Helen's Reviews > The Bitter Twins

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams
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really liked it
bookshelves: arc, competent-female-characters, dragon, fantasy, magic, monsters, reviewed, witches

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 memories of their past lives. They don't know how to fight and they certainly don't know how to work together. How can the four of them possibly stop the Jure'lia from wiping out all the human settlements?

The monsters are creepy and visceral and make my skin crawl. The Jure'lia Queen is terrifying! Hestillion is very brave when she is taken hostage by the Queen, then they start to find common ground and Hestillion's influence makes the Queen act more and more like a human. I think that just makes her even scarier! In this book, her story has become my favourite. She's conflicted and unsure really of what she is doing, and whose side she wants to be on.

I loved everything with the War Beasts in! They were born without their memories and are not what they should have been. They find it difficult to get on with each other and they struggle to build themselves into a team, working against each other more than with each other. It brings a lot of humour into the book. Then the action scenes where they fight are just awesome.

A few different plot threads are woven together and there's so much going on another author might have taken 3 or 4 books to cover all this. Mostly it works and it makes an action-packed story but some parts seem to become a little lost in the action. Bern's visit to his family and Eri's story could fill whole books by themselves.

Noon and Tor are trying to find a way to make the War Beasts into a fighting team. They find that an Eborean might have kept records of the War Beasts past lives but he left Eboaria hundreds of years ago on a journey searching for the origins of Ysgeril. Noon and Tor are so desperate to get the records and help the war beasts that they decide to follow his route.

I just love Jen Williams' writing. She creates such complicated and diverse characters and the world she has created is rich and unique. She's not afraid to write adult stories that can be dark at times; the ending is heartbreaking.

The Bitter Twins is an imaginative and original story with a cast of complex and diverse characters. Modern fantasy at it's best and I cannot wait for the third book in the series!

I received a free copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

October 18, 2017 – Shelved
October 18, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
December 4, 2017 – Shelved as: own-and-need-to-read
December 4, 2017 – Shelved as: arc
January 7, 2018 – Started Reading
January 7, 2018 –
January 8, 2018 –
January 11, 2018 –
January 11, 2018 –
January 12, 2018 –
January 16, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: competent-female-characters
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: dragon
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: magic
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: monsters
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: reviewed
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: witches

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