Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (2016 - March 22)
eARC (272 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016
For eighteen years a girl with no name, a Redwing, has been hidden away in a small attic room within a city of hissing pipes and curving temples perched on the side of the great volcano, Mol, while her sister, Jey-identical except for her eyes-has lived her life in public as an only child. Their father had hoped the hidden girl would one day grow up to be a normal human girl and not the wicked creature mythology has promised, so he secretly spared her life as an infant.
But when she switches places with her sister, striking up a flirtation with the son of the Empress while working in the royal gardens and gets attacks by two suspicious priests on her journey home, she is forced to call forth fire to protect herself, unleashing her previously dormant powers and letting her secret out. She soon catches the attention of a cult with a thousand year old grudge as well as a group of underground rebels, both seeking her for their own gain. But when her sister goes missing and the Redwing uncovers a great plot to awaken Mol and bring fiery destruction upon them all, she is forced to embrace her powers.
In Adi Rule's new novel, The Hidden Twin, the girl with no name, must choose a name and a path for herself, drawing a line between myth and history to prove herself more than a monster if she is to save both her sister and her home.
First of all, this is a beautiful cover. However, our main character doesn’t have a name. She is a Redwing, one of a set of twins born from a forbidden union. Her twin sister, Jey, is human but a Redwing isn’t human. The namelessness of our Redwing narrator shocked me. Wouldn’t her father and sister have called her something in private? Apparently not.
Anyway, our Redwing isn’t staying as hidden as she should. The penalty for her very existence is her own death and yet she still finds time to wander the city and pretend to be her sister.
Then things start to happen that alert others to the existence of a Redwing in the city: our Redwing calls up fire to protect herself from zealous priests and manages to let the whole city know (at least a cult and some rebels) that she exists. She ends up unknowingly meeting the resistance before being arrested for being a Redwing.
The concept of the Redwing as interesting. Then there is also the bonescorch orchid that only glows in the presence of a Redwing. Apparently the Empress has just discovered one of these rare plants that puts our Redwing in even more danger.
I was a little confused about the culture of the city throughout the book. It seems the city is located very near a volcano which is constantly spewing volcanic ash over the city. But apparently the people have adapted enough that they are able to breathe it. The people of the city also rarely see plants and never see the sky.
Then I really don’t understand the temple. It is hard to believe that an entire religion, the only religion mentioned in the book, is completely fanatical and yet this is how it appears. This was… disturbing.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Hidden Twin. It was a unique take on fantasy. It was rather dark at times but still enjoyable. In all, I recommend The Hidden Twin as an interesting read.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for
review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title
nor the content of this review.