‘…Kats von Stralen is stealing children’s talents. He’s found a way to detach a Talent from a child’s heart before the two become one – using the Felis Catus.’
(The Trilogy Of Two by Juman Malouf. P70.)
Identical twins Sonja and Charlotte are musical prodigies. Music is their gift and it is the most important part of their life. The girls have never known about their birth parents – they were found one night by Tatty the Tattooed Lady who brought them to the circus and raised them as her own.
Then mysterious things start to happen when the girls play their instruments. These movements and vibrations put them on the radar of the Enforcers. Forced to run, the girls set off on a journey through the Seven Edens – perilous magical lands which turn out to be real. They must learn the secrets of their past if they hope to play their music again.Review:
The Trilogy Of Two is an enigmatic and unusual book. If you liked the slightly kooky ensembles and events in A Series Of Unfortunate Events you will love the setting in The Trilogy Of Two. Spooky Twins on the run from outlandish baddies. This is enhanced by illustrations of the strange and unexpected. I imagine a number of people will by the book for the design and art alone. It is a beautiful thing.
The girls’ magic is stolen and they must journey into the Seven Edens for a solution. Antagonists are established – the seriously creepy Kats Von Stralen and the Enforcers. The set-up was my favourite part. The journey through the Seven Edens is whimsical and imaginative but I found the story slower in this part. If you enjoy books which take in the scenery you will love this part.
Charlotte and Sonja’s relationship as twins is well-explored – the friction between wanting to be together and wanting separate identities. I also loved their relationship with Tatty, the woman who raised them like a mother.
The idea of a world in which children’s artistic talents are stolen in favour of them working in factories was depressingly familiar and communicated something which happens in our world. If we fight against magical baddies who steal children’s talents, why don’t we fight government ministers who make cuts to the arts? Juman Malouf’s fairytale may be whimsical but it is rooted in real sentiments.
Thanks to Pushkin Press for my copy of The Trilogy Of Two. Opinions my own.