Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Fragile Threads of Power by VE Schwab
Narrator: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer, Marisa Calin
Series: Threads of Power #1
Published by MacMillan Audio on September 26, 2023
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
Length: 21 hours, 35 minutes
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Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power, and connected by a single city: London. Until the magic grew too fast, and forced the worlds to seal the doors between them in a desperate gamble to protect their own. The few magicians who could still open the doors grew more rare as time passed and now, only three Antari are known in recent memory—Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk, of White London.
But barely a glimpse of them have been seen in the last seven years--and a new Antari named Kosika has appeared in White London, taking the throne in Holland's absence. The young queen is willing to feed her city with blood, including her own—but her growing religious fervor has the potential to drown them instead.
And back in Red London, King Rhy Maresh is threatened by a rising rebellion, one determined to correct the balance of power by razing the throne entirely.
Amidst this tapestry of old friends and new enemies, a girl with an unusual magical ability comes into possession of a device that could change the fate of all four worlds.
I was so excited when I learned there would be more story in the world of A Darker Shade of Magic. The ending of that trilogy was so powerful with sacrifices by some of our main characters. So I was thrilled to get the next phase of their stories.
Many of the old characters and villains are still around, as well as some regular people. About 7 years has passed since A Conjuring of Light. The main points of view are Lila Bard, Alucard Emery, Kosika, and Tes.
Lila is all about protecting Kell whose magic hasn’t been the same since the effort to shut off the evil. They have been mostly at sea and he has learned to fight without magic, mostly. Now a magic device has been stolen from the floating market and its captain calls in her favor with Lila to track it down and return it.
Alucard is happily married to Rhy, as is the queen and they all delight in the young daughter Wren. The queen is dabbling in magic and magic devices to try to increase her power. She says it is for the good of the King and to protect their family, but I don’t trust her a bit. She wants more power herself. Alucard is also pursuing The Hand which is leading an uprising against Rhy and the Maresh empire in Red London.
Kosika is growing up from the child she was when she became the new leader after Holland. Her part of the story was limited here to her personal learning and trying to figure out how to save her world and herself. Her guard, which was Holland’s guard, protects her but they seem to be meeting more without her. She’s old enough now to lead and has to plan what to do. She doesn’t understand the magic, what little there is in White London. I’m sure she will have a key role in the future, but I found her kind of boring here.
Tes is a young woman who has been struggling to make her own life since she was very young. Her mother tried to protect her but her father saw her, and her sisters, as property to sell or trade to enrich himself. She fled when others learned what her magic was. She has a shop to fix broken things like clocks. Tes can see magic and has learned to work the threads of magic to fix things. She is careful to keep that quiet but eventually the wrong people find out and want to use her.
The ending of The Fragile Threads of Power is a good place to take a breather but there is obviously more to the story. I can’t wait for more in this new Threads of Power trilogy. I loved catching up with these characters and the state of the worlds.
The narration brought back the voices I knew and loved for Kell and Lila and Alucard. I really enjoyed the distinct voices and the new ones for the younger ladies, Kosika and Tes. The performance enhanced the story for me. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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