Schwab returns to the world of the four Londons in the first of a wonderfully paced new series featuring established characters, their banter, and their in-progress stories as well as a new antagonist and a new potential hero who are both strong, fascinating young women.
“If you only think of the wrong hands magic can fall into, you forget that now and then there are right ones.”
The Fragile Threads of Power is set in the world of Schwab's Shades of Magic, with a return to the four Londons.
The Londons are connected by magic but separated by doors, which were created in a desperate attempt to protect the magic of each world.
Only a few Antari have been born in a generation, and they have long been the only ones with the power to open these doors. If you've read the Shades of Magic books, you'll already be acquainted with the fantastic characters of Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk of White London.
Now Kosika, a young, impressionable, fervor-driven young Antari, is taking up the mantle of the deceased Holland's rule in White London. Delilah Bard is crossing worlds to take stock of the threats and power struggles. In Red London, Kell's brother king Rhy Maresh is facing spreading resistance and assassination attempts. And then there's Tes, a crafty runaway with immense power who's just trying to keep from being noticed.
Schwab does an excellent job of reinforcing characters from prior stories while introducing new ones; in this first of her new series, she weights the story more heavily toward names we already know and storylines in progress, which I found satisfying.
Meanwhile, two young women, a new antagonist and a new potential hero, trickle into the story until their presences are a flood. One may upend everything across four worlds--and one may possibly be able to save them all.
I loved returning to the wonderful Schwab pacing and banter and delving into the love stories already in progress--which are sweet yet barbed, full of acceptance and imperfection, and never cloying or verging on "romantasy."
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
The first two books in the Shades of Magic series are A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows, each of which I gave four Bossy stars. You can check out my review of book 3, A Conjuring of Light, here.