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The Twins (Gemquest, Book 1) (Gemquest) Paperback – January 30, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the GemQuest Series

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Editorial Reviews


A grand and spectacular narrative of wizardry, dark magic and sentient trees. -- Neil Cladingboel, author of The Erebus Equilibrium

For the first time in a long time, I lost myself in someone else’s creation. -- Steve Savile, author of Angel Road

This is epic fantasy at its best. Wassner keeps readers hooked from page one. -- Dag Rambraut, owner of ssfworld.com

About the Author

Gary Alan Wassner holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Ethics and Nineteenth Century Continental Philosophy. He is the President and Senior Partner of a commercial finance company in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Series: Gemquest (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Windstorm Creative; 1st edition (January 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590920783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590920787
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,647,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Who is this child? And why does he need protection? What motives compel those seeking him out with such frenzied abandon? And what drives the woman trying to save him? Gary Wassner's story opens with the tension of a pivotal moment that fills the reader with concern, curiosity, and dread. As the chapters unfold, answers to questions get doled out masterfully, but they only lead to more involved questions that draw Wassner's audience further into his words. As the exciting introduction to the Gemquest Series, "The Twins" is an action thriller sure to interest fantasy and fiction readers alike.

Wassner's story reveals the structure of a world in jeopardy. It is a world where nature and intelligent life are one and the same; where the ancient Lalas trees protect the good people of their planet through magic and the communicative power of their globe-stretching roots. It is a naturalist's utopia of harmonious existence filled with religious nuance. The trees select extraordinary humans called Chosen to be their life partners, and through that joining they are able to impart knowledge of the world and its elemental magic that could be known no other way. The Chosen are revered among the people, their power is well known, and their words are respected. They are teachers and healers that complete the union between nature and the creatures that live in nature's domain. But there is a stain on the portrait of this perfect world; a smudge that disrupts the harmony. Evil is present and it soils the canvas with its destructive influence.

The Lalas trees are dying and even the Chosen are not completely sure why. With each death, the protective blanket of power the Lalas have over the planet diminishes and evil spreads like disease.
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Format: Paperback
It's easy to dismiss a book, which is part of a trilogy, featuring elves, orcs, a dark lord and a quest, as simply another Tolkien clone.

As a reader repulsed by Jordan and Goodkind, and a fan of the grittier, new wave of fantasy by the likes of Stover, Meiville and Bakker, why on earth did I read The Twins?

Firstly, a publisher taking a gamble on a new author is rare enough in this over-flooded market place where there are rumoured to be more manuscripts seeking acceptance than actual readers within the market; let alone a publisher releasing the first three books of a series together by a new author! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Okay I can see the strategy there, shelf space and fanbase building, sure, but that is incredible belief from a publisher.

Secondly, this guy can write and you only have to read his recent interview at WOTMANIA to see he is an articulate, talented and passionate author.

So enough hype, is it any good?

The first thing that struck me, is that you will love these characters. There is a depth to Wassner's characterization and some of his creations are brilliant. There is a magic to the world he creates and the author's love of nature and the harmony he must feel himself with our world, bleeds throughout.

The idea of sentient trees and their connection with their humanoid 'chosen' is fascinating and compelling. The Twins is a page turner where you almost wish you weren't coming to the end, but you must continue regardless.

This adventure truly is epic and whilst written with philosophical undertones, the exploration of evil is just as detailed and fascinating as the beauty of the Lalas.

Light and shade give this work resonance and I applaud the publisher for having the vision to release three books and of course, the author for writing excellent, twenty-first century, epic fantasy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the storyline. It's the dark versus the light with some twists. The dark god wants to completely destroy the world. There are some frustrating parts that really bothered me (ie: the town is being pummeled with large rocks from the ogres catapults and the trolls are hammering on the wall. The leader and his generals are at headquarters visiting with some friends who have just arrived. They discuss the travels of the newcomers while the army and townspeople are being sorely put upon by the rocks. The leaders finally get up to go see what is happening and they are surprised at the number of dead and how much the walls have suffered.) It really frustrated me to have a dire event about to happen and the good guys just stand there talking. However, I did enjoy the story and continued to read the series.
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Format: Paperback
For those looking for a Tolkein clone, you'll not find that here. Wassner weaves a world and positions his characters like a master chess player. Each piece has its part to play in the greater game that is Gemquest. Sacrifices must be made and each move grips your heart and drives you to read onward. You end with a satisfaction, but wanting, no, needing to continue.

It's rare when I read a book and need time before picking up the second in a series. In this case, the ramifications of the characters feel so real that I want to fully digest what I've read before plunging headlong into a second book. I have that book next to me. Waiting. I can already hear the characters' calling me back. I think I'll heed their call.
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