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Sisters of Sword and Song, by Rebecca Ross: Review

"After eight years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon unexpectedly appears a day early, Eva knows something is wrong. Halcyon has been charged with a heinous crime, and though her life is spared, she is sentenced to fifteen years.

Suspicious of the charges brought forth by Halcyon’s army commander, as well as the details of the crime, Eva volunteers to take part of her sister’s sentence. If there’s a way to absolve Halcyon, she’ll find it. But as the sisters begin their sentences, they quickly learn that there are fates worse than death."

Rebecca Ross is becoming one of my favourite YA authors, and Sisters of Sword and Song took the crown last year for my favourite autumn read. There are so many elements I enjoyed in this book that I won't be able to outline them all, but I'll endeavour to touch on the high points, beginning with the sisters themselves.

Halcyon and Evadne embody the fiercely capable female character and the morally-unbreakable-but-slightly-less-violently-inclined female character to a T. I'm really not into the former, but I adore the latter, and Evadne is stellar. Her strength is of a quiet, honourable and devoted nature that I find far more relatable than the ability to look awesome in bronze armour. That said, though, Halcyon is more than a warrior—she's a beautiful and soulful character whose fracturing allows the light of Evadne's strength to shine through.

Content Notes: in this very Ancient Grecian world, gods and goddesses are not only revered but unmistakably real, not mythological. Violence can be fierce and moderately graphic but fairly low-frequency overall. Romance is spotless and, in my opinion, perfect... though I would have loved to see a touch more.

The story is heartfelt. The writing is elegant. The romance is tasteful and subtle, like sugar melting on the tongue. I don't have sisters, but the love between Evadne and Halcyon is sincere and infinitely selfless, and all the while a golden thread laces classical beauty and heart-stirring plot with just a hint of magic. Some things slip into place a little too conveniently or feel a tad underdeveloped, but all in all, it is a standalone journey that left me enchanted. Five stars for Sisters of Sword and Song—a positively poetic fantasy read.

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