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The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab

The Fragile Threads of Power

by V.E. Schwab

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Quick take

From the beloved author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, a new epic fantasy about power, responsibility, and fate.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Series

    First in series


Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power, and connected by a single city: London. Until the magic grew too fast, and forced the worlds to seal the doors between them in a desperate gamble to protect their own. The few magicians who could still open the doors grew more rare as time passed and now, only three Antari are known in recent memory—Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk, of White London.

But barely a glimpse of them have been seen in the last seven years—and a new Antari named Kosika has appeared in White London, taking the throne in Holland’s absence. The young queen is willing to feed her city with blood, including her own—but her growing religious fervor has the potential to drown them instead.

And back in Red London, King Rhy Maresh is threatened by a rising rebellion, one determined to correct the balance of power by razing the throne entirely.

Amidst this tapestry of old friends and new enemies, a girl with an unusual magical ability comes into possession of a device that could change the fate of all four worlds.

Her name is Tes, and she's the only one who can bring them together—or unravel it all.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Fragile Threads of Power.
The Fragile Threads of Power


Seven Years Ago

It came in handy, being small.

People talked of growing up like it was some grand accomplishment, but small bodies could slip through narrow gaps, and hide in tight corners, and get in and out of places other bodies wouldn’t fit.

Like a chimney.

Kosika shimmied down the last few feet and dropped into the hearth, sending up a plume of soot. She held her breath, half to keep from inhaling ash and half to make sure no one was home. Lark had said the place was empty, that no one had come or gone in more than a week, but Kosika figured it was better to be silent than sorry, so she stayed crouched in the fireplace a few moments, waiting, listening until she was sure she was alone.

Then she scooted onto the edge of the hearth and slipped off her boots, tying the laces and hanging them around her neck. She hopped down, bare feet kissing the wooden floor, and set off.

It was a nice house. The boards were even, and the walls were straight, and though the shutters were all latched, there were a lot of windows, and thin bits of light got in around the edges, giving her just enough to see by. She didn’t mind robbing nice houses, especially when people just up and left them unattended.

She went to the pantry first. She always did. People who lived in houses this nice didn’t think of things like jam and cheese and dried meat as precious, never got hungry enough to worry about running out.

But Kosika was always hungry.

Sadly, the pantry shelves were sparse. A sack of flour. A pouch of salt. A single jar of compote that turned out to be bitter orange (she hated bitter orange). But there, in the back, behind a tin of loose tea, she found a waxy paper bag of sugar cubes. More than a dozen of them, small and brown and shining like crystals. She’d always had a sweet tooth, and her mouth began to water even as she tucked one in her cheek. She knew she should only take one or two and leave the rest, but she broke her own rules and shoved the whole bag in her pocket, sucking on the cube as she went off in search of treasure.

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Why I love it

If there’s one thing I appreciate as fall hits and the days get shorter and colder, it’s sitting inside with a long book and immersing myself in a world that’s not my own. Enter V. E. Schwab and her astonishing latest novel, The Fragile Threads of Power.

Schwab, author of 2020 BOTY finalist The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, triumphantly returns with the first installment of a new trilogy. She plunges us headfirst into a world of mesmerizing characters and a universe so rich you’ll forget your current reality. Four distinct worlds exist within The Fragile Threads of Power. After the magic connecting them all via London grows too strong, the connection point is severed, leaving four Londons in its wake. As tensions rise within each world, the few remaining magicians who are able to pass between them become increasingly elusive. And lurking beneath the political schemes and sly betrayals is Tess, a girl with a unique gift and destiny. While Tess would rather keep to herself, she soon finds herself in possession of a device—one that could define the very destiny of all four worlds. With expertly crafted intrigue, Schwab binds together each world and its unique players through Tess’s story.

While over 600 pages, there was not a moment in this book that broke my interest. The Fragile Threads of Power is a dazzling adventure that is deliciously dark, pulse-pounding, and hopeful all at once. It’s a fantasy world you won’t soon forget—and you’ll be eagerly awaiting more.

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Member ratings (2,740)

  • Bailey F.

    Portland, ME

    I can’t believe I waited this long to dive into the world of V.E. Schwab — and this book left me craving more! The perfect balance of backstory, adventure, and perspectives collide. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Julie D.

    Helotes, TX

    Loved the continuation of the Darker Shade of Magic series. I loved seeing how her characters have aged. This book was everything I wanted: great story, a satisfying ending, and no “cliffhanger.” 😘

  • Chloe A.

    Dana Point, CA

    I always love reading VE Schwab, but I had wished I known this was a continuation of the shades of magic series!! Didn’t realize until I finished the book… just means I have to read the previous ones!

  • Harlie P.

    Providence, RI

    I didn’t realize that I needed to read the original trilogy first, but I’m so glad I did before I read threads. It was truly the introduction to a new world and I hope they focus more on Tes next time

  • Shelby G.

    Fort Worth, TX

    This book turned me into a new fantasy reader as I couldn’t get enough of it! The characters really stood out & the world building was just right. I already can’t wait for the rest of this new series.

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