Fourth Sister

A Hearth and Bard Tale

Shi, shi, fourth and death.
Fourth sister and twin to death.
Brother born silent.

Blamed for her twin brother’s death, Shisei, the outcast fourth of seven sisters, apprentices herself to a mask maker; but when the local Kazoku accuses the youngest sister of killing his son, Shisei must lead her sisters in a deception that will either save the youngest or condemn them all.

Fourth Sister is a Japanese fairy tale retelling with sparse poetry and gold-mended brokenness. A Studio Ghibli type story which invokes reflection.

Little Women x Spirited Away

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Editorial Reviews

It is an exquisite tale of hope and redemption.

From the very first page, poetic words pull the reader through this incredible story. It’s not a story that is full of action, but the beauty of the words and story itself make it hard to put down. I love this author’s amazing gift for storytelling, and this book is by far my most favorite one yet. It teaches about self-acceptance, looking deeper than the surface, and that mending broken relationships can make them deeper and even more beautiful. What a powerful, inspiring, and memorable story this is! This is definitely a book I am buying when it comes out in paperback.

  • Kimberly King, author of The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers

Fourth Sister pulls you into a world of Japanese culture and legend in a remarkable way. Every description and dialogue is so authentic that it is like looking into another place and time and immerses you in a world where myths are reality but superstition also abounds. The characters are intensely human. One of the captivating elements is how true to life they are. 

The book starts reminiscent of “A Single Shard” and gradually adds mythical elements as the heroine overcomes her own self-prejudice and discovers her own value and talents. It deals with questions of gender and class equality and learning to see self and others clearly. At the same time it has a fun story of discovery and family healing through shared challenges and adventure where talent, wit, and love triumph instead of the usual adventure fare of physical strength and fighting. 

  • Rick Haws

I really enjoyed the mixture of Japanese lore, culture, mystery, and fantasy elements. It all came together perfectly in the end… It was enchanting and intriguing. I couldn’t put it down. I for sure recommend this. 5 stars. –

Every time I read one of Farb’s books, I find myself claiming, “This is my favorite one!” Each time I mean it. The characters in Fourth Sister, as in Farb’s other books, are full of life, emotion, and most of all, growth. More than that, they make me laugh, make me worry, and make me think.

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