Published: August 4th, 2014
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.
Is there such a thing as a dystopian fantasy? I'm not really sure there is, but that's the only way I can think to describe 'Gates of Thread and Stone'. There is a definite fantasy feel to the story with Kai being able to manipulate time the way she does, but she and her brother live in a freight container 'suburb' in an old broken-down city, which gives things a definite dystopian feel. See where my confusion comes from?
Anyway, there is some very complex world building going on here and Ms Lee was very successful at it. When Kai and Avan are spending some time with Famine in his compound I had no trouble at all picturing the strange environment. Well done Ms Lee. Kai is a tough, resourceful girl who will accept help, but doesn't always need it and her relationship with Avan though born of neccessity was heart wrenching and tender. I was intrigued by the story from the start and the pacing really never slowed down.
'Gates of Thread and Stone' is both thrilling and romantic, mysterious and gripping and the story keeps the reader wanting more. So I'm off to read 'The Infinite', which just came out a week or so ago - I can't wait.