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The Bitter Twins

(The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,182 ratings  ·  182 reviews
The Ninth Rain has fallen, the Jure'lia have returned, and with Ebora a shadow of its former self, the old enemy are closer to conquering Sarn than ever.

Tormalin the Oathless and the Fell-Witch Noon have their hands full dealing with the first war-beasts to be born in Ebora for nearly three hundred years. But these are not the great mythological warriors of old; hatched to
Paperback, 624 pages
Published March 8th 2018 by Headline
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,182 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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Start your review of The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2)
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it’s insane that Jen Williams still doesn’t have a US publisher.

The Bitter Twins is the second book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, The Ninth Rain, very much, and although admittedly I loved the first book more, The Bitter Twins didn’t disappoint in delivering another great installment with high focus on characterizations, discovery, explorations, and revelations. The story picks up immediately from where The Ninth Rain left off. I’ve mentioned that in the first
Em Lost In Books
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-19, 2019, 4-star
As much the first half was slow, second half was equally fast and full of action. New characters, new secrets, and new challenges, this book was an amazing read.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
🦀 Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Needs to Die a Slightly Excruciating, Crustacean-Induced Death Buddy Reread (SSSNtDaSECIDBR™) with the MacHalos and stuff 🦀

· Previous rating: 8 miserable stars.
· New rating: 10 stars. Because suddenly, I saw the light and stuff.

And the moral of this reread is: I already kidnapped all the scrumptiously delicious pets in this Slightly Very Good Book (SVGB™) when I first read it, and safely stashed them away in my High Security Harem Zoo (HSHZ™), so it is now time for me
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
4.5 stars

Ever since I first read the Copper Cat trilogy, Jen Williams has been one of my favourite authors. It is no surprise then that I was very eager to read her next series – The Winnowing Flame trilogy. The Ninth Rain, being the first book in the new trilogy, lived up to my expectations, becoming one of my favourite books of 2017 and instantly propelling it’s follow up onto my most anticipated list. So when I was given the chance to be part of this wonderful blog tour I jumped at it and was
TS Chan
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bitter Twins is a stunning sequel of staggering inventiveness and imagination.

I am in awe with the direction the story took after the unexpected turn of events at the end of The Ninth Rain. Instead of suffering from the middle book syndrome, The Bitter Twins continued to captivate me with its eldritch worldbuilding and engaging characterisation. I had to keep this review a bit shorter than usual, as there’s simply too much potential to accidentally spoil the numerous surprises that I kept en
Karina Webster
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Woah. I have just finished The Bitter Twins and my emotions are a mess. As this is a sequel I won’t dwell on the plot, I only wish to say that it continues a little after the ending of The Ninth Rain and while we get a lot of answers, a whole host of new questions are raised. Luckily, Williams’ writing and characters still leave me with plenty to discuss.

Similar to The Ninth Rain, The Bitter Twins is full of great dialogue that genuinely had me laughing out loud. I really admire the way William
Chris Berko
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up.
A very good book, just not as awe inspiring as the first one and definitely much slower paced. For the first two hundred pages nothing really happens and the group of good guys that were all together at the end of book one split up into a few pairs with each pair going their own ways and doing their own things. It's not until everyone is brought back together for the finale that things pick up again and I felt like maybe a hundred or a hundred and fifty pages could have been cut a
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really struggling to write a review for this as so much that happens is directly related to some surprising stuff at the end of book one and there's no way I want to ruin that for anyone. So, for now i'm going to stick to something a bit more general and say that those who have read the first one will not be disappointed (though apparently the book blurb has no such reservations-don't look at it if you haven't read the first book).

Picking up with the cast as it was left at the end of The N
Milda Page Runner
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
First half a bit slower due to new characters and additional Povs. Also all characters seem to be split up doing different things so storyline feels more scattered. Action and suspense certainly pick in the second half and book is pretty much unputdownable in the last third. Some mind-blowing revelations there.
Loved Noon's and Tor's Pov - both for their mystery uncovering adventure and comic banter. Although I'm not a fan of her character Hestilion's Pov was very interesting due to the insight t
I'm never sure what to say about the second and third books in a trilogy -- everything feels like a spoiler.

Suffice to say that this second volume picks up right where The Ninth Rain left off, and continues the story in the most absorbing, gripping, impossible-to-stop reading way. These books manage to be character-driven, action-packed, and thematic all at the same time. They explore the question, "What is the meaning and importance of connection? How does it inspire people to both good and h
J.P. Ashman
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
High Five (stars)!

This sequel bossed it fo' sho' (I'm down with the kids).

Laughs. Cries. Gasps. Growls. There's some of all of that as the Ninth Rain continues.

There's some surprising twists and HUGE b@stard betrayals in this book, with real curse moments where you want to throttle characters (in a way that is clearly intended by Jen Williams - shakes fist at her wordsmithing of my emotions).

Battles are present and frikkin cinematic and kewl. People get hurt and some even deaded. I was quite out
Stephen Robert Collins
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As waiting goes this has come out only one year on which is about normal for most sequal unless you are George R R Martin or Patrick Ruffuss who does give care .
This even thicker by 100+ pages so at £14.99 for Large format paper back not seen it in Hard back this not bad for hell lot .Started on day we lost Ken Dodd the funniest man on the planet Dark as ink dark as hell much creeper with hint of The Borg Queen .
A map,a journey & no idea what title means
I wonder what vol.3 will be called?
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
The Bitter Twins had the same atmosphere as Ninth Rain, there is still a lot of mystery to uncover told in a slow paced manner that immerses you into this world. This time a lot of the adventure is along with the War beasts! I love these talking majestic creatures that have elements of several animals.

We continue where Ninth Rain ended with a small time gap. Hard not to be spoilery but we get inside info about the Queen and the Jure'lia! Very fascinating alien creatures with insect like aspects

The Bitter Twins picks up just after The Ninth Rain left off, in terms of where we find our characters and just how much trouble they're in (yes, all of it, naturally). It's an epic sequel as war breaks out, with each side still far weaker than they'd like. Expect more unusual quests, some spectacular action sequences, plenty of opportunities to shout HESTILLION WHAT WHY NO and a slow build to a thought-provoking climax. The pacing is measured, but Jen Williams does a brilliant

Jen Williams continues to be among my favourite authors with her weird, diverse, and unique fantasy. I honestly loved everything about it. The beautiful, rich worldbuilding, the relationships between characters (Aldasair and Bern anybody?), the WAR BEASTS. I love it all, and there is not a single dull page to be found.

If you haven't read anything by Jen Williams yet, then why the hell not?
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely magnificent! Vintage and the crew were fabulous. I do feel sorry for Celaphon- he only wants his family...this is original, unique fantasy AND sci fi at its best. Recommended but start with the Ninth Rain.
Anna Stephens
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will admit when I started book 1 of this trilogy, the Ninth Rain, that a part of me was crying out for Wydrin and the others to come back from the Copper Cat trilogy. I loved them so much I didn't want to be immersed in a world that was so different, with characters who were so different. While I really enjoyed the Ninth Rain, it didn't leave me with the same warm glow as Jen's previous trilogy.
The Bitter Twins is an absolute bloody triumph. It is abundantly clear that the aut
Following on from my assorted ravings of how good The Ninth Rain was, Jen Williams does an amazing job with The Bitter Twins. There is so much going on in this book and it was all absolutely Earth-shatteringly amazing. Be warned, I’m avoiding spoilers in this review so some parts might be a little bit vague.

Jen Williams is a master at creating conflicts and it makes everything feel real. Characters have their disagreements and actually act like real people. Everything isn’t always peaches and c
Maja Ingrid
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
4,5 stars

Excellent continuation!

I adore the war beasts, Minus Vostok and later Celaphon (it's not his fault what has been done to him and I feel so sorry for him but that thing in the end is unforgivable) . With Vostok I was frustrated. I was annoyed by how she looked down on everyone else, the Eborans, the other war-beasts for not remembering, and even Noon at times. Also she just kept on being "weapons" and telling everyone to listen to her but without giving the other war beats much explanat
Laura Hughes
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
I finished this book and I think I might have died a little on the inside there. A good kind of dying obviously. I am literally scared for what the third book will bring us. But let me return to this second book. If I can gather my thoughts.

One thing that I found in The Copper Cat books and that The Winnowing Flame has too is that Jen Williams manages to make you feel like you are in this warm blanket as you read of familiar characters that feel so close and real to you. This warm blanket howev
S. Naomi Scott
Wow, what a ride. Definitely a worthy sequel to The Ninth Rain. A longer review will follow when I've had time to collect my thoughts. ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
By the roots, Williams isn’t messing around.

This book reminds me of those rainbow cakes- colorful (character/plot) layers, looks pretty (Helcate😍) AND it’s delicious.

Quote that hit me harder than expected (Thanks January 2021!)

“The world looks ever so dark today...keep your own light shining.”

Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Over the last few years, Jen Williams has firmly established herself as a genre author of note. The second book in The Winnowing Flame trilogy reinforces once again why, if you haven’t already, you really should be reading her work. Fantasy has a tendency to sometimes get bogged down in endless unnecessary detail. Some readers relish that, but it’s not for me. I want a story that delivers a sense of wonder, of perilous adventure. A dragon or two is always a nice added bonus as well. The Bitter T ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Brilliantly conceived story written with sharp wit and a jovial heart that swathes the imagination. It is the second book in the trilogy, and pulls no punches while delivering the action-packed and thrilling adventure that I was expecting. The pacing is excellent, along with the characters, whom the readers will root for and cheer along. It is also a little on the gloomy side, and tugs along the emotions as the story progresses.

There is some ingenious worldbuilding here, and Jen Williams's fan
The sequel to the brilliant Ninth Rain kicks it up a notch with more action, scarier monsters and a more expansive story.

There's also a more desperate feel to the story now. The Jure'lia have returned, their ruins are waking up and piecing themselves back together and Hestellion has been kidnapped and taken aboard the Corpse Moon. The War Beasts have also returned but there are only a few of them, they have hatched too early and apart from the dragon bonded with Noon they don't have their memo
Sam Hawke
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: In the interests of transparency, I am friendly with the author. I don't believe it affects my enjoyment of the book. I listened to the audio version so apologies if I spell any names incorrectly. This review contains spoilers for the Ninth Rain, but I'll keep it spoiler free for TBT.

So I bloody LOVED this book. It took everything I loved from the Ninth Rain (fantastic characters, wit, emotion, inventive world, GIANT BATS, slow burn everything-is-much-worse-than-it-seemed plot develo
Mike Everest Evans
(Full review to come at a later date)

One of my favourite reads. Ever.

The Bitter Twins takes everything I loved about The Ninth Rain and cranks it up to eleven. 'The difficult second book' syndrome is something that is often spoken about in fantasy series, but The Bitter Twins, as the second book in the second series, proves that in Jen William's case, things just keep getting better and better. EVERYONE needs to read Jen Williams, and the Winnowing Flame trilogy proves her deserving place in the
Feb 14, 2021 rated it liked it
The Bitter Twins was a significant deviation from The Ninth Rain, both in content and length.

I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, but there was still plenty to like!

Book two picks up shortly after the end of book one, and although only a small amount of time has passed, there have been some BIG changes in the world of Sarn.

Noon has become my favourite character, closely followed by Kirune (although to begin with, I found him one of the more irritating new additions), but many of the othe
Patricia Crowther
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5* - Brilliant! My only criticism is that the first half was a little slow but still, an amazing plot, wonderful characters and wow, what an ending! Roll on January for my preordered paperback!!
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SF/F Read Alongs: [June/July] The Bitter Twins 20 13 Jul 28, 2019 09:16AM  

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Jen Williams, fantasy writer and Lego obsessive, is the author of The Copper Cat Trilogy and The Winnowing Flame series. She is represented by Juliet Mushens, and is partial to mead, if you’re buying.

Other books in the series

The Winnowing Flame Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #1)
  • The Poison Song  (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #3)

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