Title: Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
No. of pages: Hardcover, 368
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Date Read: October 12, 2019
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The night my sister was born, the starts 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 her 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.
Thanks to Tor Teen for having me on this tour and sending me an electronic copy to review!
I first started hearing about this book back in July and knew that it was going to be a great read. The whole premise of magic hedges, legendary warriors, sisters that had a special bond, and a hint of a “Beauty and the Beast” thing going on with being hidden away until a stranger arrives was incredibly intriguing. And Sisters of Shadow and Light was more than I could’ve hoped for and is one of my favorite reads for the year!
Sisters of Shadow and Light follow Zuhra and Inara. Sisters, one born seemingly natural like her mother while the other was born with incredible power that she inherited from her father. On the day of Inara’s birth, her and Zuhra’s father disappeared and a magical hedge sprouted to block everyone on the property in, only opening in cases of dire need and only Sami, the midwife that stayed, could traverse through it. Zuhra, when we first truly meet her is tired of her mother ignoring Inara, of the lessons to be a wife that don’t seem relevant, and just wants to spend time with her sister. Inara is constantly in need of being watched as she lives in a ‘roar’ that only dissipates when she releases her power to help her garden, and then only for short spurts. One day, a stranger appears and Zhura believes that Halvor, the stranger is there to help Inara. As Zuhra and Halvor seek answers to help Inara they leave a door open that ends up changing everything. In a single moment, both girls’ lives are changed forever. What follows is a fantastic story of the bond of sisters as they fight their way back to each other, navigate being around other people for the first time in their lives, learning who they really are, and becoming who they’re truly meant to be. It’s captivating, lovably awkward at times, and storytelling that will keep you bound to the pages.
I absolutely loved this book, this story, and these characters. The whole idea was well thought out and written incredibly well. Even when the book split into telling both Zhura and Inara’s separate views, you never got lost in what was happening.
Zhura and Inara are amazingly written characters. They’ve literally never been around people and yet when thrown into the midst of crowds and with people, they try their hardest. Some of the parts I loved the most is when both of them are in situations where they’re not understanding what’s happening (cause they’ve been trapped in the citadel for 15 years), question everything, and then take it in stride when others are super confused as to why they don’t understand.
I really loved the relationships that are formed/reformed in this book. The dynamics between all of them are interesting, but Larson did a really great job of truly bringing life to them. I was a super awkward teenager, especially around guys, and Larson also does a really great job of writing these girls where they’re relatable to the girls that will pick up this book and read it. Zuhra and Inara are super awkward on occasion, yes, but they also show girls that they do hold power and that there’s nothing wrong with that. That what they believe and what they think is right are important to stand for, even if it feels like everything is against you.
I’m so incredibly in love with this book. It was an absolute JOY to read and I can’t wait to pick up a copy and read it again. This is one of those books that keeps you glued to the page. And I’m so glad that as of this Tuesday, November 5th, 2019, you’ll get to read it too. This is one for the year that you don’t want to miss.
Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy Defy trilogy (Defy, Ignite, and Endure) and the Dark Breaks the Dawn duology. Her next YA fantasy, Sisters of Shadow and Light, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books–although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.
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