Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Fantasy / Contemporary
Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .
As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.
To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.
So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.
Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination, fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .
Menna van Praag's The Sisters Grimm is an original magical realism set in the modern world. This book has multiple POVs Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, Bea & Leo. The story jumps back and forth in time which some might find confusing. The story begins 33 days away from the girls turning 18. Grimm girls have free will for the first 18 years of their lives before being forced to choose between good and evil. They have no idea about the power they possess but Scarlet may be the exception. The narrative switches between present and their childhood. All four posses very distinct different aspects of elemental magic.
Goldie has the element of earth as she manipulates plants and gives life, Liyana has the element of water and controls rain and rivers, Scarlet has fire and electricity sparks at her fingertips and Bea has air and she can fly. Only (1) character, Leo, has any clue as to what is going on. He is a fallen star turned human turned killer. The Sisters Grimm were born to different mothers on the same day. They share the same father. They found each other at eight years old. Separated again at thirteen by Everwhere, it’s imperative that they find each other now that they are nearing a day of reckoning with their eighteen fast approaching.
The Sisters only have 33 days to try and discover who they are and their magical capabilities. The sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams when they turn 18. Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at the time of 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As the sisters gradually regain their memories of Everwhere, they realize the choice they will eventually have to make. They will be forced by their father to make the choice between light and dark, between good and evil in the mystical land of Everwhere. As in the past, one will choose the darkness at the expense of her sisters. But, who will it be?
Goldie, in many ways, is primary in this story. She has a 6th sense about guests. Goldie is also one of the most troubled characters in the book, having had a dark childhood, only to now be stuck in a job with a sleazy boss. Goldie has a younger brother who she dots on and ends up doing somethings that are far from legal. She meets Leo who she has no clue is bound to kill her on the night of her 18th birthday. Eventually, she falls for Leo who tries to explain to her what she is fated to do. Goldie, like Bea, Liyana, and Scarlett, lost her mother years before. Leo is a fallen star who has killed hundreds. His kills are shown in the number of stars on his body. Leo is so certain what he is doing is right and yet upon meeting Goldie he cannot help but enter an internal conflict. He wants to protect her but knows he cannot.
Bea (Beauty) is at Cambridge University studying philosophy as well as sleeping her way through college. She doesn't really care who she uses to get what she wants. Liyana is an athlete, swimmer, who loves to write graphic novels, and searching for answers from her tarot cards. But, her aunt's finances may force her to drop her girlfriend and marry the first suitable fit who has money. Scarlet (Red Riding Hood) Thorne works in the families bakery. She is struggling to keep the bakery open while also taking care of her dementia addled grandmother.
This is a tale of (4) sisters, their childhood adventures, family secrets, hidden strengths, unclaimed powers and a far off father watching patiently as they are forced to choose to stand with him, or fall like so many other Grimm sisters have in the past. Each of the characters in Menna van Praag's story are completely and utterly unique. They are diverse individuals in personality, ethnicity, sexuality, behavior and status, each are well developed, in-depth and complex, and easy to connect with. The ending was shocking and unexpected. The misdirection prevents you from accurately predicting the outcome.