Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.
To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.
In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.
I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I thought this was a really good follow-up on Gates of Thread and Stone. Although the plot is as intricate as ever and the world-building expands, I had some problems with some of the characters. This book focuses more on plot-based elements, as Kai and the gang step out of Ninurta and into a new city with new characters. The old characters appear mostly in the beginning, which is kind of sad because less Avan time we don’t see the developments on their end.
Yaas to exploring and adventuring out! In the beginning of the book we see the advisors and Infinite both working to improve upon Ninurta after the killer ending in the first book. Kai is now an adviser to the new Kahl Miraya, and they’re thinking of new ways to advance the city.
“The prospect of something new, of expanding beyond the confines of Ninurta’s walls, filled me with a sense of exhiliaration. This could be the beginning of restoring humankind to more than a race of people who cowered behind stone walls and scrounged what they could to get by.”
However, not soon after the book begins, a messenger from a neighboring city arrives. Wait… a neighboring city? Yes, Lanathrill is a city in a cave that Kai, Mason, and a party of people journey to in order to find out what the situation is there and to establish alliances. I mean, if there’s another civilization out there you wouldn’t just ignore them right?
So Kai heads out with a party to see what’s happening, leaving the Infinites, Miraya, Avan, Reev, and pretty much all the important characters in the first book to deal with the situation at Ninurta. There are rebel sentinels attacking while the rest of the people try to make the city a better place. Let’s just say we have a lot going on our plates.
There’s a lot of danger in the city Lanathrill, but Kai proves to have endurance throughout her misadventures. However, there’s a catch… She’s doing this without her powers. From the beginning of the book, Kai has lost her threads of time.
“I hadn’t touched the threads since Ninu died. In the months afterward, I’d ignored the shimmery fibers, denying their existence – until one day, they began to fade and disappear.”
At first I was like “Really? What she gonna do now?!” In fact, Kai can do a lot even without her powers, from finishing arguments without violence to gaining the respect of the Kahl in Lanathrill by sacrificing herself (although recklessly).
Kai as a character was great. Mason is a pretty cute character overall, but he was kind of like that fly on the wall with his feelings. I especially liked the way Kai dealt with him haha. I miss Avan so much. If I had one major complaint about the book, it was that the character I totally shipped with Kai in the first book is not there. Boo. Reev as Kai’s brother was there, but not really there in the book. I feel as if mentioning him is more of an afterthought than anything.
BUT HERE’S THE REAL PROBLEM:
”I looked up to find his gray eyes studying my face with a strange thoughtfulness. I shied away, suddenly embarrassed and blushing for no reason.”
Tell me you guys don’t see the more-than-sibling-relationship-tension in here too??? I’m so scared because this is her brother, if not by blood. I’d say they were about ten years apart at most, and that’s how old my brother is compared to me. DO I DO THAT AROUND HIM? No. Maybe I’m reading too much into this? Yeah, that’s probably it. Hopefully. Just – bleghfjd;la. (Thinking about blushing because of my brother makes me uncomfortable to the max guys.)
The new characters mentioned are really, really, three-dimensional. There are so many questions of right versus wrong regarding their situation, and I loved how the author explored the characters’ actions and emotions regarding the newcomers they asked for help from. Also that battle? I had my suspicions, but that was such a heartbreaking scene that I just had… no words.
As much as I liked the introduction of a new part of the world, huge questions still remain. What’s going on with the other city we’re introduced to? Why are the chimera and gargoyles here?? And what exactly happened in the Mahjo War???? I’m still blank on that.
Another awesome ending in this book, and I’m crossing my fingers that Avan comes back mentally (if not physically) because bae.
The quotes in this review are from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.