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Review: The Fragile Threads of Power

Updated: May 19

4/5 stars

Spoiler Alert: If you have not read the Darker Shades of Magic series by Schwab, you shouldn't read this review. But you SHOULD go read that series!

A recap: When last we saw of our heroes Kell and Delilah, along with some-time hero Holland, it was seven years ago. The three Antari had just saved the world - or, more accurately, the three worlds of Grey, Red, and White London - from Black London's dark magic. Holland sacrificed his life to trap Osaran, the embodiment of dark magic, and Kell's magic was irrevocably broken so that every time he used it it caused him extreme pain. At the end of A Conjuring of Light, Rhy has become King, Alucard has given up the pirate's life to stand by his side, and Kell and Lila have embarked on a new adventure aboard Alucard's old ship.

In Threads, Kell and Lila are still at sea, with Kell constantly struggling to find a way to heal his broken Antari magic. They soon learn, however, that Rhy's life, and the lives of his family members - wife, daughter, and lover - are in danger from a mysterious organization called "The Hand," which seeks to overthrow the monarchy by assassinating the king. They return to Red London to help track the members of The Hand down.

In the meantime, we are introduced to some delightful new characters.

Tes, only 12 years old, lives in Red London on her own, and runs a repair shop, using her unique gift of seeing the magical threads that run through everything to fix broken magical objects. She's tenacious and incredibly smart, but lives in hiding (from who or what?) and never shares the true extent of her powers with anyone.

Kosika is a poor, young, streetwise thief who quite suddenly becomes queen of White London at only seven years old. Her ascension to the throne coincides with a magical awakening in White London - tied to Kosika herself, and devotion to her "saint," Holland.

We are also introduced to Queen Nadiya Loreni, Rhy's wife - a role in title only, since all have the understanding that his heart belongs to Alucard. Rhy and Nadiya have a daughter, Ren, and everyone recognizes that she has one mother and two fathers - Rhy and Alucard. The arrangement seems to work for all of them, which is lovely. Alucard's brother Baris also plays a larger role in this book, plus a new "Avan Esen" (the head priest and advisor to the King).

I loved these new characters and new storylines! I was less enthusiastic about returning to the old ones - mostly because I'm really tired of Lila. Is it just that I'm a handful of years older than when I first read these books? But now I just get so annoyed with her stubborn attitude and childish behavior, and the dramatic, high school-esque relationship between her and Kell. I wish this new, related series focused more on the new folks... maybe subsequent books will, since there are definitely going to be more (cliffhanger ending)!


UP NEXT: Alias Emma, by Ava Glass

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