Hi everyone! I’m Leah Cypess, guest-posting for Melissa Marr, who is on vacation in
*pause while everyone is jealous of Melissa Marr*
I write YA fantasy. My first book, MISTWOOD, is about an ancient shapeshifter trapped in the form of a human girl. The secondary characters include a prince and princess who love each other deeply, but whose relationship is overwhelmingly about protectiveness, dishonesty, scorn, irritation, dismissiveness, and jealousy.
Sounds seriously unhealthy, right? One of those romances where you feel like yelling at the characters, Get out! Just walk away! And while you’re at it, walk to the nearest therapist!
Except it’s not a romance. The characters are siblings.
Changes things, doesn’t it? Because here’s the thing about sibling relationships: you can’t get out. You can put distance between yourself and a sibling, but you can’t make them stop being your sibling. You didn’t choose this relationship, yet it will probably be the longest-lasting relationship of your life.
And these relationships come in as many varieties as there are people. Supportive. Antagonistic. Protective. Friendly. Jealous. United against the world. Embarrassed by each other. Bane of each other’s existence. Or, sometimes, many of these things at once... which is when it really gets interesting.
Thinking over the recent books I’ve read that feature compelling sibling relationships, what strikes me is how different all these relationships and their trajectories are:
WHISPER by Phoebe Kitandis. About two telepathic sisters with an antagonistic relationship (but is it, really?) Plus, family secrets buried in the past!
THE DEMON’S LEXICON & THE DEMON’S COVENANT by Sarah Rees Brennan, about two sets of siblings who are tight-knit allies against a hostile world. Plus, family secrets buried in the past! (um, you might be seeing a trend here…)
THE NIGHT OF THE SOLSTICE by L.J. Smith. Before The Vampire Diaries, Smith wrote this novel about four siblings called upon to… save the world. Because hey, it is fantasy. But the best part of the book is the relationships between the siblings, especially when it is strained by their mission. No family secrets buried in the past, but I can forgive this due to the book’s general awesomeness.
SPLIT by Swati Avasthi, about the fractured relationship between two brothers who grew up together in an abusive household, until one escaped and left the other behind. This one isn’t speculative fiction, but it is one of the most complicated and heart-breaking and hopeful sibling relationships I’ve ever read about.
If I thought about it longer, I could probably list dozens of books with relationships between siblings that are completely different, yet have in common that unique bond. But, well, I don’t want to think about it all by myself, so let’s hear from you: what books about siblings do you recommend? And yes, there’s a giveaway! Any comment will be entered, but if you recommend a book, that will be two entries! And the giveaway is for a signed hardcover of MISTWOOD *plus* a copy of any of the other books on that list—reader’s choice! Open internationally. Ends Monday, August 9 at midnight.
...And we have a winner! Jennifer (jpetroroy), you should have already received an email notifying you. Everyone else, thank you so much for entering and for all your fantastic book suggestions! My TBR list is on the verge of explosion. Which is a good thing.