Sistersong is a book that took me by surprise. At the beginning, I was the most intrigued by the clash in religion with the introduction of Christianity. But then one of the POVs utterly stole my heart! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.
Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.
All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
My relationship with Sistersong is a roller coaster of surprises. Intrigued by a book about sisters, about the complex relationships of jealously, love, and support, I was hooked. Sisters is kind of my kryptonite. The way that the ones closest to us sometimes don’t understand our cages. But then I was fascinated with the tensions between religion and worship with the introduction of Christianity. This is a conflict that will always get me. I’m fascinated by the ways that Christianity takes a hold, how it persuades people, and the clash with traditions. The introduction of the idea of ‘sin’ and ‘holiness’.
While I enjoyed the sister’s POVs – Sinne’s recklessness, but also deeply felt passions and Riva’s wanting to be seen – but my favorite had to be Keyne. Also I had no idea that Sistersong was queer? Can you feel my emotional whiplash? Each of these characters experience so much growth throughout Sistersong. Journeys of love, friendship, and self-acceptance. There are hiccups, mistakes, and flaws throughout, but Keyne’s POV stole the show for me.
All the ways we can feel trapped, unable to be the person we know we can be. The multiple POV is written so well, not only to encompass the wide variety of action, but also to see each of the siblings from outside as well. To hear their inner thoughts, love, and dreams, and see what the world sees. Sistersong has great balance between character work and action. The ending felt incredibly hasty though considering the pacing of the beginning, but I was fully there for it. Especially with all the foundational work Holland does for the characters.
Sistersong is a story about the value of love and loyalty, of family and future. While I think if it was pulled into a duology there might have been more space, overall I enjoyed the action and character evolution. Find Sistersong on Goodreads, Amazon (US)(UK), Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.