ISBN: 9781529039030. April 1st 2020. Pan Macmillan. With thanks to the team at Black Crow PR for allowing me to take part in the blog/bookstagram tour, and for arranging for a hardback copy to be sent my way for me to read and review.
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.
This book, which is described as “for fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe and Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships” caught my eye a while back, and as the release date has come closer it’s caught my eye more and more. I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to read and review it early.
Set in a era that fascinates me, I knew I was going to enjoy it. A world which is part history, and yet still wild and full of magic. I couldn’t get enough. I love this kind of story, and Lucy Holland’s Sistersong is amongst the best of this style.
The prose is easy to read and follow. The world clearly inspired by the UK history and stories that are told from that time, and yet, still bringing something new to them. I sat and read this entire 400+ page book in a day and I couldn’t get enough. The story was about love and hate, fear and bravery.
This novel is told from a handful of different point of views, and for the most part, they were clear and easy to tell who was who without checking the chapter titles. I really loved reading about Constantine. He is such a well written character, just trying to find himself and his place in the world. I absolutely LOVED reading about his time with Mori, and how he grows into his own skin. I also loved reading from Sinne’s point of view. She could be brattish and spiteful, but as the youngest of siblings, it worked for her. I was not a fan of Riva, even though I know I’d have been much the same in her position (maybe that’s why I wasn’t a fan), but she has one of the biggest character developments in the entire book (after Constantine himself). Special shout out to maybe my favourite secondary character, Osred. I wish we could have gotten to see him more than we did.
I really enjoyed watching the song of The Twa (Two) Sisters brought to life in such great detail. Being a fan of old folk ballads, it was really interesting seeing the story spun in such a way.
I have been informed that this last bit may be potential spoilers for some, so pleased be aware before continuing.
My biggest issue with this book, is that there are some instances of misgendering and deadnaming. I understand that in this case Constantine coming to the conclusion that he is male, and that it’s part of his journey, but I know some of my readers may be hurt by this aspect of the book. It has been very well written, and is clear in this context it is not meant to hurt anybody, but I feel I should give you a warning anyways.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Check out the graphic below to follow the rest of the blog tour.