Title: Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1)
Author: Sasha Nanua & Sarena Nanua
Genre: YA Fantasy / Own Voice / Retelling
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!
“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.” (Goodreads)
I love reading about new and diverse worlds when it comes to the fantasy genre. Sometimes worlds can feel like they blend together, especially because of plot points, but this was a fun and intriguing read.
I’m not sure if anyone is talking about this but there is hints of a retelling as the girls decide to trade places for awhile which made me think of The Prince and the Pauper, although this would be considered a genderbend. To be honest, I love stories where two characters switch places and so this added a lot of flare to the story as Ria and Rani both have different personalities and come from different lives as well, one being a princess and the other a thief.
The book is told in dual point-of-view so the reader can understand what is going on when it comes to Ria and Rani as they are both on different missions and in different places. I liked seeing how each one overcame their fears to be stronger while also growing their bond and making new friends along the way.
There is a bit of romance and although it blossomed rather quickly, I didn’t dislike it. I think it’s because I did like the characters and the conversations they had together.
The magic is cool and one particular part of it deals with snakes. I’ve only read one other book with snake magic and I am here for it. I may hate snakes but I do like reading about them and Shima really stole the show for me. There is mention of other magical abilities, some are used, but it isn’t a lot. There is explanations to it all so it doesn’t feel useless when it comes to the plot. I am looking forward from more of it.
Now to what I didn’t like. Although the worldbuilding, especially the magic, is intriguing and left me wanting to read, it was easy to see plot holes and some things just resolved rather quickly. This is one of those books where you kind of have to throw logic out the window, but at least the view is nice. It was a bit harder to like the parts where things resolved quickly but since there is going to be a sequel I won’t be too harsh since there is more to the story.
Overall, this was a good read. I liked the worldbuilding and the lore so far that has been told as well as the characters. I will be looking forward to the sequel.