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The Tale of the Twins

Book One: Gathering and Destruction

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

“We leaped agilely from rooftop to rooftop, two shadows moving too quickly to draw attention from the mortal eyes below,” Lysandra narrates. “It had taken us two months to get to the city by foot. Two months of travelling through harsh desert and desolation of the lands. Two months of little blood, little money, and few places to replenish ammunition and our own special resources.”

Lysandra and Leopold are twins whose immortality has given them thousands of years of wisdom which they now must use to save the world from self-destruction. Their journey will be filled with trials and tribulations in every darkened corner of this post-apocalyptic Earth. Tensions are mounting between the pair, and they must put aside their differences for the betterment of mankind.

This premise is a familiar one in fantasy and science fiction and has certainly been well-covered, but the quality of the writing in this effort from Dairenna VonRavenstone is refreshing. VonRavenstone (who has selected the perfect pen name for a successful fantasy writer) presents readers with well-crafted characters that are mythical yet familiar, since they seem to have been plucked from our present society. Despite the ravaged landscape in which the story takes place, the characters and situations are all entirely relatable.

VonRavenstone’s prose is crisp, clean, and concise, yet it still fits well with the descriptive style of the fantasy genre. This book is only part one in what is likely to be a lengthy series, but even so, the story isn’t weighed down by overlong sword battles or war scenes; instead, the author whisks readers along at a steady pace that keeps the tale interesting. Though her descriptions and action sequences are certainly shorter than most fantasy writers, she displays a knack for finding the right word to prove her point. She writes, for example, “She could not draw in even a single iota of oxygen to recuperate, and she could see red spots forming in front of her yes.”

Ultimately, this story isn’t the most intricate or original, but it works nonetheless. The real test for VonRavenstone will be to continue producing solid and concise prose in the series’ future books.

Liam Brennan