Book Review: War of the Twin Swords

War of the Twin Swords

  • Title: War of the Twin Swords
  • Author: Julia Goldhirsh
  • Series: Gemstone Massacre Series, Prequel
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: May 30th, 2020
  • Publishing Co.: Julia Goldhirsh
  • Length: 56 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook
  • Acquired: Given free paperback in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: War of the Twin Swords

On the night before her Choosing, there were whispers of war in the air.

After binding herself to Clarent, Opal is given a grim prophecy of her future. Alone and ostracized from her clan, she finds an unlikely ally in the sorceresses’ leader, Joan.

Joan is the reason the Sorceress clan wants to attack. She’s prophesied to pull Excalibur from its stone. But her clan wants its powers for a darker purpose.

They have to band together to stop the Sorceress clan’s invasion. Excalibur is on their side, but they’re outnumbered five to one. Can Opal escape this war unscathed?

Or will her prophecy come true?

Final Judgment: 3 Stars out of 5

With such a short novella, I will also keep my review short.

This was a great read for when I was in a book slump! It was the perfect size to where I did not feel the need to commit a large amount of time, and it was full of action throughout. Kept me pleasantly entertained for the hour it took to read it!


Characters. A nod to feminism everywhere, I enjoyed that the two main characters were both strong female warriors, each the leader of their clan. Each character also had her own voice, and it was interesting to see into the insecurities of Opal, even though she seems to have everything. This distinctly made her human and relatable.

Premise. I LOVE this idea of gemstones providing power, as well as distinguishing between enchanters and sorcerers. It’s something that I have rarely–if ever–seen done in the novel world. This idea has such potential, and I hope that Goldhirsh thoroughly explores it in the next books in the series!


Plot. The plot had great potential, but nothing really built up. Things just fell into place and happened, without really having any rhyme or reason. The plot seemed to be more of a writing device, rather than created for the enjoyment of the reader.

Pacing. Although I enjoyed the brevity for my own circumstances, this story really should have been expanded into a novel. The pacing is extremely rushed and thus does not allow the reader to fully immerse in the story or get to know the characters. The setting, magic system, characters, and plot are all thrown together, with zero build-up. They just are. As stated above, this destroys the plot and lessens its believability.

Overall, I believe that this story has potential, and I hope that the actual novels in the series fix this pacing/plot problem. If so, then count me in for the first book of the series!

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