I do not typically enjoy high fantasy novels, but SISTERSONG was different.
A tale about the bond of three siblings during a time of war, SISTERSONG has everything.
The reader is given epic scenes, romantic conflict, and a character who struggles for acceptance. I found it immersive. What was more, there wasn’t a character I did not like.
This is a novel that portrays its antagonists in such a way that readers can sympathize with them. Their actions can be abhorrent, but when motives are presented, a reader realizes that the despicable character is human.
The sisters in question are Riva, Sinna, and Keyne. They are princesses, but the times in which they live make life difficult. Magic is fading, their religion being replaced by missionaries, and there is no peace between kingdoms.
As the eldest, Riva faces pressure to represent her kingdom. Sinna struggles with envy of her older sister; though Sinna is the beauty, though she has an urge to live and sing about life, she is not the firstborn.
This hierarchy prevents the sisters from forming a meaningful bond, which will result in tragedy.
Keyne is, of the three, most interesting. When battles break out, Keyne is comfortable taking the role of a warrior. When Riva and Sinna have petty arguments, Keyne is objective. Mistrustful those who court her sisters, Keyne has the instinct to protect.
It is Keyne who one day inherits then kingdom, earning respect after many acts of bravery. There is a poignant sentence near the end—I paraphrase: The king finally acknowledged Keyne as the son he always had.
It was a sentence that made me happy.
SISTERSONG is haunting. It acknowledges that all actions have consequences; forgiveness is possible, but the results might be long lasting.
There is not always a happily ever after.
Some characters, through perseverance and effort, earn the respect they crave.
There can be love in midst of evil.
A deceased person can sing of truth.
An honored individual can take the name they always knew was theirs.
The complexity of this novel, as well as its readability (unlike many fantasies, I did not find it wordy and difficult) make it one of my favorites.
You will enjoy SISTERSONG. It is a hymn about humans who make mistakes. It’s a story of envy and hurt dealt with in a realistic manner. It’s about the struggle many people face in order to be accepted for what they are.
You might find a bit of yourself in each of these siblings. In my opinion, this is the mark of a good book.