Sisters of the Snake by Sasha Nanua & Sarena Nanua — ARC Review

Sisters of the Snake by Sarena & Sasha NanuaSummary:

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

Review: 3.5 Stars

Sisters of the Snake appealed to me for so many reasons. I love books that have plots about two identical people switching places and have read so many great books with this premise. Sisters of the Snake is also a retelling of The Princess and the Pauper, and while I don’t know that story well I do love reading retellings. But the main reasons this book interested me were that it’s a cultural fantasy and it’s about two sisters. Unfortunately the bonds of sisterhood aren’t explored much in this installment, but I expect they will be later in the series.

Sisters of the Snake is a great example of a book that does two points of view really well. The point of view switches from Rani, the princess, and her newfound twin Ria, who is a thief. The pacing is pretty fast and a lot of the chapters end on cliffhangers, which kept me reading to bet back to one point of view or the other and find out what happened next. Both points of view are written in first person, but it didn’t get confusing since both characters had their own distinct voice and personality. This was a very easy read that I tore through pretty quickly.

The plot was pretty fun even though at times it was rather predictable. Rani and Ria lived vastly different lives and when they discovered that they were twins they decided to switch places. It was interesting watching each girl change as they walked in each other’s shoes. Both girls learn ugly truths about the kingdom, but they also get to see the world from a different perspective and it changes both of them. There were two plot lines that both converged at the end of the novel and they were both done pretty well. In books that have multiple plot lines and multiple points of view there is typically one that I prefer over the other, but Sisters of the Snake was really well balanced in this aspect.

While I enjoyed this book it wasn’t without it’s problems. One issue I had was that I felt like the romances took up too much of the story line and they felt a little forced. But my main issue with this book was the ending. I really hated the way the ending was written. The villain felt so two dimensional and the happily ever after ending was too hard to believe. Everything came together too perfectly, too conveniently, and it just had me rolling my eyes. If you like your endings all happy and perfect, then maybe this won’t bother you, but I just found it too perfect to be believable.

I think Sisters of the Snake would appeal to the younger side o YA readers. It was a fun, fast read and had some great cultural representation. For most of the book I really enjoyed it even though there was a bit too much romance for my tastes. While I felt like this book fell apart at the end you might enjoy it if you love happily ever after endings. This was a fun read, but I won’t be seeking out the sequel.

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