YBB Previews: The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab
A caveat before I get started: it’s crucial to read Schwab’s Darker Shade of Magic series before you read this one. Described as a spin-off, The Fragile Threads of Power is essentially a direct sequel to the other trilogy. There is very little hand-holding in this book, and it makes the book much stronger.
VE Schwab is an incredible writer, and you can really see her development between the previous series and this one. Unencumbered by initial worldbuilding, characterization, and magic system exposition, Schwab dives DEEP into all of these topics, who trended toward interesting but flat previously, and breathes extra dimensions into just about every detail in the book.
Like its predecessors, this book takes place in a set of parallel Londons that occupy the same physical space in adjacent universes, each with its own degree of magic. Magic primarily takes the form of the control of elements, with more powerful practitioners able to control more elements, with finer degrees of control. A very few are blessed with the ability to control all the elements, plus an additional, more dangerous and powerful form of blood magic. These Antari are also the only ones able to move between worlds.
Power dynamics are put on their heads, stakes are both elevated and more personal, and even more examples of realistic and impressive women in fantasy are introduced.
If the first trilogy is about coming to terms with your past, this one is about looking to the future.
It’s the author’s strongest work yet. Do yourself a favor. and read every book.
The Fragile Threads of Power will release September 26th, 2023.
An advance reader copy of this book was provided by NetGalley, but all opinions expressed are my own.