Alyson and Lettie are living an idyllic, quiet existence when violence shatters the comfort of their protected world. Their parents are slaughtered and their small village attacked, seemingly without provocation. Alone and afraid, they’re found by a traveling mage, Hyam, who helps them exact revenge for their losses. Hyam realizes they girls have great power of their own and need training to develop their mage skills.
But an enemy has grown dangerously powerful and he’s wielding a horrific magic that threatens his kingdom and the innocent lives of his subjects. Hyam, Alyson, and Lettie find themselves joining a group of rebels, desperate to stop the destruction of the world around them. They’ll have to risk everything and even then it may not be enough.
I’m not sure where I should start with Twin Mages. It’s a bit of disaster and I struggled with it to the point it nearly became my first DNF. Let me start by saying grammatical errors and typos are everywhere. That’s not something I usually notice, so the fact it irritated me so much means the problem isn’t a minor one. A lot could have been resolved with basic editing and I was frustrated at how often these issues disrupted my reading.
The writing is simplistic. It isn’t bad per se, but it doesn’t read as particularly sophisticated or polished. There’s just nothing terribly profound here.
The plot is fairly chaotic. In the first 12% of the book, Alyson and Lettie lose their parents, meet Hyam, get revenge, and decide to leave with Hyam as he sets off to kill the King of the Twilight Islands. It reads as almost random and happenstance and while I understand why Alyson and Lettie decide to join the rebellion, it still feels like a rushed and cobbled together plot device. And then, almost as though someone flips a switch, the action grinds to a halt and the book turns into a slog. There are some minor skirmishes and magical training (and the magical spells are just ridiculous), but Twin Mages struggles to ever get where it needs to go. This is the first in a series and the book does end on a cliffhanger, but I never felt much connection to the story, except during a particularly dramatic rescue on Lettie’s part towards the climax. Lastly, Twin Mages really focuses on the fantasy rather than anything else, which is fine, but the relationships are marginally developed at best.
Twin Mages is one of those books whose blurb intrigued me, but that ended up falling apart almost out of the gate. It needs some serious editing to clear up the numerous typos and the writing needs some scaffolding. In addition, the plot is haywire and the pacing problematic. On the whole, this one really didn’t work for me and I’d have to recommend giving it a pass.