Title Sisters of Shadow and Light
Author Sara B. Larson
Description from Amazon
The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes….
Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.
On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.
For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.
I love Sara B. Larson’s writing style. One of my favorite trilogies is her Defy series. When I saw she was writing a new series, I knew I had to read it immediately.
Some Things I Liked
- Dual POV. I loved that this book started out with just Zurhra’s point of view but we slowly got to see more of Inara’s. I also really liked the continuity between the chapters. Wherever one sister’s chapter stopped (wherever she was), the other sister’s chapter picked right up. I thought it made the book very suspenseful and I really liked it.
- Themes of depression and mental illness. I thought both their mother’s depression and Inara’s “roar” were incredibly interesting plot elements to the story. This story poses thought-provoking questions about what it’s like to be trapped inside one’s own mind as well as what it means to be a good parent. Zuhra and Inara both felt neglected and stifled by their mother but as the story progressed, they learned to see things more through her eyes. Similarly, as illustrated through her chapters, Inara was perfectly capable of forming coherent thoughts, but she was constantly hindered because of her Paladin powers. I couldn’t imagine being fully lucid inside my own mind but unable to express it to anyone.
I really loved this book. I thought the story was really well done and the world building was excellent. I can’t wait to see more of these characters and where their stories go. I do have a lingering fear that not all of my favorites will make it out of the next book in tact, but fingers crossed.
As expected, Sara B. Larson did not let me down. She has created another masterfully crafted setting with characters you love and want to see succeed. I’d also like to commend her for writing not one, but two, cute romance plots into this story that felt real and were age appropriate for YA.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Defy by Sara B. Larson – if you like her writing, do yourself a favor and check out her other books.
- Caraval by Stephanie Garber – if you liked the sisters element and the world building of this story, try the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber.
- Furyborn by Claire Legrand – if you liked the dual POV and complexity of the world building and you’re looking for something a little more mature, give this series by Claire Legrand a try.