Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Dioscuri by Chrystalla Thoma

March 2011, MuseItUp Publishing
59 pages, ebook
Review copy

Young Adult, Fantasy 

Ancient Greek monsters & heroes, the strength of love between siblings, defying death, Greek gods & goddesses, scenes of violence, occasional romance

Summary from MuseItUp Publishing
When you are Zeus’ immortal son, you know you can get away with mostly anything. Bringing back the dead is not one of those things. Yet this is what Polydeukes does when his mortal twin, Kastor, dies. According to the dark deal he strikes with one of the gods, the brothers must alternate days in the land of the living, and  Kastor cannot be told, or the deal is off. On top of that, If Hades were to find out, all hell would break loose. Literally.

But Kastor begins to put two and two together, and keeping the secret becomes difficult for Polydeukes. Will Kastor break his brother’s deal and save Polydeukes from an eternity of punishment in Tartarus, or will Polydeukes find a way to save them both?

Nayuleska's thoughts
It wasn't the summary that drew me in to read the story. That was the second hook. The first one was knowing Chrystalla from an online writing forum. I think it's amazing when my friends, however I know them, get published. I was eager to read her work. I hope I'm not too biased when I say it's good. Pol and Kast (whichever one was alive at the time) are in the middle of a warzone. It's not a peaceful life. Friends get killed. Their lives are focused on bringing down the enemy (mythical Greek monsters including lamias *shudder* which have half a body of a snake). You would think they would try to avoid bringing further disaster upon themselves. But Pol loves his brother so much he would risk death to save him. 

The way the story was told was enjoyable. First it would be Kast's view, on his day. He hated feeling weird and not understanding why he kept losing days, why there was evidence of his dead brother's personal habits (not all of which are savoury). I felt sorry for him being in the dark, but he was intelligent enough to add up the clues as he found them. Then it would be Pol's view. He is totally different to Kast, and thankfully people think Kast is just having an off day as he tries to deal with Pol's death. It was interesting how they looked alike, and yet were so different in personality. However, they shared the same capacity of wanting to take care of each other. Unfortunately it's not just a matter of living alternate days - they have to find ways not to really tick off the gods, most especially their father. 

This may be (for me) a short story, but the characters are believable and likeable. Although at times he was a little scary, I like the Satyr because he susses out what's going on, and lays down the law of the land to Pol. There's a girl who likes Kast, and is able to recognise whether it is him or Pol in his body (not that she's aware of the situation). That brings out that it isn't just what a person looks like which them them unique. It is their mannerisms, their likes and dislikes - they might have a clone (if we're talking about sci-fi characters) or an identical sibling, but they are different people. By living Kast's life a little, I believe Pol understands a smidgeon more about decorum. When Kast realises his brother is up to something, I think he learns from Pol's behaviour and takes a few risks where ordinarily he would tread carefully and be a gentlemen. Both have noble hearts and a lot of courage. 

I think the cover is pretty cool! Definitely sums up what the book is about. I like the font style of the title which fits in with the ancient Greece theme. 

Final conclusion 
If you love any story involving the bonds of twins, Greek Myths and good plot twists, read Dioscuri. This definitely gets a thumbs up from me, and I look forward to reading more of Chrystalla's work! 

Suggested reads
The Penguin Book of Classical Myths by Jenny March, an accessible read about the most popular myths of the ancient world 
Eye of the Moon & Eye of the Sun by Dianne Hofmeyr,a story set in ancient Egypt involving a brother and a sister who mean the world to each other.


Charmaine Clancy said...

I love seeing my online buddies getting their books out there too. Good to know you're being supportive. :-)

Viviane Brentanos said...

Congrats. It's always nice when readers appreciate our work and vision


Nayuleska said...

Thank you! It's so awesome when people I know get published.