Friday, August 8, 2014

Title: Gates of Thread and Stone
Author: Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread and Stone, book #1
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

I'll admit that seeing some of my good friends and fellow bloggers not enjoying Gates of Thread and Stone as much as they had anticipated -- or at all, in some cases -- had me pretty worried about what to expect from this book. I'll also admit that there are definitely times where the world-building gets a tad confusing and more than a little complicated. But despite all of that, I still really enjoyed this novel.

When Kai's adoptive older brother goes missing, she becomes single-minded in her determination to get him back. Reev is all the family she has, all the family she has ever known because of memory loss she's sustained that keeps her from remembering anything prior to when she was eight years old. Neither of these plots is new -- I could probably list dozens examples of both the missing older brother and amnesia plots -- but it's in the way that they are implemented that made the story so strong for me. Nothing in this story is without reason, including how Reev came to be Kai's "brother" or what caused Kai's memory loss, both of which you'll get the answers to.

Half of my enjoyment of this novel came from not knowing what to expect...ever. Some of it is far-fetched...even ludicrous to consider. But this is a fantasy novel centered around the main character's ability to manipulate time. And I for one am not going to question the laws of this world until I know more about it, which will probably come in the next installment.

The other half of my enjoyment revolved around the enigmatic Avan. Kai's had a crush on this guy for ages but has never acted on it because of his well as warnings from Reev. But suddenly Avan wants to help her on her quest to find and bring back her brother. It's pretty clear to everyone BUT Kai that Avan is harboring feelings of his own toward her, but even he makes mention of the fact that Kai has left no room for anyone else in her world besides Reev, such is her focus on finding her adoptive brother.

Things definitely take an unexpected turn toward the end of this book, both in terms of plot and world-building, but I'm on board. I want to see what's to come of these new developments and where the romance will go now that things have gotten immensely more complicated for our intrepid heroine. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. If you like your fantasy stories a bit on the fantastical side, especially with a diverse cast of characters like the ones that appear in this book, I wholly recommend you give Gates of Thread and Stone a read.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Lori is an avid writer, reader, artist, and lover of unicorns. She should probably spend less time on the internet (but she won't). She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

Find Lori:

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookTumblrGoodreads


  1. While this one was not for me, I'm so glad you had a better reading experience! <3

  2. I was sold when I found out this book is about time!! "Threads of time" just sounds... WOW... what a concept. Definitely curious about this one now, everything about it sounds so dark and mysterious, including Avan! Great review :)

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  3. I was so scared to accept a copy of this book because I was already overwhelmed with review books and I saw so many folks saying it was slow. I am so happy to see that you really enjoyed it. I'll not remove it from the TBR wishlist and pick up a copy at some point. Great review Jen!

  4. My review hits on Monday. I actually enjoyed this one as well.
    I really loved that the novel was more than just romance - family was a HUGE motive. I was so relieved to see that this novel doesn't turn into a suck-face fest.

  5. I'm so glad to see a good review for this one! I'm like you, I've mostly seen less than thrilled reviews from bloggers so far. The premise sounds so cool though, so I can't help but still want to read it!

  6. I'm glad to read a positive review! I think the premise of this novel sounds so good that I've been mostly excited to read it myself - although the many negative or lackluster reviews have put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm. So it's good to learn that you really enjoyed it!
    And I love novels that really keep you on your toes. So I'll definitely have to read this one at some point. Great review, Jen!

  7. I still haven't read any reviews of this book, but I'm surprised that not a lot of people enjoyed it. Still, I'd really like to try it, and your review of it was encouraging.

    Great review!


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