I picked up this book from the publisher’s booth at the North Texas Teen Book Festival in March 2020.
Oh man, this book was surprisingly good. So soft and gentle. Fierce and loyal. I was afraid I wouldn’t like it because I didn’t care for Ross’s previous series. This book was such a pleasant surprise.
Title: Sisters of Sword and Song
Author: Rebecca Ross
Expected release date: June 23, 2020
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Length: 432 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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 I stated earlier, I was hesitant to start this because while it sounded so good, I was really burned by Ross’s previous series, of which I only read the first book, The Queen’s Rising. I’m still debating whether or not I’ll add this book to my personal collection, but with a four star rating, it’s sure in the running, lol.
I have a soft spot for healthy sibling relationships, so Evadne and Halcyon’s was just so sweet and good. Their love for one another hadn’t diminished since Hal has been gone for eight years—it morphed, changed, into something new and different because Eva and Hal are both different. But the journey they take separately and together is beautiful.
I really thought I would end up hating Lord Straton and his family. I’m glad that wasn’t the case and I really enjoying seeing the lives of his family meme era intertwine with that of Hal and Eva’s. I expected something brutal and harsh but this book is a bit of a reminder that there are good people in the world who have to make tough choices, and they’ll do what they can to protect the ones they love even if it means still having to punish them.
I feel like I can’t say much because most of it would be considered a spoiler…
The writing was wonderful as was the plot, though I wish we had gotten to know particular characters just a little bit more. We’re told a lot of stuff but I wanted more to be shown, especially regarding the Queen. Because this is a stand-alone fantasy, we don’t have sequels that will continue to draw out the action and the emotions of the characters. But I found that perfectly okay. The world-building was great, and if you’re a fan of Ancient Greece/Rome, you’ll find a friend in this book.
There is a small amount of romance in this book and I also found that to be really sweet. It’s soft and gentle too, and while the chapters leading up to the end broke my heart, the epilogue really heals it.