I was so thrilled to receive an ARC for being a part of Rebecca Ross’ street team! I loved her debut The Queen’s Rising, and I was so intrigued by the premise of this story!
Title: Sisters of Sword and Song
Author: Rebecca Ross
Pub Date: June 23, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
From the author of The Queen’s Rising comes a thrilling YA stand-alone fantasy about the unbreakable bond between sisters. Perfect for fans of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep, and Court of Fives.
After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.
Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.
As always, Ross’s writing is lush and beautiful. She weaves a world full of magic inspired heavily by Ancient Greece where there are mages, scribes, divine beings, and warriors. It was fun to enter this world and enjoy Ross’s talented world building. After finishing the book, I knew that there was so much world building that didn’t make it into the book—there’s a level of mythology and complexity that I admire.
Evadne and Halcyon are wonderful main characters, both with flaws and strengths that not only make them relatable, but they’re also good foils for each other because of it. I would say this is mostly Evadne’s story—she grows the most through her hardships and victories, and I really enjoyed her side of the story. I liked Halcyon’s as well, but I was always excited to be back with Evadne.
Despite the intricacies in the world and the excellent development of the characters, I felt like this book lacked a certain depth that I was missing in comparison to The Queen’s Rising. Some of these things include underdeveloped relationships with secondary characters, a disjointed and rushed third act, a villain I don’t fully understand the motivations behind… while I was reading, it was easy to overlook these while I enjoyed the world and the main characters’ stories. But one thing that continued to take me out of the story again and again was the fact that the magic system focuses so much on song… but there are no written lyrics in the book. The descriptions of the songs are so beautiful, I just wanted to read what they were singing.
- There is an adorable slow-burn romance and I really loved it. Those two are perfect for each other.
- The climax is explosive—I liked how this book ended with a lot of pain, yet it was still uplifting and sweet.
Sisters of Sword and Song is a beautiful standalone fantasy with strong characters and intricate world building. Though not without its flaws, this novel was really enjoyable and will appeal to those who love sister stories, slow-burn romances, and unique magic systems.