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Author: Chrystalla Thoma
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Release: March 2011
Editor: Nancy Bell
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Word count: 17710
E-book price: $3.50
Warning: Limited violence, sexual content, or language
When you are Zeus’ immortal son, you know you can get away with mostly anything. Bringing back the dead is not one of those things. Yet this is what Polydeukes does when his mortal twin, Kastor, dies. According to the dark deal he strikes with one of the gods, the brothers must alternate days in the land of the living, and Kastor cannot be told, or the deal is off. On top of that, If Hades were to find out, all hell would break loose. Literally.
But Kastor begins to put two and two together, and keeping the secret becomes difficult for Polydeukes. Will Kastor break his brother’s deal and save Polydeukes from an eternity of punishment in Tartarus, or will Polydeukes find a way to save them both?
Pol ran out and raced up the winding stairs as if the ghoulish Erinyes were at his heels. He climbed higher and higher in the heart of the Acropolis Rock. The torches on the walls reflected on roughly-hewn, white marble, glinting on the tiny crystals.
He only stopped when he reached the upper levels with the cavernous temples, and he hunched over, panting.
Jeez, that had been a close call. He sniffed his arm. He really smelled different?
A cry left his lips when a strong hand clamped on his shoulder. “Damn it; give a guy a warning first!”
“Come with me.”
“Someone’s here to talk to you.”
The Satyr dragged him into one of the smaller temples. Nobody was there.
Pol grinned. “A long distance call?”
His grin died. That meant someone from down below or from high above. A higher immortal.
Colors shimmered in the air like a rainbow. A woman appeared, willowy and translucent. Iris, messenger of the gods. This couldn’t be good.
“Hey.” The words stuck in his throat. “How’s Dad?”
She nodded, acknowledging him. “Polydeukes. Mighty Zeus is busy battling Ares over Asia and remains as yet ignorant of this situation. Persephone sends me with a message.”
“Oh.” Pol rubbed the back of his neck, feeling something bad coming. “And that is?”
“Desist from this foolish game. Hades won’t find it cute.”
He blinked. “Persephone said that? The great queen of the dead?”
“Not in these exact words.”
“Ah.” He shook his head. “Look. It may look like a game to the high ones, but to me this is serious. It’s about my brother’s life. I’m not giving up on him.”
“Great Persephone says Kastor is meant to be in the hall of the dead. Your brother is starting to remember, and to investigate. Soon he will figure this out, and call attention to himself.”
Damn! “Remember what?”
“His own death.”
Pol folded his arms across his chest as a trembling started low in his body. “Is that right?”
“Yes. What will you do?”
“Please.” He clenched his jaw. “I need time to think of something, a way to keep him alive. Please ask the great queen of the dead for understanding. Ask her for more time.”
Iris turned away, glancing over her shimmering white shoulder. “Farewell, Zeus’ son. I have delivered my message.”
“Do not wait until the father of the immortals discovers what you have done. There will be no escape from his wrath. Do you really want to sacrifice the world for your brother?”
The trembling spread to every limb. Pol collapsed to his knees, despair a lump of ice in his belly. “You can’t ask me to choose!” But she was gone already. “Zeus won’t do that. He won’t destroy the world because I kept one of his sons alive!”
A deep voice said, “You never know.”
He flinched at the voice of the Satyr. He had forgotten the ill-omened creature was still there. “Why should he? Mortals are his children, too.”
“Oh, you know how it is with great power.” The Satyr pulled him to his feet and steadied him. “You know that book, Of Mice and Men? No? Let’s just say when you are very strong, you sometimes don’t realize how disastrous a pat on the back can be. Let me demonstrate.”
He patted Pol, and the blow hit him like an avalanche, sending him sprawling to the floor. He lay there gasping, fiery pain spreading down his spine. His back would be one big bruise come tomorrow.
The Satyr bent over, stared him in the face. “And I am just an old Satyr. Imagine if Zeus decides to come down to talk to you in person, so angry at your idiocy he won’t stop to think. The mortals will be burned to a crisp. The buildings will crumble, the earth will split, the sky will explode into electric storms. Just to talk to you. Get it?”
Pol grunted. “Listen, Satyr. Kast is barely twenty.” Even winded, he forced the words out. His chest hurt. “He hasn’t even had a girlfriend yet. He hasn’t traveled the world, hasn’t even learned how to drive a car. He’s too young to die. What good am I if I can’t keep him alive?” He sat up, swallowed hard. “I can’t let Kast go. Anything, but that.”
The Satyr glared. His ears twitched. He sighed. “Talk to Zeus.”
“He won’t listen!”
“Make a sacrifice and ask for this favor.”
“He won’t allow it!”
“He may listen.” The Satyr straightened, brushed off his hairy chest. “Make him realize how important this is to you. Make it a sacrifice worthy of your cause. Hurry; or the matter will no longer be in your hands.” He left the room, muttering, hooves clacking.
A sacrifice. Pol pushed himself up to his feet with a wince. What did the Satyr mean?
I am NOT a professional reviewer, but we professional READERS know if something is good or not.
Dioscuri is a tale of two brothers, sons of the mighty Zeus who once upon a time fancied a beautiful woman, claimed his right to enjoy what he fancied and left her pregnant.
Twin boys, but only one is given the dubious gift of immortality, while the other struggles through never being told of his deity sire, nor is he told about his twin's immortality.
Modern man, in his need for rebuilding, remodeling, constant and fluid change, has reopened portals to places where the DARK lesser immortals have be trapped, and they are now free and happily attacking.
Both brothers join to fight the fight; their regiments side by side. Poll and Kast. In horror Poll watches his beloved brother cast into the shadows of death by the sword of a harpy.
What good is immortality when half your soul has been ripped from within you? Poll cannot accept the unwritten, but more than slightly applied rule forbidding ANY immortal from raising the dead. Zeus will rant, and Hades will roar over losing one of his dead.
But Poll is not just ANY immortal. He is the brother of Kast and he will not rest until he reclaims his brother's life.
Making bargains with the gods, is treacherous territory, but Poll seeks and receives Kast's life, sort of .
Kast will live every other 24 hours with Poll filling his brother's sandals on the alternative days. On day one Kast lives as Kast. On day two, he does not live as Kast, Poll, who lies on a funerary bier on Kast's days, infiltrates Kast's body and walks, talks, and fights as Kast.
Poll just needs time to figure out how he can make Kast's life permanent, but Kast cannot learn the truth or the pact with the gods ends as does Kast's life.
I was riveted by this story. As a former teacher, it takes a lot for me to become enraptured by a young adult story...I've read so many, assigning them as part of my lesson plans.
Enraptured doesn't even begin to express what I felt while reading Dioscuri.
Chrystalla Thoma has brought the Greek Pantheon to life in today's world and given us a story of brotherly love too strong to let death cut it short.
If I were still teaching today, I would not hesitate for a second to make this book part of my teaching curriculum. It's a powerful story of love, sacrifice, anguish, and so much more.
It's a YA story, but adults will love it too.
I give Dioscuri five TEMPLES, not stars.
Well done, Chrystalla.
Follow this link to Dioscuri's Buy Page at Muse Publising, Inc.
And Chrystalla Thoma's AUTHOR PAGE
Dioscuri will be released on March 1st from
MUSE IT UP PUBLISHING, INC.