Hob’s Review of Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2)

Hardcover, 400 pages

Expected publication: April 3rd 2018 by Ace

I like the cover but Nona looks a bit too old, I pictured her more like this.


Still it is pretty cool. As for errors I didn’t really notice any spelling ones, but I did notice a few odd things. The first one was actually brought to my attention by one of my blog readers, Sethia noticed that at the beginning of chapter 2 it says two years later but in the text Nona keeps referring to it being three years later. Then a few chapters later I noticed something was wrong but couldn’t tell what. I was just like  “Wait. Hold on a sec” and then had to reread a page or two a few times to put my finger on what it was. “The meal moved from soup to fish, four servants required so that the plates could be simultaneously swept away and replaced.” And then 6 or 7 paragraphs later “Regol dipped his spoon into the soup, clearing it with an admirable lack of slurping.”

I usually don’t mention errors in ARC editions, but I was able to verify that these ones are still in the retail edition. How when it is not out yet? Well way back in November Mark personally requested that the publisher send me an ARC but Alexis (The best publicist in the world) emailed me saying they were already out of physical ARCs, but she would make sure I received a finished copy in early March , and said please accept this electronic copy now. (See why she is my favorite I really do love everyone I have ever dealt with at Berkley, Ace, & DAW) Since I have 2 different editions I just “had” to read it two times, I was just checking for errors and it had nothing to do with me loving this series so much I wanted to read it again, so let’s get back to the review.

Sister Pan barked a laugh. “We’re all puppets. Other people pull our strings every moment of every day . The only difference between us and Sayan-Ra dancing in the street show is that we can also pull our own strings and those of others. Threads aren’t something external to the world that only a privileged few can touch. Every time you speak to someone threads are pulled. Every glance exchanged. Every punch thrown. Every kindness shown. In thread-work we are just more direct about it. More focused.”


The school training montage has been done so many times. Usually I am not a big fan of them, but there are exceptions. Like Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss  Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Brian Staveley even manages to get two different schools in The Emperor’s Blades and I still loved that series

Although I may be a bit biased on that last one because I am a graduate of one of the schools. Yes, I am an alumni of the Kettral School of Slarn egg hunting.  Here is my graduation photo.


Just Kidding here is the real graduation photo


That is actually a photo of me modeling my Kettrel t-shirt that can be found on Brian’s website,  but stop trying to sidetrack me.

Back to the point I was trying to make……….. What was the point I was trying to make? OH yeah, my point was Mark Lawrence has taken his place among Ryan, Rothfuss, Brown, and Staveley at making it cool to go to fantasy school. Those are all books that received 5 stars from me and are examples of how to do the school training thing properly without it starting to feel like you are late for 4th period or that you are reading a YA book. Mark is clearly showing his writing talent here by not only making me want to go to school, but making me want to join a nunnery. Be glad I can’t because I would be a very ugly nun.



In Grey Sister the school is only the setting for the first half of the book.
And while the School hasn’t been blown to pieces, as I was reading I imagined Nona singing “No more pencils no more books, No more of Wheels dirty looks, I have never heard of summer, I have never seen fall, We might not come back at all.” Clearly Nona didn’t leave the school for summer vacation (She lives on an ice planet). She is kind of expelled or maybe it would be better to say forced to ditch class. (That is going to kill her GPA) Once she is out of school she falls in with a bad crowd and has to deal with peer pressure.

“Where am I?” Confusion in his voice, the drug taking hold again. “I’m in my own cage?”“We all are,” Nona said.

But the drugs are just the start of fun she has while cutting class.

Final Thoughts

The first 1/3rd felt a bit slow to me the first time I read it, but on the second read I didn’t feel that at all. So it might have just been my mood the first time. This series has some really interesting and mysterious world building and while we got some more info about a few things in this book there is still much I am hoping will be explained before the end. Nona is a great character and I loved her sarcastic humor. Once again Mark Lawrence has surpassed my expectations and other authors should be glad I don’t grade on a curve. But then again I wouldn’t know how to grade on a curve, I don’t math. I do however read and I thoroughly enjoyed Grey Sister and I can’t wait for the final book. Obviously I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Get a copy of Grey Sister

2 thoughts on “Hob’s Review of Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence

  1. Wow, I love this series! Mr. Lawrence, you have done it again.  I didn’t catch the food switching, that’s why your the professional! Love the review. Thanks Hob!

    Liked by 1 person

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