Frank P. Ryan's The Twins of Moon was published by Swift Publishers in May 2019.
About Frank P. Ryan:
Frank P. Ryan is a multiple-bestselling author, in the UK and US. His other fiction includes the thrillers Goodbye Baby Blue and Tiger Tiger. His books have been translated into over ten different languages. Born in Ireland, he now lives in England.
Click here to visit his official website.
About The Twins of Moon:
Eefa and her twin brother, Magio, are on the run, hunted by a ruthless predator with a pack of terrifying wolf hounds. They have no idea why this is happening to them. Until recently they enjoyed a carefree life in the ramshackle town of Warren on the semi-tropical isle of Moon. Since birth Eefa has been invisible to everybody other than Magio, an invitation, as Magio sees it, to adventure, inspired by the tall tales of their lodger, Quimbre. But now the sudden death of their beloved Gran has turned their world upside down. Out of the blue, terrifying giants attempt to kidnap Eefa, who is only rescued by the intervention of a stranger, scorned by the townsfolk as an eccentric known as Bird Woman. And now this same stranger insists that Eefa and Magio are no longer safe. They must abandon their childhood home and flee to the Valley of the Raptors, high in the snow-capped mountain peaks of Moon. Here, Bird Woman promises, Eefa will discover the reason for her invisibility. While running, Magio has recurrent dreams about an old woman shackled to a monstrous beach of bones.
What magic will they discover in the Valley of the Raptors? Is Bird Woman telling them the truth? Will Eefa discover the secret of her invisibility? Will they find sanctuary from the malevolent forces that are closing in about them?
REVIEW: THE TWINS OF MOON BY FRANK P. RYAN
Frank P. Ryan's The Twins of Moon was a pleasant surprise for me, because it's a charming young adult fantasy adventure. There's something magical and old-fashioned yet modern about it that will captivate many readers regardless of their age and will keep them spellbound throughout the story.
I loved this novel, because it's something different when compared to other new YA fantasy novels. It has many traditional elements, but the author's way of using them feels fresh and compelling. This novel's mysterious and mystical atmosphere appealed to me and I found myself utterly fascinated by the unfolding story. I'm happy to say that I found this novel excellent and satisfyingly intense.
Here are a few words about the story:
The story begins with the twins, Eefa and Magio, mourning the death of their beloved Gran. Gran's sudden death has affected Magio the most and he feels lost. When they're travelling home from the beach, they decide to cross an area inhabited by the giant Scogs and get into trouble. The Scogs (Ursascogans) try to kidnap Eefa, but Eefa and Magio are rescued by an eccentric woman known as "Bird Woman". The woman tells the twins that they're not safe anymore and have to flee north to the wild lands. Especially Eefa is in danger, because she is special. Meanwhile, the Ursascogans are plotting against the humans and a confrontation - a war - between the two races draws nigh...
The unfolding story is gripping and filled with adventure, because it follows the twins' journey away from their familiar home, Warren, to the Valley of the Raptors in the high mountains where Eefa is supposed to find the reason for her invisibility. The journey is suspenseful, because the twins are are being ruthlessly hunted and experience strange things along the way.
Eefa is a bit different kind of a character, because she has been invisible since birth. She is invisible to everybody else except her brother, Magio. Magio loves his sister and tries to protect her, even though nobody believes that she exists (people think that Eefa is only a figment of his imagination). The bond between the twins is strong: they love and care about each other.
I enjoyed reading about Bird Woman, because she is a mysterious character who is interested in birds. She guides the twins and tells them bits and pieces of wisdom and reveals things about the world and its past. She has knowledge about many things, but she keeps certain things to herself.
It was intriguing to read about the Ursascogans and their plans, because they're the First Folk who have been forced to live underground due to being hunted and slaughtered by the humans. The author provides a fascinating glimpse into their civilisation, culture and myths, and tells about their foreboding machinations towards humans. The Ursascogan rulers, Queen Pittaquera and King Wirgnatha, are interesting characters, because they're different from each other. The king is brutal and powerful while the queen is more patient. Their deeds and differences are well fleshed out by the author.
I was deeply fascinated by the old woman who was shackled to the beach, because the author wrote excellently about her and her condition. I won't mention more about her, because I might end up giving away too much information about the story, but I can reveal that she is an important part of the story.
The worldbuilding is creative and compelling, because the author has created a rich fantasy world and doesn't reveal everything about the world at once. I appreciate the author's storytelling skills in this regard, because it's enjoyable to learn new things about the world and its inhabitants as the events unfold.
Although this novel is YA fantasy, it has quite a surprising amount of underlying depth and thought-provoking elements. The author explores being different in an effortless way in this novel. He also writes well about magic, and he doesn't shy away from brutal and distressing elements.
I find the author's writing style engaging and entertaining. When I began to read this novel, I was immediately drawn to the story by the author's clear and fluent prose, which was occasionally compellingly lyrical. I hope there will someday be a sequel or a companion novel, because it would nice to read more about this novel's fantasy world.
Frank P. Ryan's The Twins of Moon is a charmingly old-fashioned yet modern fantasy adventure for readers who enjoy suspenseful and intense stories. It's a tale filled with magic, mystery, love, evil, fear, hope and death. If you enjoy reading gradually unfolding stories that slightly differ from what has become the norm for modern YA fantasy, you'll find this novel charming and will be captivated by the story.