Sistersong Review

Sistersong Review | Lucy Holland

The beautiful cover first grabbed my attention, then the synopsis meant I had to read this. I wasn’t sure on the genre, but was delighted to find a fantasy story in a historical setting. I was swept up from beginning to end with this book – keep reading for my Sistersong review.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

Publisher: Macmillan | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: 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.

Waterstones | Bookshop.Org | The Book Depository | Amazon | Foyles

I received Sistersong from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sistersong Review

Sistersong Review

I love this book. It’s hard to articulate more than that but I’ll try. The characters, the settings, magic, the plot… everything about Sistersong works. You know when a book ticks all the boxes and is a resounding yes from start to finish? That’s what Sistersong was for me.

Characters

The story follows three siblings. Their conflicting personalities are tempered by their love for one another, but they have to learn to see each other.

Riva is the oldest. Scarred from an accident, she believes no one will care for her. After being saved by a stranger, she puts her heart before her duty. She was likeable, but her temper and ignorance made her frustrating at times.

Middle child Keyne is my favourite. He knows he’s not meant to be in a woman’s body. Keyne learns who he is, embracing his destiny and his power. The character development is fantastic: from a self-conscious girl to a strong leader comfortable in his own skin, Keyne overcomes everything in his path.

Sinne was harder to connect with: she’s naïve and jealous and needs to grow up. But she warmed on me as the story unfolds and her magic gave her an interesting story arc that kept her engaging.

The secondary characters provide strong support for the three: challenging and encouraging them in equal measure. Myrdhin/Mori provides the mentor, Tristan the mysterious love-interest and Gildas the antagonist without whom the main characters cannot discover who they truly are.  

“Besides, not all situations call for magic. Sometimes a pointy object will do just fine.”

Sistersong by Lucy Holland

Plot

This is a story of magic and heritage, duty and love.

The siblings have a powerful heritage – their father (the king) is connected to the land in a manner that grants him the use of magic.

But with a new religion emerging, that strength has dwindled. Now under threat from Saxons, all three must learn who they truly are if they are to protect their home.

There’s a lot that makes this read like a historical fiction. But when we start to understand more about the magic and the power of their blood-line, it places it firmly in the fantasy realm. I love the different skills they have, and how they grow as they embrace their power.

A lot of themes are covered: religion, identity, love, duty and power to name a few. It’s an intricate tale of twisting these themes together, and what happens when they start colliding.

Writing

A different sibling narrates each chapter. With clear sign-posts and their distinct personalities, there’s never any confusion about who you are following.

I love Holland’s writing style. There’s tension running from the start as the conflicts start at a personal level then escalate, which gives it a steady pace throughout, before an exciting climax. The magic system is well-described and the setting is easily brought to life.

Final thoughts

Sistersong is the type of book I see myself re-reading multiple times and picking up something new each time I do. The character development is satisfying; the magic intriguing; and the plot moves at a steady pace throughout. A five-star read for sure and a thorough recommendation from me!

Does this sound like your kind of book? Let me know!

You may also like:

Waterstones | Bookshop.Org | The Book Depository | Amazon | Foyles

Sistersong Review - Pin It
A Rambling Reviewer signature

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

31 thoughts on “Sistersong Review | Lucy Holland

  1. Wow what a glowing review from you! Glad you loved this one. The cover is absolutely stunning – I agree. Very striking and would definitely make you pick it up if it was on a bookshop shelf!

    Like

  2. That is the most beautiful cover, I’m not surprised you were drawn in straight away. Even better that the book was so good as well – anything with Merlin gets my attention, so I’ll have to look out for this one, thank you, Lindsey!

    Like

  3. Adding another book to my TBR! This review was great and honestly I can’t wait to pick this up! I know we shouldn’t judge by cover, but I love it nonetheless! I really enjoy multiple POVs books and even if normally this historical time wouldn’t be my first choice, it sounds like an interesting read x

    Like

    • I think there was enough of fantasy worked in that the historical didn’t dominate? Especially if you like a swords-and-sorcery style fantasy? But it’s hard to say because I’m a fan of both. I hope you enjoy it if you do get the chance to read.

      Like

  4. This one sounds right up my street. I love a book you can’t put down and want to race to the end. Then when you get to the end, you have to pick it up again to see if you missed anything!

    Rosie

    Like

  5. I’ve been seeing this book all around Instagram but had no idea what it was about! However, reading your review has made me intrigued especially if it’s a five star read and living up to the hype!

    Like

    • I’m not surprised – it’s a very gorgeous cover! I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s a blend of my two favourite genres, so perhaps that isn’t surprising.

      Like

  6. I haven’t heard of this book before or the author but it sounds really interesting. The cover would have made me pick it up to see what it is all about. Thank you for sharing a great review.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s