The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

A spectacular adventure that knows no bounds
The Bitter Twins book cover

A year has passed since I read “The Ninth Rain,” and in that year, I have tweeted the wonderful Jen Williams, telling her how much I miss my fictional friends. So, you can only imagine my delight when “The Bitter Twins,” arrived.

A year is a long time, by any measure of time, but a year without knowing what has happened to your dear ‘book friends’ is unbearable.

I feel as though I have just woken up from a dream and gone back to reality, with so many lingering questions that will remain unanswered until next year. It’s no wonder Williams has been shortlisted for the 2018 British Fantasy Award.

Publishers Blurb: The Ninth Rain has fallen. The Jure'lia are awake. Nothing can be the same again.

Tormalin the Oathless and the fell-witch Noon have their work cut out rallying the first war-beasts to be born in Ebora for three centuries. But these are not the great winged warriors of old. Hatched too soon and with no memory of their past incarnations, these onetime defenders of Sarn can barely stop bickering, let alone face an ancient enemy who grow stronger each day.

The key to uniting them, according to the scholar Vintage, may lie in a part of Sarn no one really believes exists - a distant island, mysteriously connected to the fate of two legendary Eborans who disappeared long ago.

But finding it will mean a perilous journey in a time of war, while new monsters lie in wait for those left behind.

Our heroes embark on new adventures this time around, where Tor and Noon are stuck together in deep piles of mud, while Vintage is held back by a broken ankle and a mysterious group of people who bring treasures beyond Vintage’s wildest dreams, but like all good tales, the dreamers often wake.

The time of the war beasts has come, but at a deadly price. Family ties are tested beyond measure and if you thought Tor had an ego the size of Vostok, you would be sadly mistaken.

Hestillion has done something she can’t undo, and in order for Vintage, Noon and Tor to make things right, a lot of things will change by the time you reach page 612.

A mysterious boy with blue eyes and a lonely disposition is brought into the world where old myths are real and where what the eye believes to be true are not. When matters of the heart are discussed, our heroes are blinded by stupidity and rage that anyone can identify with. This second instalment asks readers to really think about the bonds that tie us, connect us to others and our world. When Tor goes in search of his beginning, his purpose, he is surprised to learn that sometimes, the truth is better left unsaid; however, it can also set you free. Bonds between siblings, parents, friends, lovers and new friends are tested time and time again in this action packed second instalment of the Winnowing Flame Trilogy. But some flames burn too brightly to be extinguished, some axes need grinding, and others need to spread their wings and fly and learn just how powerful they are, without feeling abandoned by the world in which they live in. Emotions are high, the actions are much faster, but the wise words of Vintage can always be relied upon to save the day, or can they?

As our heroes adventure continues, our young witch, Noon has to figure out what her place is in this story, where she fits and how her past may very well shape her future. There’s a reason Williams called this “The Winnowing Flame Trilogy,” and readers may be surprised to see where it ends.

A spectacular adventure that knows no bounds, and characters that will pull at your heart strings and your tear ducts. I can’t wait for the final book to come out, until then, Helcate.

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