Sistersong by Lucy Holland

‘Someone once told me that the only names that matter are the ones we take for ourselves.’

There was a time, long ago, when ancient Britain was filled with magic. But then the magic started failing: crushed by the weight of the acolytes of the Christian God.   Long ago the Romans abandoned the land, warring tribes are their successors and now the Saxons are invading.

In King Cador’s hold, the last bastion against the Saxons, are three sisters. Riva can cure others but is unable to heal her own scars. Keyne, born female, longs to be seen as King Cador’s son.  Sinne, longs for adventure and dreams of love.

All three sisters fear confinement within King Cador’s hold. But, on a day that ash falls from the sky, Myrdhin the magician arrives. The siblings will discover their own power but will also become entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak. Each of the siblings has a story to tell, each is fighting for the right to determine their own future.

The time has passed now, the magic often forgotten.

This is a retelling of ‘The Two Sisters’ folk ballad with its themes of love, loss and betrayal. It is a beautifully written, complex story that had me wanting to enter it, to experience the magic and to somehow influence the outcome.

Highly recommended for lovers of fantasy.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith