Prophecy of the Sisters - Michelle Zink
*August 1st, 2009 Little, Brown & Company
*August 1st, 2009 Little, Brown & Company
Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other.
To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her.
Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books. Learn more at ProphecyoftheSisters.Com.
Prophecy of the Sisters is the first book in a trilogy - and what a debut it is that Michelle Zink has crafted! With the eloquently formal diction of days gone by and a sinisterly gothic setting, Zink opens a portal to a what feels like an alternate dimension.
Setting is definitely one of Zink's fortes; the dark forebodding tone conjures a deliciously creepy mood that sustains throughout the course of the novel. The imagery in this is very realistic, allowing the audience to imagine the events as they occur very vividly. The diction choice may seem a little odd at the beginning, but once the initial strangeness is overcome, the beautiful phrasing simply serves to draw the audience in deeper. Once the "speed bump" is passed, Zink's enthralling narrative style sinks its teeth into the reader - and doesn't let go. I would suggest making sure you have a large chunk of time laid aside when you begin Prophecy, because it's very hard to put down.
It was pretty uncanny to see some of the concepts in Prophecy of the Sisters - especially since I'd been researching astral projection just prior to reading the book. The prophecy, the ancient tales, the otherworldly aspects - Zink deals with these deftly in a way that's very intriguing for the audience. I, for one, am definitely curious to find out more about some of these things in future books. The shock factor is another thing that's pretty central to Prophecy. Some of those events I didn't see coming, and Zink spins the aftermath in a way that's very raw, very poignant. Unpredictable events always keep readers on their toes, hardly daring to relax.
As it's a first person narrative, the character who we get to know most intimately is Lia. Which is great, as she's the main protagonist. The surprising circumstances surrounding her, the loss she suffers, her vulnerability - they all add to the credibility of her characterization. In the next two books though, I'd really like to see a little more development of some of the minor characters. It was a little aggravating, having figured out a pretty crucial plot point and watching for pages and pages while Lia and her sidekicks struggled to make sense of it. However, this could've been intentionally done as a plot device.
As for the character relationships, the bond between Lia and Alice is definitely an interesting one. It was pretty cool to watch that unfurl throughout the course of the novel, to see just how far (or lack thereof) sisterly devotion stretched. I found the start of Lia and Luisa's friendship to be a bit choppy and sudden, but as the novel progressed, the friendship between the trio (completed by Sonia) was definitely one of the strong points of Prophecy. The romance element... there were moments when the chemistry between James and Lia just didn't really come across as deeply as it could have. The relationships with her father, Henry, and her mother however, were conveyed very nicely (as were their characterizations in general).
The ending of Prophecy of the Sisters isn't really an ending, per se. It's wide and expansive, it's open and really, it's more of a beginning than anything else. It promises the start of an enchanting journey. On the brink of a catastrophe, Lia could literally hold the fate of the world in her hands. Thank goodness it's not too bad of a cliffhanger though - at least it's a resolved open ending that I've no doubt will lead beautifully into the sequel.
Prophecy of the Sisters offers a deliciously dark and fresh glimpse into a world of possibilities. Like Henry says, "only time will tell" (Zink 256). But with Zink's beautiful storytelling style and immersing plot lines, this is one series that readers will eagerly await with baited breath.
To leave off, here's a trailer for Michelle Zink's brilliant Prophecy of the Sisters by the multi-talented Vania.