Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M. Lee
Kai has grown up in the Labyrinth, a poor section of town. She was found at age eight, unconscious on the docks, saved by eighteen-year-old Reeve who decided to adopt her and raise her as his sister.
Life is hard in this section of the city; low pay, bad food, not the greatest surroundings, kidnappings by a shadow figure “the Black Rider”, etc. But as long as they have their family, Kai is happy.
Kai, while not sure who she is, also has something that sets her apart from others, she can control time (at least for a little bit). Not sure why or what that means, she tries not to use it and bring attention to herself, but instead live a normal life.
One day when Reeve goes missing, Kai sets off to find him and save him; not caring what obstacles and challenges she has to face.One day Reeve doesn’t return home from work, and Kai wonders what could have kept him. When he doesn’t come back the next day, she becomes worried.
She questions her friend Avan, a shopkeeper, but he hasn’t heard anything. When Reeve’s boss reveals he sold him to the Black Rider, Kai decides the only thing she can do is go after him and save him.
Avan joins her as they take a path never explored before, through the void, forbidden forest, and having to cross gargoyles.
When they manage to reach the other side, they discover that the Black Rider is an immortal, one of many, called Irra or Famine. He is not stealing people, but freeing them from being help captive by who Kai thought was a benevolent ruler of her country. Reeve is not here as Irra did not take him, but Kal Nihu or Conquest, Irra’s younger brother (and also an immortal).
Irra agrees to help them in return for Reeve’s information as an insider of the Nihu’s court. He trains Kai and Avan as the only way the two can get back in the city, would be to participate as cadets in the games, fighting to win a spot as a sentinel, one of Kahl Nihu’s elite team.
As Kai trains for battle, she discovers there is more to her than just having an ability. There is more to her than she had ever dreamed of and soon it will be revealed and she will have to make a choice.
Will Kai be able to save her brother and their family? Or has she taken on a problem much bigger than she can handle?
Thoughts After Reading:
I loved this book. I thought it was amazingly well done and not only captured your interest, but kept you turning page after page to discover what the conclusion of the tale is.
This was fantastic, the character of Kai and the love she has for her family is so well-written and easy to connect to.
The story has a little bit of everything: elements of classic fairy tales (the snow queen); overthrowing a dictator, great action/fighting scenes; magic and science fiction; a love triangle (hopefully Mason is chosen) and more-something for everyone. It was well paced and well developed. I strongly recommend it and can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
For more fantasy-mystery novels, go to Emilie and the Sky World
For more Science Fiction-mysteries, go to The Andromeda Strain
For more kidnapping, go to Capital Bride