A huge thank-you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced reader copy of The Fragile Threads of Power (Threads of Power #1) by V.E. Schwab.
After many years of being (not so) patient, V.E. Schwab has heard our pleas and granted us more Shades of Magic with her new novel, The Fragile Threads of Power.
Cue elderly Rose in the Titanic saying, “It’s been 84 years…” because that’s precisely how I’ve felt, waiting for The Fragile Threads of Power. And you want to know the funniest part about this? I read Shades of Magic in 2020, which means I really haven’t been waiting that long. However, when you love a series as much as I love this one, you feel like it’s a neverending waiting game when the author announces a continuation.
Do you want to know how desperate I was to get my hands on this book? I literally requested it within the hour it was added to NetGalley! Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I saw my friends receive their copies. I even knew people who requested and got their digital galley within the same day. But this story has a happy ending! After over a month, I was approved and I may or may not have cried a little with my excitement (okay, I definitely cried.. and it wasn’t just a little).
The Fragile Threads of Power hits shelves on September 26, 2023, and if you haven’t already ordered a copy, what are you waiting for? Keep on reading to find out what I thought when I dove back into this magical world.
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My honest review of The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab.
V. E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, opens another door to a new fantasy series set in the dazzling world of Shades of Magic.
Prepare for tangled schemes and perilous adventures with friends old and new in The Fragile Threads of Power.
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 it 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.
These two royals from very different empires now face very similar struggles: how to keep their crowns—and their own heads.
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.
Her name is Tes, and she’s the only one who can bring them together—or unravel it all.
Content Warnings: (Major) Ableism, Injury/Injury detail, Violence, Blood, Physical abuse, and Death, (Moderate) Torture, Toxic relationship, Body horror, Misogyny, Cursing, and Murder, (Minor) Gore and Vomit
Nearly all readers share one major dilemma. After finishing a book or series that we love with all of our hearts, there’s an intense desire to revisit it for the first time all over again. However, that’s an impossible task–or is it? I think V.E. Schwab made the impossible possible when she decided to write The Fragile Threads of Power, giving us all the chance to visit Red London for the first time… again.
While the author has mentioned that this book can be read as a starting point, I personally believe this book should only be read after completing the Shades of Magic trilogy. Without the original story to preface this one, there would be a great deal missing, both emotionally and in relation to the plot. Aside from a handful of new faces, the cast remains the same (and their history is intrinsic to this story–from the names they’ve given their ships to the “jewelry” they wear).
I was lucky to buddy-read this ARC with a friend of mine. I say that I was lucky because sharing this experience with someone else who loves this world as much as I do was such a blast! Between our constant late-night texts and the ridiculous number of comments in our buddy-read chat, we probably sent over 350 notes to one another about our thoughts as we read. It definitely brought out the “chaotic reader” side in both of us! If you have the ability to read this one with a fellow Shades of Magic lover, I highly recommend it for the peak reading experience.
Since this is the first in a continuation, there were a few new characters that have yet to be fully fleshed out. While I had hoped that we would learn even more about them in this book, I’m excited to continue getting to know them as the series goes on. I have a feeling there will be a lot of great character development as the story unfolds. Tes is absolutely fascinating to me and I just know that she’s going to blow us all away (I mean, she already did in this initial book, so I can only imagine that there’s plenty more where that came from).
If you think you’re ready for the emotional rollercoaster that is The Fragile Threads of Power, I can assure you that you’re not. In the span of one chapter, you will be giggling and kicking your feet at something adorable, then proceeding to want to throw the book across the room, and finally, you’ll be sobbing and thinking your heart is actually being wrenched out of your chest. It’s a lot… but in the best way. Schwab never fails to astound with her stunning writing and storytelling abilities.
The only real “critique” I have about this book is actually a spoiler, which is quite frustrating. However, if you are a disabled person, you may want to know about this ahead of time.
Take this one with a grain of salt, folks. I know everyone stands in a different place when it comes to this topic, but seeing as this is my review, these are my thoughts on the matter.
I’m writing this review a full two months after reading the book and I can say that, without a doubt, it is still a 5-star read. I know I will be rereading this one again and again in the future, just as I have with Shades of Magic. It felt like it was perfectly in sync with the original story and brought me so much excitement and happiness. I look forward to seeing what V.E. Schwab has up her sleeve for the coming books in this series. I know there will be even more creativity and adventure to come!