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review 2017-05-27 21:12
"Red Sister" not a review (yet) just a quick thank you to Just One More Chapter
Red Sister - Mark Lawrence

It's rare for me to find a fantasy author that I've never heard of who then makes me go "wow" on a regular basis through nineteen and a half hours of the first book in a series.

 

The book is "Red Sister" and the author is Mark Lawrence.

 

I found them both through a review by Just One More Chapter.

 

That's one of the joys of BookLikes.

 

I'll write my own review once my head has stopped spinning.

 

In the mean time, take a look at the review that set me on this path and see if it gets your imagination running.

 

http://biblioaddict.booklikes.com/post/1562984/a-stabby-angsty-super-young-assassin-nun-in-training-beware-child-animal-abuse-within-but-if-you-can-get-past-that-you-ll-really-enjoy-this-awesome-series-starter

 

 

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review 2017-05-16 12:00
A stabby, angsty, super young assassin nun in training...beware: child & animal abuse within BUT if you can get past that you'll REALLY enjoy this awesome series starter!
Red Sister - Mark Lawrence


Want to hear an opening that will pique your curiosity and grab you by your giggly bits?

"IT IS IMPORTANT, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size."


Want to hear more?

 

"NO child truly believes they will be hanged. Even on the gallows platform with the rope scratching at their wrists and the shadow of the noose upon their face they know that someone will step forward, a mother, a father returned from some long absence, a king dispensing justice . . . someone..."

 

In this third person narrative, we have a demonized outcast protagonist (called a few things but best known to all as Nona)is not only young (only 8 years old when she is rescued from the threat of swinging from the gallows for her "murderous" crimes)but is unnaturally agile and displays a very distinctive set of skills to boot. Nona is to be raised and educated as a nun in service to the Church of the Ancestor, a church of assasin nuns that take in and train special young girls. The beginning and ending of this book are high octane awesomeness!! I have read other reviews that say the middle feels like a boring snooze-fest. I, for one, really liked the super specialized break-neck training, catty classmates, coming of age and into one's powers, extreme loyalty and inevitable betrayl of (first) friendships and all the melodrama that accompanies. I found them all to be interesting vital-to-the-plot reading goodness. The writing is sublime. The World building, Magic System and Character Development are incredibly complex and perfectly executed (no pun intended). The plot twists were built to a steady creceiendo, crafted and brilliantly divulged. There were sad deaths, sweet deaths, physical/mental capability twists and maulings galore. Though at the core there is Hope, Friendship, Sisterhood and Belonging wrapped up with a gorey bow of violence. Among all of this there are jewels, nuggets of truth and wisdom and beauty:

 

"be warned, young Nona: a book is as

dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat books with respect.”


I must I must reiterate, Red Sister is undeniably violent, extremely stabby with a touch of unapologetic comfort zone crushing. There is violence towards (and the killing of) young children as well as extreme brutality and murder of a helpless animal... BUT... if you can find a way to partition and store that in a portion of your brain labeled "Absolutely Unacceptable, Deplorable Actions that Are Only Tolerated in Fictional Settings", you'll LOVE the rest...I pinky promise.

 

"Violence is the language of destruction, flesh so often the subject, fragile, easy to break beyond repair, precious; what else would we burn to make the world take note? Your death has not been waiting for your arrival at the appointed hour; it has, for all the years of your life, been racing towards you with the fierce velocity of time’s arrow. It cannot be evaded; it cannot be bargained with, deflected or placated. All that is given to you is the 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."

 

There is much highlighting in my copy. The story is gripping and the writing, poignant. There are paragraphs of situations that are detestable. There are prose to ensnare and even words to live by:

 

"The trip from could to should is short and allows little time for reflection."

Reflect on that!!

 

It also has an excellent quote to wrap up this rambling review:

 

“Every star, turning in the black depth of heaven, burns for no better reason than that humanity raised its face to look. Every great deed needs to be witnessed. Go out there and do something great.”

 

Go ahead, do something great! Be the force for good in the world...that and come back and join me for book #2!

 

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review 2017-04-25 00:26
The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
The Wheel of Osheim: The Red Queen's War - Mark Lawrence

In the third book of The Red Queen’s War series, Mark Lawrence starts us off with a neat recap of the characters and storyline thus far.  But for goodness sake, don’t start here, go back and read the first two books if you haven’t done so already.  As a matter of fact, with the references to Jorg Ancrath made in this book I am thinking it might have been better had I read Mark Lawrence’s other trilogy, the Broken Empire series first.

 

Regardless of where I started, I was absolutely hankering to continue on with the adventures of the incorrigible self-described coward, Jalan Kendeth. 

 

As we rejoin Jalan he is traipsing through the desert after having escaped from Hell.  He tells us of his time in Hell in reoccurring flashbacks.  What has become of Snorri?  We are not yet certain but in time it shall be revealed. I thoroughly enjoyed it as Jalan described his journeys through the desert and by sea.  As with most things he does, he tells us of his travels with a humorous cynicism.  We don’t get the potentially long and boring travel descriptions of some books.  Travelling through Jalan's eyes, these journeys become vastly entertaining.

 

“The desert is hot and boring. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s also sandy, but rocks are essentially dull things and breaking them up into really small pieces doesn’t improve matters. Some people will tell you how the desert changes character day by day, how the wind sculpts it endlessly in vast and empty spaces not meant for man. They’ll wax lyrical about the grain and shade of the sand, the majesty of bare rock rising mountainous, carved by the sand-laden breeze into exotic shapes that speak of water and flow . . . but for me sandy, hot, and boring covers it all.”

    

As usual Jalan is in the thick of it.  He’s still not too keen on responsibility of any type and he certainly doesn’t understand how he keeps getting in the positions he gets himself into.  He longs to be back home playing the rich playboy grandson of the Red Queen.  But alas, you can’t turn back time!  Jalan’s grandmother the Red Queen has taken an army to confront the Lady Blue.  The girl he longed to marry has married his best friend.  As for Jalan, he is still running from Maeres Allus, wanted by the banking world and on the run from those who seek what he now holds, Loki’s Key.  Oh yeah, there’s also still a little matter of revenge on Edris Dean for his role in killing Jalan’s mother and his unborn sister.  Speaking of the unborn sis, well you know…the “unborn” have been something of a problem for Jalan.  With no certain escape from all of the dangers that chase him, Jalan knows that he is bound by circumstance to proceed on his journey.  It soon becomes apparent that he will need to head toward the Wheel of Osheim to avert certain disaster.  Am I for one minute worried that the fate of the world is in Jalan’s hands?  Not on your life! 

 

This final book in the trilogy is supreme entertainment from page one!  You will come to love the well wrought characters.  It’s full of “I didn’t see that coming” surprises, genuine chuckles and ever-present danger around every corner.  I will leave you with one final thought before you get started reading:

 

“When someone lets you off too easily there’s always that suspicion that they know something you do not. It’s an irritating thing, like sunburn, but I know a sure-fire way to ease it. “Let’s get a drink!”

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text 2017-03-19 08:16
3 Favorite Authors, 3 Witty Tweets

 

 

 

 

 

We look nothing alike. Nothing. And Emily is safely dead. Dead, I say. Why would you even imply that she is still alive & our clone-leader? https://t.co/aIBlYrRYfl

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 3, 2017

 

 

Quote of the Day: "Political slogans serve oftener to
disguise interests than to call them by name." Trotsky

— Steven Brust (@StevenBrust) February 24, 2017
 

Indescribable is an adjective. Adjectives describe things.

— Mark Lawrence (@Mark__Lawrence) February 1, 2017
 
Click here for other posts in the series.
 

 

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text 2017-02-03 07:32
3 Favorite Authors, 3 Witty Tweets
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks
Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence
Jhereg - Steven Brust

 

 

 

 

Indescribable is an adjective. Adjectives describe things.

— Mark Lawrence (@Mark__Lawrence)
ML is the author of the Broken Empire Trilogy, which is amazeballs!

 

You say tomato, I point you to studies of variation of pronunciation on a geographical, historical, and class basis. #IAmNerd

— Steven Brust (@StevenBrust)
SB is writing the Vlad Taltos novels that are still being written (Thank god!). Be amazed by the beautiful cover of the latest book in the series!

 

It's important to have a code phrase to let people know if you've been kidnapped or are communicating under duress. Mine is, "Mmmm, kale!"

— Brent Weeks (@BrentWeeks)
BW wrote the Night Angel trilogy. The protagonist of the series is on my list of favorite assassins.
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