This is the second series of Mark Lawrence’s that I’ve tackled, and I’ll admit that I came away from this one with more mixed feelings than from the Red Queen’s War. That’s not to say this isn’t a well-written, fast-paced, and interesting book. It’s absolutely all that and more. But sometimes a book just doesn’t quite click with a reader, and I think that’s the case here.
In the Red Queen’s War, the characters were what hooked me. In Red Sister it was the world. Lawrence seems to have a distinct talent for writing in completely original worlds that blend science fiction and fantasy in ways that I’ve personally never seen done before. It is the mystery of the world that I find compelling in this particular story.
Along with the world comes an intriguing magic system. I won’t say much here except that it results in one of the more spectacular climaxes I’ve read recently.
I suspect that in my case I struggled to connect with the main character, Nona, in this story. Again, this is not through any flaw in execution. But Nona is a young girl who has had a pretty rough life. She’s angry, and naive, and suffers from the realistic flaws you would expect from a girl in that position.
Unfortunately that made it hard for me, personally, to connect.
I’ll absolutely be finishing the series. I’m invested in the mystery of the world and I’m intrigued to see what direction the stories take. We get to see hints of the nun Nona will become, and I’m very interested in that particular journey. And Mark Lawrence hasn’t let me down yet.