Kevin Plattret
The Fragile Threads of Power, by V.E. Schwab

The Fragile Threads of Power

V.E. Schwab

What a treat to be back in Arnes, with a captivating plot and the same likeable characters, but also some new, complex and rather unfathomable ones, each in their own way. In this first book of what is likely to become an exceptional trilogy, there is some serious story building. We rediscover the world as it was left after the events in the Shades of Magic series, we travel back to all four different colours of London and we get to explore the personalities of the protagonists in great detail, with plenty of subtleties and cascading flashbacks that help contextualise them.

The one thing I particularly love about this book is that the author introduced three prominent characters, all three female and all three powerful. There are some parallels between them, but also a lot of ambiguity around them, which suggests that they are key to the development and outcome of the story. Throughout the chapters, there is a palpable uncertainty and tension building up. While some mysteries do get unravelled by the end of this first book, others provide a solid foundation for the ones to follow.

It's wonderful to see V.E. Schwab's style evolve and mature over the years. I feel like she's really mastered something here – this new work embraces the zeitgeist of the present time. There is no denying that I'm looking forward to the sequel!