Red Sister

Ace: Berkley. (Book of the Ancestor, Bk. 1). Apr. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9781101988855. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101988862. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarNine-year-old Nona Grey, accused of murder, is headed for the gallows when she is purchased by the abbess of Sweet Mercy and taken into a convent that raises young women to become trained killers. For ten years, girls are taught the ways of sword and shadow, and for many, the old blood of the ancestors eventually rises to the surface in the form of magical gifts that enhance their fighting skills. When Nona arrives, she finds a new future, a new family, and some new enemies. But her brief previous history in the world attracts the attention of powerful families, dangerous foes, and even the emperor himself. As external politics and internal conflicts within the church seep into the convent's isolated world, Nona will be forced to confront and embrace the darkness inside her, and no one will ever be the same.
VERDICT In this stunning, action-filled series launch, Lawrence ("Broken Empire" trilogy) establishes a fantastic world in which religion and politics are dark and sharp as swords, with magic and might held in the hands of wonderful and dangerous women. Impatient George R.R. Martin's fans will find this a pleasing alternative until the next installment in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga arrives.
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