- Title: Sisters of the Perilous Heart
- Series: Mortal Inheritance #1
- Author: Sandra L. Vasher
- Length: 414 pages
- Publisher: Mortal Ink Press, LLC
- Release: May 5th, 2020
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟✨ likely
Thank you so much to Xpresso Book Tours via NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own! Sisters of the Perilous Heart is a unique sci-fi / fantasy crossover novel that got delightfully deadly for the genre. There is a tad bit of romance too, half of which is actually…cute.
Here is the description from Goodreads:
What would you do to save a sister?
As the last mortal kingdom of Kepler resists the Immortal Empire, its young queen faces a devastating attack. Queen Vivian is two minutes into her reign when an arrow pierces her heart and infects her with the Immortality Virus. But she has too much magic to become immortal and not enough to survive. She must find more magic fast, or she’ll die.
Meanwhile, another young mortal faces an uncertain future of her own. Carina is fleeing for her life, but her magic is a tracking beam for immortals. She must learn to harness and control it, or she’ll be captured and killed. Then she meets the queen of South Kepler.
Vivian needs Carina’s magic, and she can offer safe haven in exchange. But can Vivian trust this common girl? Carina isn’t on the kingdom’s registry of magicians. What if she’s a Northern rebel? A spy for the Immortal Empire? And will the truth be revealed in time to save them both?
Immortality is engineered by a virus strain in a future Earth. Ships with Immortals are sent out to colonize other planets, and the events of the novel take place some 4000 years later. Once we read through some boring-ish but important epidemiology stuff, this book became truly enjoyable. I will not say spoilers but the end of the book was BRAVE on the author’s part!
The world-building and history is extremely well done. It comes in bits and pieces. In the beginning things are a bit confusing, but by the end of the book the various Strains of Immortals and Mortals and mostly everything else makes sense. The world itself is very well constructed with terrain, geography, architecture, food and dress that is very Earthlike at times. We even get a glimpse into the Royal family, succession, and political maneuvering but the novel never felt info dumpy in the present-day chapters. My favorite bit was to see the native citizens and some animals too.
The two main characters are both sweet and pretty relatable. Carina the girl from the brewery and Vivian, the Queen, poisoned two minutes into her rule. I liked these two, and the funny thing was that every single side character was a huge wildcard while the main characters stayed their courses. The princes obviously have their own agendas, and who knows what’s going on with Carina’s travelling buddies. A lot of character development was built around angst and hiding things, but teens in books rarely have open communication and that would make it too easy, right? Poor Queen Vivian though I really liked her and everyone thinks she’s a monster because of her god-terrible mother. I did like the dynamic between the trio of siblings – ha ha usually. I repeat: pay attention to the side characters while reading!
The magic was pretty straightforward. Certain Mortals in the Cardinal families have strong abilities in telekinesis and either heat or cold, while most people have some mild telekinetic skill. They vary from the interpersonal threads similar to Truthwitch to moving objects, healing, sensing people’s where abouts, to being able to tear a building apart.
Quick note: once it got going the pacing is perfect. I promise the plot and character twists toward the end are worth the reader’s time. Some is foreshadowed, some really isn’t.
Last but not least, the OneReadingNurse medical rant©! As a medical professional I am not sure how I feel about HIV+Flu mixing to cause the Immortality virus. I feel like it would just … kill people. I did like how much thought Vasher put into the etiology and epidemiology of the virus, but caution readers not to take it as advice on any specific modern day viruses. I also think her magical healing makes sense – Danielle Jensen and Kristin Britain in the past have written similar magical healing elements – it takes ENERGY to heal! It would likely wipe out the healer, and I like how the energy transfer is acknowledged and realistic here!
Anyway! In summary: Miscommunication as a plot device is not always a bad thing. There is political intrigue, sibling banter, and a whole lot of ‘why murder me when you could have just asked’? I liked the mix of modern, medical, and fantastic elements. I definitely recommend this book to both sci-fi and fantasy readers. I rated 3.5 stars for the learning curve at the beginning and amount of time it took to clear up the different factions, and I didn’t like Carina’s group’s dynamic. I definitely have 100% respect for the author for doing what she did at the end of the book 😉 and definitely need to read the next installment!