The Salbine Sisters by Sarah Ettritch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
3.5 stars. This review contains some spoilers. Spoilers are hidden behind the +. Click to read.
A very enjoyable, well written story. I enjoyed it immensely. I found the setting quite fascinating, a middle age monastery following an Order of Sisters who worship the goddess Salbine, who gives them the ability to draw on the elements, giving them great power. The story starts off with the budding romance between the main character, initiate sister Maddy and her teacher, much older Mistress Lillian, a very powerful mage.
The characters are vivid, and the writing wonderfully descriptive, bringing the monastery and the setting to life so its very clear to picture what's going on. both Maddy and Lillian are very likeable characters with their own voices and own conflicts and inner turmoil about their relationship.
Though when Maddy discovers she can't draw the elements and is what they term a "malflowed" sister, it throws her completely out of whack, leaving her to question everything about her decision to be part of the Order, and the impact on her relationship with Lillian. Maddy sets off to discover more about her condition in another abbey where their records show of another Sister with the same "malflowed" condition. And she runs into many hardships during her journey. Until news gets back to the Sisters in her order and Lillian comes to rescue her.
There were a few twists on Maddy's journey, which surprised me, but all in all the theme of the novel seemed to be about finding yourself and where you truly belong. Some of it was rather emotional and actually made my eyes mist over, particularly towards the end.
My only real issue with the novel was it was rather repetitive in some aspects, particularly of Maddy's inner turmoil and a previous relationship of Lillian's that ended badly that was mentioned numerous times, and a will they won't they wind up together after everything for Maddy and Lillian.
Even so, a really good book. Thank you to Netgalley for approving me request to view this title.