Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
Holy Shit by me.
Holy Sister is a beautiful and staggering finale to one of the most remarkable series I’ve ever read. I’ve just seen Avengers Endgame and watched Arya disembowel the Night King and finishing the ridiculously brilliant Holy Sister is right up there with as some of the most epic fantasy moments of my life. This series just has so much heart and soul. I’ve enjoyed Mark’s characters before, laughed with them, been horrified by their actions and in awe of the courage but this is the first time I’ve loved one. I think having my own little girl has made me a bit more susceptible to being worried as hell regardless of the rationality of the fear. I tell you right now though my little Maddie is absolutely not going to join a convent of killer nuns!
This is a fitting ending for The Book of The Ancestor trilogy. It’s set over two time lines which lets us again enjoy a passage of time without missing out on the good stuff that happens in between. Sometimes this works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. The story bounces well between the two time lines, the technique providing some heart pounding cliffhangers as well as welcome changes of tone and pace. That being said, I’m never fond of learning that one character is dead in the future timeline as my interactions with them are then dominated by the threat of their impending death. Especially when they are one of the coolest and most badass characters of all time.
As usual with Mark’s writing we explore the hundreds of shades of grey that exist in his worlds, rarely the black or white. A lot of time has passed for the characters since we began this journey in the convent and they have all grown in depth and complexity, no more so than Nona and Zole, who will forever be two of my favourite characters along with Abbess Glass. Thinking back to where these two young ladies and began and how much they have endured it is a testament to their strength and Mark's skill that they remain grounded and believable characters.
"Zole dear, remember to hold on to what makes us love you. If you reach your journey's end without that, you will have gone nowhere. And Nona, my fierce little Nona, remember mercy. Mercy for others in victory. Mercy for yourself too. You deserve happiness, child. Never forget it."
If you love great fantasy, if you love amazing characters that will make your heart soar and if you truly want to escape to a different world The Book of the Ancestor Trilogy is an absolute must read. 9/10