Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross, publishing date 23 June 2020.

Although this YA novel has a trope-y title, the fantasy stand-alone unexpectedly was not full of YA tropes. A giant plus, neither of the MCs is a princess, or even wants to be a princess.

Two sisters who haven’t seen each other for eight years are going to be reunited for a few days. The older sister Halcyon trained in the queen’s army, while Evadne stayed at home in the olive grove helping on her family’s farm. When Halcyon turns up early, on the run from her commander, Evadne swears to help her. Neither of them can imagine that this will turn into a quest to save the kingdom.

The world-building was reminiscent of ancient Greece, yet has its own system of deities and magic. The two female MCs might be underdogs, but they are strong heroines whose sisterly connection is evident throughout the story. Even when the two sisters are not sharing the scene, their bond is strong.

The writing is good. Some of the dialogue feels stilted, though. I think this story is suitable for a younger YA audience, too.

3.5/5 Goodreads stars – that means 4/5