Book Reviews

Sisters of Shadow and Light // True love doesn’t need a man, it just needs your sister

Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”.

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.


ARC provided by Edelweiss and Tor Teen for an honest review. All quotes are subject to change for the official release copy.

As long as you’re breathing there is always hope…Let the drown you or let them drive you. It’s your choice.

A beautiful story of the bond between two sisters, reminiscent of Frozen.

Zuhra has spent her whole life taking care of her sister Inara whom is nearly incapacitated with the overwhelming roar of suppressing her Paladin powers. Their mother keeps a tight leash on Zuhra and practically ignores the existence of Inara who reminds her of her husband that abandoned her the night Inara was born. To make matters worse, they are all trapped within the grounds of their citadel by a massive hedge that appears to have a mind of its own. The hedge has never allowed anyone to enter or exit the grounds, except for the maid on the occasional need to go to town for food and supplies. That is, until Paladin history enthusiast Halvor sneaks through. His extensive knowledge in all things Paladin from his master provides answers to Inara that Zuhra has longed for.

One night, when Inara is lost to the mental roar of her powers, she stumbles into the Paladin library. Before Zuhra can stop her, Inara manages to open a mysterious door that brings in horrendous creatures from the Paladin world into their own world. Zuhra, severely injured, gets carried through the doorway just as it closes, trapping Inara and Halvor in the human world with one of the Ravkin, and Inara, near death, in the Paladin world.

In the Paladin world, Zuhra meets Adelric, Inara and Zuhra’s father. Near death, Adelric has Raidyn (a seriously dreamy Paladin) use his Paladin healing magic to save her. Now distraught at being separated from her sister, she suspects the worse. She has to get back through the now sealed door to get to Inara and help her before the roar of her magic consumes her mind.

Meanwhile, the mom has withdrawn inside herself after thinking Zuhra lost forever. Inara and Halvor have teamed together to try to open the door with Inara’s power.

The bond between the two sisters is strongly focused. I appreciated the small romantic relationships taking a position in the background to focus instead on the love these sisters share. Consistently, they remind themselves to be strong for the other when falling into an emotional mess feels so much easier. Strong female characters!!! Like the movie Frozen (sorry, I am a huge Frozen fan), the love you share with a sister can equal true love, not needing to rely on some prince to come and save you.

Coming November 5th! Definitely buying this for my sister, who really is the Anna to my Elsa, a Slytherin and rock music lover, and a new book-lover ❤



What books would you recommend to someone who prefers contemporary romance, Disney retellings, and also doesn’t exceed like 450 pages? I’m trying to buy my sister as many books as possible now that she has finally found a love in books.


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9 thoughts on “Sisters of Shadow and Light // True love doesn’t need a man, it just needs your sister”

  1. I felt the characters to be weak, tbh – especially Zuhra. Her sister seemed to have more depth to her, but they both fell flat for me. Cinnia was pure weakness and allowed circumstance to break her, and she relied too much on a man (her husband) for her emotional support and neglected her children because of it.

    What did you find strong about them, especially the female characters?


    1. Oh I hated the mom. Absolutely. Like Prof Umbridge hate. She was weak and let herself become cruel.
      Zuhra needed more depth. Agreed. I didnt like that she just started trying to have that guy (can’t remember name) like her to get her out of the citadel, through marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make a good point. I never thought of that but there were a lot of cliches. Ugh I kinda want to drop a star from this now


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