On the afternoon that Cass’ older sister is due to be married, her life is changed forever. Caught up in a chase for a thief, she is introduced to a world of knights. What she doesn’t initially realise, however, is that the knight who helps her rescue her stolen item is not the man she presumes it to be. Instead, her rescuer is a woman.
This discovery welcomes her into a sisterhood of knights, as she is brought back to a grand manor, where women are living together, training in the arts of knighthood. Her choice to stay with these knights and learn their trade, rather than return to her family, and soon be betrothed to a stranger, alters the trajectory of her life immeasurably. Cass learns more about herself and her capabilities, revelling in her newfound strength and freedom, and enjoying liberties that would not be afforded to her in the world outside of the sanctity of the manor. However, old tensions are rising, and Cass and the sisterhood must fight to maintain the fragile peace they have secured.
“I would undoubtedly recommend this book, especially if you are a lover of fantasy, retellings, female friendships, glorious battles, and historical feuds.”Farrah (17)
Laura Bates has crafted a fabulous tale of female friendships and strength, incorporating elements of Arthurian legend alongside this unique story. The reader is afforded the privilege of watching Cass unlearn the lies she has been fed by society, about herself and women’s roles, and we see her grow into a brave, independent woman, with a strong sense of justice. Sisters of Sword and Shadow explores the medieval society of King Arthur, but focuses instead on the ‘Sisterhood of the Silk Knights’. It is laced with social and political commentary, with discussions and depictions of grief, and there is particular emphasis placed on female autonomy, and the treatment of women within this deeply patriarchal society. Many of the conversations Bates skilfully interweaves remain relevant today.
I would undoubtedly recommend this book, especially if you are a lover of fantasy, retellings, female friendships, glorious battles, and historical feuds. I loved the depictions of the characters, and how they felt like real, nuanced, fleshed-out people, rather than just archetypes. It is an absorbing, fast-paced story, that you should definitely add to your bookshelves.