Sisters of the Snake

HarperTeen. Jun. 2021. 512p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062985590.
Gr 9 Up–The authors draw on Indian and Punjabi culture in this #OwnVoices reimagining of twin-switch tales like the “Prince and the Pauper.” Eighteen-year-old Ria and Rani are identical twins who were separated at birth. One grows up as an orphan and the other, a princess. When they meet, at first they only crave the things the other has—for one, freedom, the other, riches. However, as war looms closer for the kingdom of Abai, the twins must learn how to restore their family and, along with it, the balance of magic that has been lost under unscrupulous influences. This book is set in a fantastical realm of snakespeakers and flametalkers, yet woven throughout are the celebrations, foods, smells, and stories of Indian and Punjabi culture. The setting is rich and evocative, and readers will enjoy following Rani and Ria as they unravel the mysteries of their past.
VERDICT A satisfying twin-switch tale with a vibrant setting, recommended for readers seeking high fantasy.

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