“It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”
Seriously, y’all, read that and tell me you don’t want to devour this book whole because that how how Red Sister starts. It’s been YEARS since an opening line hooked me like this and I am still completely shook. Goddamn that’s good.
Okay. On to the meat of the book, because it does not disappoint.
Red Sister takes place in a world that exists between two encroaching sheets of ice. The people who came before, the Ancestors, left bits of magic scattered throughout both in artifacts and in their descendant bloodlines. The Sweet Mercy Convent takes in young girls with potential and trains them to be well basically warrior assassin nuns. Enter Nona.
In their review last year, LittlePlat called it a school full of Arya Starks and that’s a pretty dead-on description. Like, what if the House of the Undying had a few dozen pupils, instead of just the one. What if Arya Stark had the option of socialization, but also there were very different types of magic. I was so hooked that instead of chewing through the entire book in a single setting as was my instinct, I deliberately put it down for a day or so at a time to draw out the enjoyment of reading it. Seriously.
So we follow young Nona who as we start the book is nine years old and is waiting to be hanged so you know this ish is dark. She ages, learns, makes friends, makes frenemies, is pretty prickly but loveable and loved despite that. The Abbess has more than a touch of Dumbledore to her (never tells the whole story, disappears when most inconvenient) and just READ IT ALREADY. I cannot WAIT to get to the next two books.
Bingo Square: I Love This