The Twins of the Aletere - In the Shadow of Dreams

The Twins of the Aletere - In the Shadow of Dreams

by JMMatheis

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Book 1 - Shadow of the Eclipse  [Complete 2nd Draft]

Finding the path and mending the wounds of grief is a tumultuous undertaking for the twins Desilantre after the loss of their parents a year earlier. In the midst of battle, a fateful event tears them from the elven warship, the Lychen’s Fiddle and the broken remnants of their family. Hurting and afraid, they find themselves lost and alone in the wilderness with no discernible way home. Cooperation is key should they survive in these uncharted lands, yet the ancient plague of sibling rivalry constantly threatens to tear them apart. 

Book 2 - In the Shadow of Dreams - Part I  [1st Draft]

Searching the memories of the past for the answers to the present and reunited with a fragment of what was, Sialin is confronted with the trauma of her childhood and remains unresponsive to the outside world. Selera, finally with direction in the search for the twins is unwittingly set on a path that leads to the double edged sword and Sialin’s chosen, the Crimson Demon. The twins, at the edge of hope find solace in their bond and those that have shielded them from danger. Truth, fate and destiny entwined, leads all closer to the veiled machinations of the Enclave and the Talkenerran Coast.

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Table of Contents
135 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue ago
Chapter 01 - The Twins - (Act I) ago
Chapter 02 - Lessons Learned ago
Chapter 03 - Teacher's Pet ago
Chapter 04 - Sister's Pain ago
Chapter 05 - Uncouth Words ago
Chapter 06 - Heart to Heart ago
Chapter 07 - Brother’s Anguish ago
Chapter 08 - Catharsis ago
Chapter 09 - Protective Embrace ago
Chapter 10 - Mistress and Apprentice ago
Chapter 11 - The Device ago
Chapter 12 - Enemy Sighted ago
Chapter 13 - Signals ago
Chapter 14 - The Eve of Battle ago
Chapter 15 - Skirmish ago
Chapter 16 - Panic ago
Chapter 17 - Gone ago
Chapter 18 – Lost - (Act II) ago
Chapter 19 - Frustration ago
Chapter 20 - Fear ago
Chapter 21 - Gryphon ago
Chapter 22 - Morning ago
Chapter 23 - Destruction and Silver Hair ago
Chapter 24 - The Ruins ago
Chapter 25 – Run Aground ago
Chapter 26 – Speaking in Riddles ago
Chapter 27 – Message ago
Chapter 28 – Winter ago
Chapter 29 – Winter’s Fear ago
Chapter 30 - Siblings ago
Chapter 31 - Hendosphyre ago
Chapter 32 – Winter’s Mind ago
Chapter 33 - Issues ago
Chapter 34 – Wolves ago
Chapter 35 – The Twin’s Trail ago
Chapter 36 – Obscure Conversation ago
Chapter 37 – Riverside ago
Chapter 38 – Encounter ago
Chapter 39 – Guilt, Shame and Fear ago
Chapter 40 – Relief ago
Chapter 41 - Blight ago
Chapter 42 – Lost and Found ago
Chapter 43 - Tailed ago
Chapter 44 - Alletair ago
Chapter 45 – Out of Time ago
Chapter 46 – Trial by Fire ago
Chapter 47 – Trapped ago
Chapter 48 – Xiana ago
Chapter 49 - Surrounded ago
Chapter 50 – Escape ago
Chapter 51 – Deception ago
Chapter 52 - Desperation ago
Chapter 53 - Found ago
Chapter 54 - Treaty ago
Chapter 55 – Safe ago
Chapter 56 – Clarity ago
Chapter 57 - Silias ago
Chapter 58 – Daughter of Dragons ago
Chapter 59 – Familiarity ago
Chapter 60 – Talk of Destiny ago
Chapter 61 – Dreamscape ago
Chapter 62 – The Cell ago
Chapter 63 – The Imprisoned ago
Chapter 64 – True Nature ago
Chapter 65 - Restored ago
Chapter 66 – Gathering of Wings ago
Chapter 67 – Numb ago
Chapter 68 – Revelations ago
Chapter 69 – The Nameless ago
Chapter 70 – Rapture ago
Chapter 71 - Illias - (Act III) ago
Chapter 72 – Morning Meeting ago
Chapter 73 - Wake ago
Chapter 74 – Parley ago
Chapter 75 – Dragon God ago
Chapter 76 – Benefaction – Pt 1 ago
Chapter 77 – Benefaction – Pt 2 ago
Chapter 78 – Resurrection – Pt 1 ago
Chapter 79 – Resurrection – Pt 2 ago
Chapter 80 – Old Acquaintances – Pt 1 ago
Chapter 81– Old Acquaintances – Pt 2 ago
Chapter 82 – Shared Understanding ago
Chapter 83 – Past, Present and Parallels – Pt 1 ago
Chapter 84 – Past, Present and Parallels – Pt 2 ago
Chapter 85 - Defiance ago
Chapter 86 – Rebuttal ago
Chapter 87 - Dockside ago
Chapter 88 - Approach ago
Chapter 89 – Chance Encounter ago
Epilogue ago
Bonus - The Misadventures of the Twins - Short Story - Part 1 ago
Bonus - The Misadventures of the Twins - Short Story - Part 2 ago
Prologue ago
Chapter 01 – The Child - (Act I) ago
Chapter 02 – Summer’s Embrace ago
Chapter 03 – A Shift in Seasons ago
Chapter 04 – Last Breath ago
Chapter 05 – Grief ago
Chapter 06 – Transition ago
Chapter 07 – Hunting ago
Chapter 08 - Papa ago
Chapter 09 - Sparring ago
Chapter 10 - Eira Lin ago
Chapter 11 – Taking Leave ago
Chapter 12 – A New Dawn ago
Chapter 13 – Song of Hope ago
Chapter 14 - Talk of the Past ago
Chapter 15 – Fated Unions ago
Chapter 16 – Selera ago
Chapter 17 – Family ago
Chapter 18 – Child’s Plight ago
Chapter 19 – A New Face ago
Chapter 20 – The Crimson Demon ago
Chapter 21 – Rhyker ago
Chapter 22 – Destiny’s Path ago
Chapter 23 - Kitaraiya ago
Chapter 24 - Awakening ago
Chapter 25 – Moments ago
Chapter 26 – Facing the Demon ago
Chapter 27 - Escorath - (Act II) ago
Chapter 28 - Courting the Monster ago
Chapter 29 – Reviving the Deep ago
Chapter 30 – A Silent Rage ago
Chapter 31 - Memories of Sunset ago
Chapter 32 – Dwarves and Dragons ago
Chapter 33 – Stolen Blessing ago
Chapter 34 – Pure Intentions ago
Chapter 35 - Cornered ago
Chapter 36 – Thoughts of What Was ago
Chapter 37 - Brawl ago
Chapter 38 – Taunt ago
Chapter 39 - The Rakshasa ago
Chapter 40 - Defeat ago
Chapter 41 – Stubborn Intent ago

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A bit slower than other, but engaging

Reviewed at: Chapter 32 - Winter's Mind

So up till now i really like the story and it kind of gives me name of the wind vibes :). Let me explain. You have different Povs that are intertwined but distant from another and there is a long run goal that might or might not be achievable. That's what reminds me of name of the wind. Grammar seems good, but english is not my first language. It sometimes gets confusing, when there is a plot going down, but you have to wait for the next chapter. But all in all it's a good story and i am looking forward to where it's going.

minor spoiler:

as i am a dragon fan i am especially looking forward if they will meet the dragon.

So give the author a read it's worth it and support their passion :D


Slow brew, but totally worth it

Reviewed at: Chapter 15 - Skirmish

This is a tale with two twins in focus, but there are also a lot of colourful, vibrant side characters that all feel alive. The pacing is a little slower, but I feel like a warm hand encloses me as I read, and it gently places me in the story to show me around. 

I feel like this is brewing up to something nice, and I'd like to follow these characters and see how they develop as the story goes on! 
there are some plays at different cultures that are both commonly found and new at the same time, and I like how the story slowly delves deeper into the cultures and the powers that are growing all around them.

What's said above, coupled with a good use of language, makes me want to read on, and I'd advice you to give it a shot!


Some of the best I’ve read.

Reviewed at: Chapter 11 - The Device

This is hands down one of the best stories I've read. The prose flows beautifully and the characters are rich with depth and emption. The story develops slowly but it allows you to experiece every moment richly. The magic system ( that has been exposed so far) is complex and the world building is deep. 
overall, a 5 star book. I'm sure I'm getting no sleep tonight.


Slow in the way that the turtle would win the race ten times over. Take that comment as you want.

Anyway. The story is pretty damn good. While, again, there might be some level of slow pacing to it, I think that's more an after-effect of the amount of information packed into the story. Not that this equals constant info-packs. Somehow. Still not sure how the author succeeded in that.

Characters are nice enough, Grammar is without obvious errors, and it's an overall good story. 4.5/5 from me.


The Twins of the Aletere's Song

Reviewed at: Chapter 43 - Alletair

I rate this highly for the passion flowing through its veins
its attention to detail and structure never wanes
it burns slowly, leaving lots of time for characters
they will grow on you long before their big adventures

The style is densely packed with dialogue and fine detail
the narration is fluent and depicts a vivid tale
scenes are built with loving care, and everything is clear
and you’ll be well accustomed when the action does appear

The story is a slowburn, so if that’s your thing then great
things progress a little slow but it is worth the wait
where the plot's at now, it's getting juicy and heavy
it's like a feast on thanksgiving with delicious gravy!

The world is growing outward from the interacting cast
a history of of magic is expanding very fast
it’s simply interesting if you like your share of lore
if you are, then that’s what you’ll enjoy this story for

The language used is great, and there’s appropriate jargon
the author’s done the research to describe the quest they’re on
every word and term is used deliberately too
authors that invest the time to go that far are few

The characters are mysteries that deepen over time
to spoil the way they grow for you right now would be a crime
all I’ll say is they’re worth following as they evolve
they’re just part of all the mysteries you’ll want to solve

Overall, this tale is worth your time so check it out
just know it’s a literary work, there is no doubt
it’s not light, but if it clicks with you, you’ll love this book
if you like dense fantasy then this is worth a look


This is deep fantasy. This is 'everything is carefully crafted and put into place' fantasy where the world and characters and every single bit of backstory was meticulously worked out and we get to see bits and pieces of it and want to know more.

I know this in part from the text, but also from conversation with the author :)

First of all- yes, a bit of the grammar needs work. Small things, nothing that should take you out of the story. But we can already see from the first rewrite that JM is learning and getting better with every chapter.

Speaking of- this is a story with a rewrite. The minute the rewritten chapter is up, the old version is taken down. But the rest of the old story is up, so on the off-chance you're so enthralled you can't stop, you can go read on. I think that's really great. I hope folk start doing that here on RR in terms of rewrites.

The story and characters though! The characters are great. Everything from their names, to the backstories, to how they are as people. The world also has so much history. It's top notch worldbuilding.

The style is good. Well written. We get into everyone's thoughts and motivation and everyone feels real.

It's fantasy and amazing deep fantasy. Go read it.

Dylan King

Shadow of the Eclipse is the story of the Desilantre twins, orphaned twins under the care of their sister who works aboard a ship, who find themselves lost and alone after another disaster.


As you will know from looking at the other reviews, SotE is absolutely a slow-burner in terms of pace, but that is far from a criticism. One of the benefits of the webnovel/serial format is that time can be taken to deal with issues at a depth that there just isn't the word count for in a traditional fantasy novel. The focal characters of the story, the twins, have recently been through a traumatic loss, and the author takes the time to explore the impact of that trauma, and how it affects the pair and their relationship in different ways as they try and cope with it. Very nicely done, whilst managing to nudge the plot along with breadcrumbs and foreshadowing for those paying attention. 


The prose is competently written, with vivid imagery used to ensure a solid sense of place and character. The author does tend to over-rely on adjective-noun combinations, which can lead to redunduncies that slow the pacing, but as mentioned before, not to a crippling or off-putting degree.


The twins are the focal characters of the books, and are incredibly well-characterised, with distinct personalities, flaws and quirks. Of the pair, Groyven is the most believable, as well as the most thoroughly explored, and I'm very curious to find out if we get to see more of Tiff's POV. Her apparent fear that everybody is trying to separate her from her twin, can, at times, feel over the top and without basis. This could be intentional, grief-based irrationality, but I feel as though we need to see more of her POV to make that judgement and help us rationalise her beliefs.


A few issues, nothing immersion-breaking.


An incredibly well written story, with relatable characters and an obviouslt well-built world waiting to be explored that is clearly building slowly to an epic conclusion. If you are a fantasy fan, this is one for the favourites list, folks.

Golenishchev Andrey

Opening: The prologue is great, it creates suspense and captures interest. I always liked to watch characters like the Chancellor. The first chapter talks about the crew on the ship. They are different, have their own characters, which is revealed through dialogues. At first glance, it seems that the dialogues are too long and it would be nice to dilute them with descriptions, but then I caught myself thinking that the characters captured my interest so much that with each new paragraph I want to hear more of them.  

Story: The story moves at its own leisurely pace. This is the story of the growing up of two teens over whom tragedy loomed. From the first pages, we learn the characters of each person, and most importantly, a world and a well-thought-out system of magic. It is instantly felt that the author has thought everything through in advance, which makes the world feel voluminous and addictive.

I like the point of departure - the ship. Pictures of Aivazovsky, Thomas Moran, and others immediately came to my mind.  

Style: They say that descriptions slow down the story, and dialogues speed it up... Not in this case. The story is full of dialogues through which the reader learns about the world, characters. This is interesting to follow...  

Characters: ...because all the characters live according to their own perception of the world, and have their inner core and backstory, they seem alive and they talk to different people in different ways. It's hard to break away from this.  

Conclusion: In conclusion, I want to say that the story hooked me. It's been a long time since I've seen such thoughtful and interesting characters on Royal Road. This story is about a treasure in the ocean, and it shines like the sun. I recommend reading it.

R. R. Quan

This is probably the third time I've read a story and went "this story only has x followers? How?" Give The Twins a read and a chance, and wait to be impressed by what it can offer. Definitely one of RR's hidden gems.

Style: It was written very well. The style wasn't anything special or masterful, but it didn't need to be. The characters and plot spoke for it. Still, the writing kept you chugging along, and never became difficult to read for me. Their were some interesting words choice here and there - in a good way - and over all, it was a great experience to read.

Story: From where I wrote this review, the story still seemed to be unfolding at large, but what I had seen was intriguing. I don't recall ever seeing a story with a plot similar to that in this story, so its either an excellent mash of tropes or something entirely original. Either way, that's a great thing!

Grammar: I saw no errors within the writing, whether grammatical or spelling wise, although my eyes were sore, so I might have missed something. I dunno. Excellent grammar as far as I'm concerned.

Character: The characters were where I felt this story really shone. Their personalities felt consistent and diverse and most of all realistic. You know the author has done a great job when they can make you empathise with the characters, and that's exactly what they've done here! Lively dialogue fleshes out the majority of the story and links it inexplicably to its characters. To me, it felt heavily character focused.

Over all, this is an amazing read. If you haven't given this a try already, you're really missing out.


The Twins of the Aletere – Shadow of the eclipse is another one of those novels that I don’t quite know how to classify, genre-wise. I’d say dark-fantasy, perhaps? Before we start, note that there are two editions up to read, one is the first draft of the story and the other is the proofread and updated version, this review is based on the latter.


The story generally follows Groyven and Tiffaniel, two twins in possession of unusual elemental powers stemming from the Demon’s Thread. Groyven and Tiffaniel very much act like freshly orphaned children, to the point that it’s too convincing sometimes haha. I found myself getting very frustrated at some behavior and had to remind myself that they’re not adults, so it came back around and I was like ‘yeah, okay, that’s a pretty reasonable way to act for a kid’. They’re sympathetic enough and they have a strong connection that is explored deeply in the first ‘act’ that I read. There are other characters we see a fair amount of, such as Selera or Sialin, they’re pretty alright too. Though it’s hard to… well… no, I won’t tell you. Spoilers and all, haha. You’ll have to find out for yourself.


The introduction to the story is fairly spooky and it definitely sets a mood that you carry with you to the first act that follows, which I would recommend too, since the tiny tinge of paranoia lets you get a glimpse behind locked doors.


The writing is solid and I found no noticeable spelling or grammar mistakes. The pacing is slow (The first 19 chapters are all in one location and is just about exploring the characters and the introduction to the plot) But I’m a fan of this kind of exploratory pacing, so no negatives here from my view.


All in all, if you’re looking for a survival story focusing on the strong bond between twins (Is that a highly specific thing to be looking for? I dunno) Then you should give this one a fair shot! =)