The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab
Published: September 26th 2023 by Titan Books
Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Genre: Adult // Fantasy, Magic, Historical High Fantasy
Quick Thoughts: An instant classic, opulent and enthralling from the get-go, impossible to put down for a second—I’m convinced V.E. Schwab is magical.
About The Book:
Launching a new trilogy in the Shades of Magic universe, an enchanting and thrilling epic fantasy from the international sensation, V. E. Schwab, perfect for fans of Samantha Shannon, Kerri Maniscalco, Leigh Bardugo and R. F. Kuang.
Seven years have passed since the doors between the worlds were sealed. Seven years since Kell, Lila and Holland stood against Osaron, a desperate battle that saved the worlds of Red, Grey and White London. Seven years since Kell’s magic was shattered, and Holland lost his life.
Now Rhy Maresh rules Red London with his new family – his queen, Nadiya, their daughter Ren, and his consort, Alucard. But his city boils with conspiracy and rebellion, fuelled by rumours he is causing magic to fade from the word.
Now Kosika, a child Antari, sits on the throne of White London. The new queen leads her people in new rituals of sacrifice and blood in devotion to the altar of Holland Vosijk, summoning vast power she may not be able to control.
Now Lila and Kell, living free on the waves, are charged by the captain of the Floating Market to retrieve an immensely powerful artefact, stolen by secretive forces.
Now Tes, a young woman with a knack for fixing broken things, is thrust into the affairs of Antari and kings, traitors and thieves. And only her unique powers can weave the threads of power together.
A triumphant return to the worlds of The Shades of Magic, The Fragile Threads of Power continues the stories of fan-favourite characters Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard, and introduces a new generation of magic, shadows and embers in the dark.
I remember the moment I finished The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue only a couple short months after going through grief and remembering how much it touched my heart and left such an impact. I’m guilty of having not read the Shades Of Magic books (I know, I know, don’t hate me) so I was unsure how I’d manage going into the book without prior knowledge, but knowing I could go into it with fresh eyes was also an enticing experience. Also: I’ve never had so many people DM me on Instagram telling me how much they wanted to read it when I unboxed it!
As The Fragile Threads Of Power begins, V.E. Schwab introduces the readers (or re-introduces for prior readers of the series) to the magical system, an intro to the four worlds, all connected by a singular thing: London. We learn of the long-standing characters and way the previous set of events led to present day living—of which I was grateful it was done in that particular way, not too overboard on info and over-explaining, but informative enough so readers could get a picture of the story before and story to come. And speaking of the story, wow, was I sucked in from the start. I remember feeling that way about Addie, how one minute you’re on page 2 and the next, it’s night-time and you’re almost done—but with this 700+ page book, it was only just the beginning.
Several years have passed since the doors between the worlds were sealed off when Lila, Kell and Holland fought against Osaron to save Red, Grey and White London. Rare magicians were the only ones able to do such things as open doors to other worlds, Kell of Red London, Holland of White London and Delilah (Lila) of Grey London. During their battle, Kell’s magic was lost and Holland didn’t make it, something that’s still felt in multiple ways. Now, the ruler of Red London is Rhy and his new family: Queen Nadiya, their child Ren and Consort Alucard, but his city is growing impatient and dubious, with secrets swirling about the loss of magic. Kosika, a young Antari (one of the rarest and strongest kinds of magicians like Kell, Lila and Holland), has taken the throne of White London, ruling with rituals in blood to an altar in loyalty of Holland, although such power isn’t easy to control and master, nor is keeping her city from becoming overrun with the power she’s taking on. Meanwhile, Lila and Kell who have been living free are given orders to retrieve a powerful stolen artefact, leading us to meet a uniquely talented young woman named Tes, who gets thrust into the chaos of Antari and Nobility, with an inimitable power of weaving the threads of power together. But will she be the one to bring the four worlds together, or be the reason it all falls apart?
Overall, The Fragile Threads Of Power was an exceptional diamond of a book, taking me on a journey of enchantment, friendship, enemies and mayhem all from the comfort of my bedroom. Several of the characters were longstanding beloved familiar faces from Shades Of Magic, but it never felt like I was missing something, and I can definitely see how they’ve become comfort characters for readers. I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this sizable wonder, but whatever I was, this outdid it all. This was an instant classic, opulent and enthralling from the get-go, impossible to put down for a second—I’m convinced V.E. Schwab is magical. Five stars doesn’t feel enough. I can’t wait to pick up the Shades Of Magic books and for the rest of the Threads Of Power novels. This year’s most spellbinding must-read.
About The Author
VICTORIA “V. E.” SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, the Villains series, the Cassidy Blake series and the international bestseller The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Her work has received critical acclaim, translated into over two dozen languages, and optioned for television and film. First Kill – a YA vampire series based on Schwab’s short story of the same name – is currently in the works at Netflix with Emma Roberts’ Belletrist Productions producing. When not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.