Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: standalone
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.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
SISTERS OF SWORD AND SONG is a compelling standalone fantasy – a rarity in today’s market. I loved having a full story in one book, with everything tied up and fit into one volume.
This is a book primarily about sisters. The romance is very much a lesser blip on the side (and it’s not teacher/student, yay!) that doesn’t come into play for a while. The other girl/boy relationship (Halcyon/Xander) is clearly shown as being friends-as-close-as-siblings, and I really liked that there was no romance there.
Instead, the story centres on the lengths Halcyon and Evadne. Seeing sisters at the heart of the book was so nice, the lengths they will go to protect each other – from Evadne taking on part of Halcyon’s punishment to the many scenes of them caring for one another.
The world is inspired by Ancient Greece, I think (the back just says “ancient world”, but judging by the names and landscape, it is Greek). I really liked it, as it’s not your typical Greek world full of the gods and myths that we all know. The pantheon of gods is all new, as are the mythical objects featured in the story. However, it has the feel of Greece, with the mountains and olive groves, chitons and scrolls. It’s a well realised world.
My main comment is that the start felt a little… off. The crime is bigged up, but it could have all been easily avoided and resolved if Halcyon had remained and talked. The character she was afraid of and so flees is shown to be much more understanding throughout the book, and they have a father-daughter relationship. But, instead, she flees and so he punishes her – angrier about that than anything else. Once the book gets past that, the story becomes much more stable as this is the weakest part of the plot.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I will be interested to see what books Rebecca Ross writes next!
Read my reviews of other books by Rebecca Ross:
The Queen’s Rising:
- THE QUEEN’S RISING (#1)
- THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE (#2)
The Elements of Cadence:
- A RIVER ENCHANTED (#1)
- A FIRE ENDLESS (#2)