Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross
*We picked up an advanced copy at ALA Midwinter. We’d like to thank Rebecca and HarperTeen for the opportunity. This book came out on June 23rd and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore*
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: I have had at bottle of wine and a beer and it is SUNDAY. But I only have so many days left with my stunning roomie Virginia so what am I gonna say? “No it’s bed time?!” Fuck no. I’m gonna keep drinking until she says to stop. (Yes I realize that sounds dangerous but if you know either of us you know it’s absolutely not) I’m also going to say my nails are hella long so my typing (texting) has been erratic so you’re gonna get fat more typos than usual.
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.
Drunk Overview: this is the story of two sisters. In this world, each of the gods had a relic that allows for the bearer to wield some of their powers. Most of them are lost but not all. Younger sister is excited for older sister to come home after. 5 years of military training. Day before she’s supppsed to come home older shows up in younger’s room and it’s clear she’s running from something. Turns out older killed her partner accidentally. At the trial younger takes half the sentence of older and becomes a servant of the family of the kid who died. Also kid’s bro needs a scribe to undertake a quest. That’s a long description to say… shit goes down.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting to like this. I was in a mood and I didn’t want a YA nonsense so I said “sam, if this doesn’t catch you in 40 pages you’re out.” I am here to say it did catch me.
Characters: we get the perspectives of both sisters. The elder, Halcyon, knowing she actually accidentally killed the kid and is ready to take her punishment. Hal’s depression is real lol. She accidentally kills her best friend. What would you do? Idk about you but the first thing I’d think of is joining them. The guilt would kill me. We get that with her… we get her grief. We get her pain. And we also get the feeling of injustice when she knows it was an accident and that everyone else knows that too. Then we have the sister, Evadne. She just loves her older sibling so much. But that’s… honestly most of what we know about her. We know she wanted powers and taught herself to be literate but… other than wanting to save her sister… that’s all we have. Idk they’re both well rounded characters but I feel like the younger I don’t know well enough to feel like her reactions are genuine.
Then you have our beautiful side cast and their contributions. The parents of Hal and Ev are just… chef’s kiss… beautiful. They’ve got parents and a couple aunts and uncles and they’re all stunning. There’s also the dad of the kid Hal had the accident with. He’s just amazing and so is his family. Like… this bitch killed your son and he’s like…. idk. Without spoiling is so genuine and I love it.
There’s also Dorian. The love interest. Was it instalove? Yes. Did I love it? Eh. I knew it was going to happen and while it tried to be slow burn, this whole book happened over the course of a week so
Plot: this brings me to the plot. Boy was it formulaic. And yes, I’m using the gendered “boy” for a reason. It’s just so generic. Main character sees something they feel is unjust and then they try and fix it… and then something bigger is unleashed and then all the other trivialities are ignored. This book happens over a week and while I LOVED IT it was very fast. If you took the plot and made it three months it would be perfect. So just… ignore that it’s a week.
Writing Style: they try real hard to show its Roman and or Greek and I guess that makes sense but because of the attire. The Arbour spends a lot of time writing about the clothes so that we know… ya know… they’re togas.
World Building: I do love the idea of having gods leaving something behind. I also am sad to say this is a stand-alone. Does it need more story? No. Do I want more of this world? 100%
What to pair it with: Pinot noir. A beautiful wine that you can drink a lot of.
COMMENT DOWN BELOW: What was the last formulaic book that you read that you still enjoyed?
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,