SISTERS OF THE SNAKE
Written by Sasha and Sarena Nanua
Published by Harper Teen, June 15, 2021
My star rating – 4 stars
A lost princess. A dark puppet master. And a race against time—before all is lost.
Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive.
When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical.
A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and to save their home, thief and princess must work together. Or watch it all fall into ruin.
Deadly magic, hidden temples, and dark prophecies: Sisters of the Snake is an action-packed, immersive fantasy that will thrill fans of The Crown’s Game and The Tiger at Midnight.
I talk (quite frequently) about my recent falling out with YA (young adult) books – fantasy in particular. I don’t know what it is but all the YA fantasy i’ve been picking up is so flat. There’s little to no interest, it’s one dimensional and lacks depth and layers, the characters are all the same, and the stories seem to be recycled over and over again….. to say that I was apprehensive about this book is undermining my feelings. But hearing this sister author duo speak about the book during a publisher event made me want to read this book so desperately! I’m pleased to announce – it was pretty damn good book!
This book had tropes galore… it’s going to sound like i’m trashing this book for a second…. stick with me….. We had twin sisters separated at birth. One sister was royalty while the other was sent to live in an orphanage and was living on the streets, stealing food to survive. Then, suddenly, she realizes that she shares the same blood as the royals she hates and everything changes. We also have prophecies, a suspicious family member who holds power within the kingdom, forbidden and complicated love, and a “stone” that, if found, hold the power to end an impending war. No, this wasn’t the most original book i’ve ever read, but damned if I didn’t care!
Here’s the thing – the writing was REALLY solid for a debut! I totally forgot the fact that it was a debut actually until I finished it and went looking for more books of theirs to read lol. Even though there was a lot of familiarity to the skeleton of the plot, I still ached to know more. I didn’t care that it was a theme i’ve read 18 times before…. I wanted to see how it all would play out! And even though this book was written by two people, I could never really tell where and when the author changed, which is a good thing lol
The sisters themselves were really good characters. Ria, the sister who stole food to survive, was a bit of a rough around the edges, quick thinking, fearless type. She is loyal as all hell and will go to the ends of the earth to protect those she loves. She’s feisty and stands up for what she believes in. Rani on the other hand, she is a Princess and has been held within the walls of the castle her whole life. She’s been fed information and has been moulded by the King and Queen to think and believe as they see fit. But, little by little, she begins to see things as they really are and we see her own mind begin to form. I really liked her growth and can’t wait to see how she continues to grow in book 2! The only issue I had was that, when Ria and Rani were together in the same scene, I couldn’t keep them straight. They were still so similar, both in name and personality, that they blended together and I had to keep checking to see who was speaking.
One thing that I do wish is that the magic was explained in more detail. There were many different types of magic mentioned but in this book it was primarily focused on snake magic. There are snake familiars (which was totally bad ass and crazy how their relationships worked!) and a few other crazy cool things about it, but I don’t feel like the magic was fleshed out as well as it could have been. I have a feeling that this will be improved upon in upcoming books though. Magic has been suppressed within the kingdom and the citizens only think that there is snake magic left. Of course, that’s a lie, and it’s going to be revealed later on that there are other types. So I understand why the other types weren’t mentioned in this book, but I feel like there was a bit of a missed opportunity here.
All in all, this book didn’t blow my mind with something new, but the writing was solid, I liked the characters, and I enjoyed myself immensely while reading this! Will I continue with the series? I think I will! If this is what these authors can do with a debut, I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Until next time, happy reading!