Sisters of Shadow and Light

Tor Teen. Nov. 2019. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250208408.
Gr 6 Up–Sisterly love overcomes all boundaries in this standard YA fantasy. Zuhra has spent the last 15 years caring for her sister Inara, trapped in the abandoned fortress of the Paladins. Their father was a powerful supernatural being, and although Zuhra shows no sign of power, Inara inherited his glowing blue eyes as well as his supernatural healing ability. Inara spends most of her days in a fog, unable to think past the buildup of power in her mind. When a stranger enters their until-now-impenetrable fortress, the lives of both girls will change forever. Although both main characters are dynamic, uneven pacing makes it difficult to maintain interest in the complex setting. The beginning of the story drags while Larson draws out the exposition and the second half feels rushed, with more events happening than she has time to explore. The social relationships and touch of romance added to the latter half of the book have no time to develop before the lead characters base life-altering decisions on them. There is no mature content in this book, but readers need to be able to use context clues well to understand the unfamiliar names, places, and animals of this world.
VERDICT Fans of the author’s earlier work, as well as that of Kristin Cashore and Rachel Hartman, will enjoy this story. Purchase for those who love fantasy novels and Larson’s other books

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