I requested Sisters of the Perilous Heart by Sandra L. Vasher from NetGalley on a whim because the premise sounded interesting. It was fairly decent tale, and I’ll tell you all about it in a little bit.
Have you ever seen a Zonkey?
Some of these animals sound like pure myth, but no one would dare say the same about my mother-in-law’s Yorkie Poo.
We get them from cross-breeding two animals of the same scientific family, but of completely different species. Such is the case with the Zebra and the Donkey, or the Zebra and the Horse.
Well, Science Fiction and Fantasy are both under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction, but they are two distinct beings.
Sisters of the Perilous Heart cross-breeds the two to make a very interesting take on viruses, immortality, and space travel.
Sisters of the Perilous Heart Review
Sisters of the Perilous Heart starts with a diary log of a space traveler. And if you just read the blurb and were expecting a fantasy book, but got this space traveler diary entry, you might be really confuse.
I sure was.
But it quickly goes by and you’re greeted with newly crowned Queen Vivian of South Kepler with an arrow in her heart that infected her with the Immortality Virus.
Wait a second. Hold up.
The book started with an arrow in her chest?
Yup, it sure did.
Usually one for starting in the middle of it, I think I could have used a little bit of a rewind. Perhaps the moment the crown hits her head and watching the arrow zip to her heart.
Just a minute or two earlier was all I needed.
But hey! It didn’t start off boring like so many other books I’ve read lately.
There’s a couple quite obvious from the start. We’re talking about a Queen, so there must be a kingdom. And she’s got an arrow in her chest, so we’ve got medieval weapons.
Queen Vivian and her brothers, Bastian and Nathaniel, are all Cardinals. That means they’re magic users blessed with three kind of magic. Telekinesis (they can move stuff), thermodynamics (they either control hot or cold), and a special ability unique to each individual.
Vivian can see relationships between people in colored threads that bind people. Bastian can tell if someone is lying, and Nate talks to animals.
Pretty nifty concept.
At first, I felt like they had too much magic, but it really wasn’t overly burdensome by the end of the book.
Science Fiction Elements
Well Kepler is another planet in our solar system. And the first people to travel there came from Earth on Nanny ships that took thousands of years to arrive.
The nanny ships had robots on them that would raise humans naturally without interference. But they also had adult immortals onboard that had been infected with the immortality virus.
Except Vasher doesn’t really tell you why it’s bad to be immortal until about halfway through. And I don’t think it ruins anything to say that the virus makes immortals unable to show empathy and very mean and vicious.
It’s also deadly to anyone who has magic. So when Vivian gets it, she’s going to die unless she finds a cure.
There’s trucks, TVs, jeans, guns, and all sorts of stuff in this world, on a faraway planet, that is also still medieval in many other ways.
Sisters of the Perilous Heart is told with two main POV characters and the back and forth between them in not even. Sometimes you’d go 5 chapters without a switch.
It was long enough that I didn’t care for the new POV I was switching to and only wanted to get back to the other POV.
Which by the way the other main characters are Carina, an orphan girl at a convent, and her sister Miguela. Carina is a magic user, but she’s terrible at it and no one will teach her, and her sister hates magic.
The immortals are chasing her because they don’t like people with magic and want to kill them all.
Shortly in the story she’s on the run, and they bump into Vivian and crew along the way as Vivian and her brothers try to get Carina to lend them her magic to help heal Vivian.
That being said, I wasn’t much a big fan at the rate of POV changing, but I feel that with any POV swapping book. I just want to continue the view I was reading.
Sisters of the Perilous Heart is a decent story. It’s nothing earth shattering, and I saw a lot of the twists coming a mile away, but the story was still fun.
I didn’t much care for the tone of the story. It felt very middle-grade, instead of YA. But once I got over that, I started to enjoy it more.
My biggest beef with the story is how the character aimlessly wandered around.
They either cared about people that we’ve never met and wanted to rush off to find them for no reason, or they wandered around the map needlessly. Only to be redirected multiple times when they could have gone to Point D from the very beginning.
If you’re looking for a unique and different take on Fantasy, give Sisters of the Perilous Heart a shot.
I’ve docked a few half stars for the things I’ve mentioned above, and I’ll consider reading the second book when it comes out.
Because, be aware, Sisters of the Perilous Heart does end on a bit of a cliffhanger.