I read Sisters of the Snake a few weeks ago and completely fell in love with the world, the characters, the writing, and basically everything (see my review). It’s always so heartwarming to read South Asian books and books by Indian authors, so I contacted the authors in hopes of them agreeing to do an interview with me and they did!
So I am very excited to present a short interview with the authors of one of my favourite books this year!!
Sisters of the Snake by Sasha & Sarena Nanua
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: Colourism, death of a parent (before the book), skin branding, poisoning, domestic abuse, child neglect, emotional manipulation.
A lost princess. A dark puppet master. And a race against time—before all is lost.
Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive.
When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical.
A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and to save their home, thief and princess must work together. Or watch it all fall into ruin.
Deadly magic, hidden temples, and dark prophecies: Sisters of the Snake is an action-packed, immersive fantasy that will thrill fans of The Crown’s Game and The Tiger at Midnight.
What inspired you to write Sisters of the Snake?
We both grew up loving twin stories, especially twin swaps like Mary-Kate and Ashley’s It Takes Two. But we never truly saw ourselves in these stories, so we decided to write our own sister switch story in a high fantasy world, featuring characters who look like us and share similar cultural aspects. That’s how Ria and Rani were born!
Which character did you like writing about the most? Why?
We each enjoyed writing both sisters. Depending on the draft, we usually switch off whose character we focus on more. Lately, as we revise the sequel, Sarena has been more focused on Rani and Sasha on Ria.
Was it hard for the both of you to manage writing Sisters of the Snake together?
Since we’re twins, we already share a lot of similar likes/dislikes and have similar writing styles. As a result, we find it very easy to work together and bounce ideas off each other. It actually makes writing feel a lot easier!
What are some of your favourite books that you read when you were a kid?
Sasha loved Roald Dahl books growing up, and Goosebumps (she still does!). Sarena loved the Jane Blonde series by Jill Marshall and the Percy Jackson series. Anything Rick Riordan is her jam.
Lastly, what’s a book you’d recommend to readers of Sisters of the Snake?
We would recommend these two amazing, fast-paced high fantasy books: Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena and The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala. Both series are now complete and totally binge-able!
About the Authors:
Sarena Nanua and Sasha Nanua are twin sisters living in Ontario, Canada. Born on Diwali ten minutes apart from each other, they grew up loving stories about twins and magic, and began writing books together when they were nine years old. They are graduates of the English and Professional Writing programs at the University of Toronto and are also the authors of The Pendant Trilogy.
Loved Sisters of the Snake?
Check out DAUGHTERS OF THE DAWN (Out June 2022!) 🌙✨
The powerful Bloodstone is in dangerous hands. And a deadly new threat rises.
Ria and Rani have barely settled into their new lives at the palace—as princesses, as sisters—when a sinister new prophecy uproots them once more.
The Blood Moon will rise in one month’s time, and with it their enemy Amara’s opportunity to destroy everything Ria and Rani hold dear.
The twin princesses must find Amara and retrieve the Bloodstone before the month is up—a deadly search that separates Ria and Rani once more and takes them into dangerous new lands.
In wintry kingdoms and scorching deserts, Ria and Rani find themselves pitted against ancient mysteries and trap-ridden labyrinths, lethal sea monsters and an elusive enemy that steals into their very dreams.
But as the Blood Moon looms closer, a new danger emerges that makes Ria and Rani question everything they thought they knew—and who their true enemy really is.
The lush world building of Star Daughter meets the thrilling adventure of Ash Princess in this sensational finale to Ria’s and Rani’s journeys that pits them against impossible odds—and battles from within that could destroy everything they’ve fought to save.
Have you read The Sisters of the Snake? Do you have any other South Asian YA book recommendations? Drop them in the comments below!
Thank you so much Sasha & Sarena for doing this with me!