ARC Review: Sisters of Shadow and Light | Talk About Leveling Up

ARC Review: Sisters of Shadow and Light | Talk About Leveling UpSisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1) by Sara B. Larson
Published by Tor Teen on November 5, 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eARC, Hardcover
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The King's English
Goodreads
five-stars

From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters of Shadow and Light is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic

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 received this book in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given, offered, or taken to alter the opinion forth with.

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Miss Larson’s first book, Defy, and I really enjoyed it. I still need to finish that trilogy, but I genuinely became a fan of Larson’s. It was so heartwarming and exciting to pick up her newest book and see how much her writing has grown. I absolutely loved Sisters of Shadow and Light, so much that I was almost halfway through the ARC I had received of it when it came out and I had to go out and get myself a hardcopy of this book.

The use of Paladins in this story was so refreshing for me. In a lot of fantasy, we usually just see people who happen to just be able to do magic or some form of a witch/wizard/warlock. I enjoy all of those things, but Paladins aren’t something I’m familiar with and I haven’t run across yet in any books I’ve read. It was so much fun to see them used as the central magical beings in a novel.

My favorite thing by far about this book though was the family dynamic between Zuhra, Inara, their parents, others, and even those who were perhaps not family by blood but family in every other way. I adored how you could see how much these people loved and cared about each other, even when some of their decisions were questionable and when they struggled to process their own individual traumas. Each person responded to these traumatic experiences in their own ways, altering how they interacted with those they loved. It was dynamic, just like a family is. It was refreshing to see family treated in this light in a book; I read quite a bit and I don’t see this type of dynamic very often.

There are a couple love stories in this book and those were wonderfully fun and done so incredibly well. I adored them so much. The world building was awesome and easily understood, which is the best thing when you’re reading a fantasy novel.

Each character was individual and distinct. This book is about a family fighting to be together and clinging to each other, and how the powerful bond of two sisters keep a family from falling apart completely. It’s wonderful and beautiful. I definitely shed a few tears reading part of chapter 38.

I cannot wait to read the sequel and 100% recommend this book. I didn’t want to put it down.

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