Ace Books by Mark Lawrence

The Broken Empire




The Red Queen’s War




The Book of the Ancestor




Published by Berkley

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

Copyright © 2018 by Bobalinga Ltd.

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ACE is a registered trademark and the A colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Lawrence, Mark, 1966– author.

Title: Grey sister / Mark Lawrence.

Description: First Edition. | New York : Ace, 2018. | Series: Book of the ancestor ; book 2

Identifiers: LCCN 2017039618 | ISBN 9781101988886 (hardback) | ISBN 9781101988893 (ebook)

Subjects: | BISAC: FICTION / Fantasy / Epic. | FICTION / Fantasy / General. | GSAFD: Fantasy fiction.

Classification: LCC PS3612.A9484 G74 2018 | DDC 813/.6—dc23

LC record available at

First Edition: April 2018

Cover illustration © Bastien Lecouffe Deharme

Cover design by Judith Lagerman

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



Ace Books by Mark Lawrence

Title Page




The Story So Far


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47


For my grandmother, Beatrice “BG” Georgina,

who knew with absolute certainty that I would be a ship’s captain


I’m enormously grateful to Agnes Meszaros, without whose beta reading Nona’s story would have been very different and far less fun to write. She worked tirelessly and refused to let me get away with anything but my best effort.

I should also thank, as always, Jessica Wade at Ace for steering this ship, and all her team including Alexis Nixon and Miranda Hill for efforts on my behalf. And of course my agent, Ian Drury, and the team at Sheil Land.


FOR THOSE OF you who have had to wait a while for this book I provide brief catch-up notes to Book One, so that your memories may be refreshed and I can avoid the awkwardness of having to have characters tell each other things they already know for your benefit.

Here I carry forward only what is of importance to the tale that follows.

You may find yourself wondering about Keot when he is mentioned. You’re supposed to wonder. You will find out. He’s not mentioned in Book One.

Abeth is a planet orbiting a dying red sun. It is sheathed in ice and the vast majority of its people live in a fifty-mile-wide ice-walled corridor around the equator.

An artificial moon, a great orbiting mirror, keeps the Corridor free of ice by focusing the sun’s rays into it each night.

When, thousands of years ago, the four original tribes of men came to Abeth from the stars they found the ruins of a vanished people they call the Missing.

The empire is bounded by the lands of the Scithrowl to the east and by the Sea of Marn to the west. Across the sea the Durns rule. At the end of Book One Durnish invaders were raiding inland from the coast.

As the sun weakens, the ice continues a slow advance despite the warmth of the moon’s nightly focus. As the Corridor is squeezed nations look to their neighbours for new territory.

The empire’s nobility are the Sis. The suffix is attached to the name of ennobled families e.g. Tacsis, Jotsis etc.

The four original tribes that came to Abeth were the gerant, hunska, marjal, and quantal. Their blood sometimes shows in the current population, conferring unique powers. The gerant grow very large, the hunska are fantastically swift, the marjal can manifest all manner of minor to medium magics, including shadow weaving, sigil writing, and mastery of elements. The quantal can access the raw power of the Path and manipulate the threads that are woven to create reality.

The ships that brought the tribes from the stars were said to have been powered by shiphearts. A small number of these orbs exist within the empire and are highly valued, as they enhance the magical abilities of quantals and marjals.

The Missing left behind structures called Arks. Three exist within the Corridor. The emperor’s palace is built around one. There are no reliable records of anyone being able to open the Ark, but a faked prophecy predicts the coming of a Chosen One who will be able to.

Nona Grey is a peasant child from a nameless village. She was given to the child-taker Giljohn who sold her to the Caltess, where ring-fighters are trained and pitted against each other.

Nona ended up at the Convent of Sweet Mercy, where novices are trained in service to the Ancestor. Novices take orders as one of four classes of nun. Holy Sister (entirely religious duties), Grey Sister/Sister of Discretion (trained in assassination and stealth), Red Sister/Martial Sister (trained in combat), Holy Witch/Mystic Sister (trained to walk the Path).

Nona has proven to be a triple-blood. An incredibly rare occurrence. She has hunska, marjal, and quantal skills. Nona has wholly black eyes, a side-effect from taking a dangerous antidote. She has no shadow,

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