Fiction Book Reviews

Fantasy | Review The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

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I’ve been a fan of Jen Williams’ writing since her Copper Cat Trilogy. I loved The Ninth Rain (the first in The Winnowing Flame trilogy, here’s my review).  It will be no surprise that I LOVED The Bitter Twins too! Jen Williams is a consistent author who always meets my expectations.

It’s going to be hard to write my thoughts – one because no spoilers and two, when a story is in your bones, where do you find the words to express how you feel …

The Bitter Twins Jen Williams

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 1142 KB

Print Length: 624 pages

Publisher: Headline (8 Mar. 2018)

Language: English


Available to purchase in digital, paperback and audio formats.

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.

Join the heroes in The Bitter Twins as they battle a terrible evil, the likes of which Sarn has never known.


With Hestillion aboard the corpse moon with her stolen silver pod; Vintage in Ebora; Bern and Aldasair in Finneral; Tor and Noon on a quest to find the mysterious island depicted in Micanal the Clearsighted’s memory tablet, there’s plenty to get involved (and absorbed!) in throughout The Bitter Twins.

The war-beasts are missing a vital connection to bond them together resulting in fighting among themselves and ignoring commands.  And they’re still learning what they are capable of.  The fighting had my whole body tensing up, I guess not trusting them but also with the power of the Jure’lia Queen, how could they come out on top? Jen Williams’ descriptions of the war-beasts meant it was so easy for me to visualise them.  Vostok and Kirune were the perfect foil for each other, their personalities adding another dimension to the story as characters in their own right.

I am fascinated by the Jure’lia but at the same time repulsed. I started out disliking the Jure’lia Queen intensely but I felt Hestillion tempered some of that darkness.  In any case, seeing everything through Hestillion’s eyes gave me greater understanding of ‘her’ motivation.  Hestillion is another interesting character.  I was never quite sure if she would ultimately make sacrifices for her own or whether she would be the enemy.  I’m still not sure …

At times I felt such despair, there are just so many challenges and betrayals for all our characters to overcome.  I must admit to being heartbroken at what happens to one of the new characters and I don’t think it’s the last we’ve seen from new character Tyranny.  Noon, Tor, Vintage and now Aldasair and Bern have already found a place in my heart.  If thoughts could keep them safe!

I tried to work out what a particular thing meant to the story as a whole and I so enjoyed it when I got that ‘lightbulb’ moment 🙂  It seemed to lessen my fear.  I had no idea some things were coming though, one in particular was such a shocker! And Ebora’s creation myth …

Jen William’s takes world building to a different level entirely.  In my review for The Ninth Rain I said:

Once again, the world building from Jen Williams is awe inspiring.  The different tribes and the politics, fell-witches, Eborans and their history is seamless.  The settings are amazing – in Ebora, Sarn, the Wild, and the Winnowry.

There is such depth to the different cultures, their customs and rituals.  What a creative mind she has!  Where does she get her ideas!  So magnificent.

Obviously the Winnowry is going to factor in The Poison Song and I’m itching to get to the final story.

If you enjoy fantasy or sci-fi, don’t miss The Winnowing Flame trilogy.  It really is outstanding.

Connect with Jen Williams


Twitter @sennydreadful

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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