Review: The Trilogy of Two by Juman Malouf
Published November 10th, 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.
Identical twins Sonja and Charlotte are musical prodigies with extraordinary powers. Born on All-Hallows-Eve, the girls could play music before they could walk. They were found one night by Tatty, the Tattooed Lady of the circus, in a pail on her doorstep with only a note and a heart-shaped locket. They’ve been with Tatty ever since, roaming the Outskirts in the circus caravans, moving from place to place.
But lately, curious things have started to happen when they play their instruments. During one of their performances, the girls accidentally levitate their entire audience, drawing too much unwanted attention. Soon, ominous Enforcers come after them, and Charlotte and Sonja must embark on a perilous journey through enchanted lands in hopes of unlocking the secrets of their mysterious past. (Goodreads)
This is a tough book to review. The story is told in three parts and the first part I really enjoyed. So much so that I made it my Mood Board Monday post this week. I loved that the main characters were twins yet so different from one another. I also got wonderful vibes from the setting and the circus. As the story continued it just got weirder and weirder and not in a good way. I tried giving it the benefit of the doubt and actually completed it, which was surprising. What kept me going were the awesome illustrations littered throughout the story. This is marketed to a middle-grade audience but honestly, it felt more YA than middle grade. Some of the characters really were awesome. The twins Sonja and Charlotte, Tatty, Wolf Boy, Moritz, and Alexandria were some of my favorites. Other characters in the second and third parts weren’t as great. There were times when I was struggling to remember who they were and their importance to the story. Other times I just didn’t care about them. As with the characters, the plot was all over the place as well. The beginning was set up so nicely and I really was digging the circus setting. Then the twins set off with Alexandria and I never got comfortable again. They moved from place to place and although the ideas were unique I never felt comfortable because we were never in a location for long enough to truly settle into the environment. The Trilogy of Two is a stand alone, but I think it would have been more successful as a duology or trilogy. The twins spent so much time getting to their destination by the time they did the story was almost over. I felt for the journey the characters took us on the ending should have been a bit more satisfying.
There were elements of the story that were so unique I can’t stop thinking about them. The world as a whole I am still digesting. There are places I wish I had more time to explore. If you’re looking for a magical read with unique races and an imaginative landscape you might enjoy this one.