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An excellent offering from Mark Lawrence, one in which he departs from the brooding grimdark tone of the broken empire setting in favor of a lighter (though still dark) coming-of-age story about a young girl, Nona, with extraordinary abilities that she doesn't understand. The writing is consistently excellent, capturing the world of Abeth with wit and often colorful strokes of language.
The middle section of the book drags slightly, but is punctuated with spurts of action to support the emotional character development that goes on between the girls. If anything, I enjoyed the book even more because of the middle third's more relaxed pace and emphasis on the daily lives of the young novices contrasts nicely with quick beginning and dramatic ending of the story.
As for the narrator, don't listen to the people who say she ruined the book. The narration fits perfectly in tone and delivery. Each main character has a distinct voice and mannerisms. The narrator's performance of Nona deserved much praise, and I adored her Irish accent. As anyone who listens to a lot of fantasy audiobooks can tell you, the generic male British narrator gets old, and Heather O'Neil's colorful performance enhances the text and makes it vastly more memorable.
Overall, I would highly recommend this audiobook. Engaging and well-performed, the story of the Sweet Mercy Convent will stick with you long after the final line is delivered.
49 of 52 people found this review helpful
I loved this book. It was definitely a different flavor of Empire from the Broken Empire series, but it had the same combination of elegance and edginess. I'm only disappointed in the fact that I've finished it and the next installment isn't available yet.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful