Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence

Estimated read time 2 min read

…Your death has not been waiting for your arrival at the appointed hour; it has, for all years of your life, been racing at you with the fierce velocity of a time’s arrow. It cannot be evaded, it cannot be bargained with, deflected or placated. All that is given to you is a choice: meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms and fight the bitch….⁣


When ten-year-old Nona attacked Raymel Tacsis, she was merely defending her friend Saida from harm. Unfortunately, she and her friend are charged with murder and sentenced to death.

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On the day of execution, she is rescued by the timely intervention of the Abess of the Sweet Mercy Convent and taken in at the convent as a novice. Following this sharp turn of events, Nona wrestles with her demons whilst trying to blend in with her fellow novices. The convent is a safe haven but an expensive institution – too sophisticated for a peasant like her.

Why would the Abess go out of her way to bring her here? Amidst brewing conspiracies and betrayals, who can she trust in her new world?⁣


Red Sister is the first book in the Book of the Ancestor series. It is suspense-filled, packs plenty of action, and has excellent world-building and magic- a perfect cocktail of young adult and fantasy fiction.

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Write a YA book about a school that mixes magic, martial arts and meditation and just like that; I’m in love.⁣ Red Sister has some brilliant swordplay, throwing stars, martial arts, poisons, potions and even meditation- all so exciting! There is a lot in there to keep your imagination busy.

That being said. I found it a bit distracting that the author lumped a lot of facts together, all to keep the reader in the loop. Think of it as ‘too much information dumped at once.’ Because of this, the transition between the actual story and the flashbacks was not smooth. ⁣

Nevertheless, Red Sister was an exciting read for me.⁣

Blessing Azuka John

Blessing is a lawyer that loves reading for the fun of it. She is Nigerian and mostly enjoys reading books by African and BIPOC authors. You can keep up with her on Instagram @she_reads_and_writes where she discusses the books she reads and how they made her feel.

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