the picture she painted.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful