By Lori M. Lee
Available now from Skyscape (Amazon)
Kai lives with her brother Reev in the Labyrinth, a poor part of Ninurta. She delivers messages, he bounces, and somehow they make ends meet. But one day Reev disappears, apparently pressed into service for an outlaw. Kai heads out with her best friend Avan to rescue him.
I loved GATES OF THREAD AND STONE. There were small things here and there that bothered me, but I was really swept away by the novel. Kai can manipulate time, which is a very dangerous secret indeed. It's a power she has trouble resisting using, because who hasn't wanted to make time slow down or speed up at times? But as amazing as it is, it can't help her rescue Reev. The devotion between the siblings was very sweet, and definitely part of what drew me in.
I liked that GATES OF THREAD AND STONE was a bit ambivalent about their co-dependance. Avan is clearly interested in Kai, but unsure of how much room she has in her life for anyone but Reev. Kai's not good at giving him positive signs. Of course, she's wary because she knows she's a homebody and Avan is a partier. He has a reputation, well known for sleeping around to secure places to stay and escape his abusive father. Kai, who is utterly devoted to her family, has trouble understanding that Avan does not want to go home even if his father no longer actually physically abuses him anymore. It was a pretty realistic flaw, even though I wished at times she would understand Avan better.
I also really loved the world. I liked getting a sense of the city, and the division between the poor and rich. When Kai and Avan leave the city, it really broadens her world (and not just geographically). The true nature of the despotic ruler was quite a reveal, and really opened the way for much of what happens in the rest of the novel. I'm very intrigued about what will happen next in this series, given the upheaval the main characters cause and go through themselves. There are a lot of powerful forces at work behind the scenes of their lives.
I recommend GATES OF THREAD AND STONE to fans of desperate siblings, desperate best friends, slow burning romance, girls rescuing boys, and people forging new lives for themselves against the odds. I think the style will appeal to fans of Robin McKinley.
Diversiverse is hosted by Aarti of BookLust. It is all about finding new authors, from a whole range of backgrounds, to read. Quoting:
Reading diversely may require you to change your book-finding habits. It ABSOLUTELY does not require you to change your book reading habits.Lori M. Lee, the author of GATES OF THREAD AND STONE, is a debut author and lives in the United States. She was born in Laos and immigrated to a Thailand refugee camp before immigrating to the US. Fun fact from her website: "She doesn’t know her real birth date. Her legal one was given to her in the refugee camp. Apparently, the mountain villages don’t keep birth records. This means she is allowed to lie about her age."