This torture as training thing that keeps popping up in modern fantasy… is it going to stay a thing? Because frankly it hit its peak in The Long Price Quartet where it lasted all of a short prologue and has just gone down hill from there. A teacher poisoning her student to teach a lesson in being prepared is less edgy than it wants to be; it is no longer even shocking.
Red Sister is the latest outing from Mark Lawrence. It will be popular and win all kinds of fan awards. It is exactly what one would expect if they heard Lawrence was writing a new novel with a young girl as a protagonist. Or if a person suspected the author planned to respond to past criticisms with a giant ‘take that!’ A bloody outing where said girl has a horrible past, something about her that makes her special, and then cuts a bloody path toward a bit of vengeance. The all-girl academy trains near invincible warriors in the aforementioned torturous methods (though to be fair not to the preposterous extremes seen in some other recent releases). Continue reading