The Fragile Threads of Power

Macmillan Audio. (Threads of Power, Bk. 1). Sept. 2023. 21:36 hrs. ISBN 9781250902573. $44.99. FANTASY
Delilah Bard and her partner, Kell Maresh, are back in Red London, tracking down a powerful magical artifact feared to be in the possession of a rebellious shadow organization known as the Hand. Believing Red London’s magic is ebbing, the Hand blames Kell’s magicless brother, King Rhy Maresh, and plots to remove him from power. As Rhy’s consort Alucard Emery and Lila hunt the Hand, a young woman named Tes comes into possession of the broken artifact. Tes, who can see and manipulate threads of magic, is one of two major new characters. The other, Kosika, is a child queen and Antari magician in another London where magic is just beginning to blossom. Schwab’s swashbuckling follow-up to her “Shades of Magic” trilogy continues the fantastic worldbuilding of the previous series, but it’s the vibrant characters and their voices who steal the show. Narrators Michael Kramer and Kate Reading give rich, measured performances. Narrator Maris Calin especially excels, though, giving Tes a quick, furtive voice that pairs well with her despised pet name, “Little Rabbit.”
VERDICT Schwab’s well-spun series starter delivers, offering favorite characters for fans and fresh storylines to entice new listeners.
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