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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski // Monsters, Banter and adventure through a dark forest

  GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch. This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch

Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross // Sister love, magic and myths

From the author of The Queen’s Rising comes a thrilling YA stand-alone fantasy about the unbreakable bond between sisters. Perfect for fans of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep, and Court of Fives.

After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.

Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.
  (A huge thank you to the FFBC tours and the publisher for the eARC and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. Click on the tour banner above to view the tour schedule) (US Giveaway at the end of the post)

     The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross is one of those books that took me by surprise. I hadn't expected it to love it so much but I did and I think the author's latest book makes me feel so too. It definitely exceeded expectations and I read it in almost one sitting.


~Underdog protagonists who will make you feel and root for them~

     Something I've loved in the author's previous duology is how her main characters aren't all powerful, supremely strong characters who can do anything at all. They're normal people who grow to be something more with sheer hard work and willpower.

     Sisters of Sword and Song does this too. Gives you protagonists who are flawed and real, protagonists who make it easy for us readers to root for them.

     Evadne suffered a dog attack leaving her ankle permanently sore, making her limp badly on cold days. She's a girl who dreams of magic but has accepted there's none within herself. She envies her older sister but loves her fiercely all the same. she isn't the most strongest or cleverest person around but she's fierce and loyal and always tries her best.

     Also personal note - When Evadne asked if she could please have a chiton with POCKETS, I totally whooped. YOU TELL THEM GIRL!
There is steel within me.
I will not bend.
I will not break.

     Halcyon envies her younger sister for having the most of her parents' affections. She's strong and brave and a fighter to the core but she's made mistakes and will do anything to amend them.
And now she was finally being held by the father of her soul, the man who had loved her in his own quiet, steel-sharpened way.

     Damon has the magic than Evadne envies but he thinks himself average. Not great, not bad but just somewhere in the middle. He is gentle and kind and also wants to prove himself to his father even though he feels he'll fall short of the person his brother had been.

And I rooted for all three of them throughout the book.

~All the family wholesomeness~

     This is something I also loved in The Queen's Rising. The wholesome and supportive family and familial love. Evadne's family is the best. I loved that while they don't have as much page time as the sisters did, they still make their mark. I'm so here for loving parents, annoying cousins and all that comes with being a family. I loved the descriptions of their home and the little stories from their lives.

~Sibling love that makes me cry happily~

     Seriously this should be a more popular trope. Amazing siblings who love each other and hold each other up. Evadne and Hal are so different from each other but they are each other's strengths and they keep each other marching forward. I liked that the book also shows the envy they have for each other and the times where they argued about things.
Evadne threaded their fingers together. It was the hand Halcyon had killed with, the hand Evadne had written spells with. Two very different hands and two very different women, and yet they had sharpened the other, upheld the other. Defended and protected and healed one another.

Seriously, I want to start a petition for loving, realistic sibling love in books!

~The mythology and World Building~

     The story is set in an alternate Ancient Greek world. The pantheon is made up of 9 divines who no longer walk among humans. Instead they left behind relics the humans could use. They hoped commoners would find them rather than people who already wielded magic. Mages are descended from the divines themselves and each has a different amount of magic within themselves. I loved seeing the politics of uneven power play out. I would totally read more books set in this world because it's fascinating. I want to read more myths about the divines and see how the humans play out their politics.

~The romance is not all-encompassing~

The romance is gentle and sweet and something of a slow-burn. It is a predictable ship but lovely all the same. And I liked that while there was a bit of romance it never took away from the main plot or the story; it simply added to the magic of it all.

~Sisters of Sword and Song is a beautiful standalone filled with magic, myths, sisterly love and a sweet romance.~

Do you have any recommendations for standalone fantasies? Tell me in the comments below!