Review of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Rating: 3/5

Recommend: Possibly


Mark Lawrence is a name I’ve been hearing in the fantasy arena for years. So when the chance came to read one of his books, I figured why not? And now that I’ve read it, I find myself…a little disappointed. The world is really interesting, and the characters were definitely engaging. But the plot and writing? That’s where things went a little wry.

First off, let’s talk about flashbacks. Because there were a lot of flashbacks in this book, particularly at the beginning. For me, flashbacks are difficult to make work. And unfortunately, I think this was one of the cases where they just didn’t work well. The amount and length of the flashbacks jarred me from the story and I found myself losing track of what was happening in the present because I couldn’t always distinguish between the past and present.

The pacing was also really slow, which I think ties into the plot. In all honesty, not much actually happens in this book, despite it being a bit on the long side. I loved the idea of a group of young women training to be super powerful fighters and use magic,  but I kept finding myself wondering what this book was actually about. I’m still not a hundred percent sure I could give a good synopsis of the story. I liked most of it, but I had a hard time staying focused because of the slow and somewhat wandering pace.

That being said, it was the characters that really saved Red Sister. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the flashbacks, I will say they did a good job developing Nona’s backstory. I felt like I understood her so well. And the rest of the characters were pretty developed and interesting as well. Everyone had their own specific motivations and I loved that.

So, would I recommend this book? Possibly. The story has a lot of potential and, since this is the first in a series I can understand some of the slower pace. So, while I got a little bored sometimes, I’m still glad I gave Red Sister a try. I still haven’t decided if I want to read the second one, but I think I might give it a go. Like I said, this story has a lot of potential.


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