Friday, October 3, 2014

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee {review}

Gates of Thread and Stone
by Lori M. Lee
♦publisher: Skyscape
♦release date: August 5th, 2014
♦hardcover, 335 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Gates of Thread and Stone, book 1
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: Gates of Thread and Stone is a true high fantasy, with a detailed world built from the ground up. There are hints that it is a futuristic society, with mentions of “how things used to be” that sound like the world of today, but the world that this story plays out in is definitely unique. I found it worked both for this story and against it, as it takes a while to really get into the thick of the story and get really immersed in the world, but once it takes hold, it’s really quite fascinating and immensely creative.  

I loved Kia's determination and her close relationship with her adoptive brother who raised her.  She never stops trusting in their bond, and that is what drives the story and her quest to find him after he suddenly disappears.  She is never deterred from saving him, and can never be convinced that he is lost to her, even when things look pretty grim.  The love interest, Avan even mentions feeling like there may be no room in her heart for anything else.  I did like the romance in this one especially with Kai and Avan’s long history together. There is a tiny bit of a love triangle---not sure if we’ll see more of that develop in the future of this series, especially with the way this one ended!

The description of her power to hold the threads of time was also really good and a unique gift to have, especially in a perilous moment!  Plus I love how it tied in to the mythology of the tale, a really well-thought out heirarchy of immortals that control death, famine, time, etc.

The pace of the story is up and down.  It's compelling and exciting as they set off on their journey, but after they get where they are going and make a few interesting discoveries, there is a bit of a long lull.  I find this often happens in stories where the hero has to go through some sort of training and then they are just waiting around for the next phase while picking up bits of backstory. It picks up again as they set their plan of attack into motion and barrels into an action-packed, suspenseful, and surprising ending.  As a matter of fact, it was just enough of a lift in the last third of the book to convince me to continue with this series!  I recommend giving this one a try---it's a solid start for this high fantasy series.

Find Lori M. Lee online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Gates of Thread and Stone:  Indiebound  •  Bookdepository  • 


  1. Definitely sounds creative! Despite the few issues, I'm intrigued! I've got this one on my TBR pile, so I'll have to check it out soon.

    Nice honest review :)

  2. Liz @ Planet PrintOctober 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    I agree that quite a few of these kinds of stories usually have a bit of lull in the middle of the book. Really glad you enjoyed this overall though. I have been looking forward to reading it, so nice to know that you the last third convinced to continue with the series! Will definitely give this book a go at some point, though I'll be a little more cautious. Thanks for the review! :)

  3. Great review Becky. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this :D But sorry you didn't fully love it :\ Sigh. I wanted it for a long time. But now I'm not sure I want to read it at all, lol. Have heard of the almost love triangle.. do not approve :( and I peeked at ending.. not happy enough for me. Sigh. Will wait for book two before I decide, hih :) Thank you for sharing. <3

  4. Hi Becky! I'm glad you liked this one. I understand the up-and-down pacing. But I do love the sound of this one, as I'm on the look out for high fantasies. Great honest review!

    Precious @ Fragments of Life

  5. This sounds like a different concept than what I have been reading lately. Interesting take on the novel, would love to read it!

  6. I agree that so much of this was so creative and interesting! Did you like that big bit at the end? I didn't, oddly enough. :) I'm definitely very curious to see what happens in the rest of the series.

  7. Yes, definitely creative worldbuilding! I hope you get the chance to give it a try, Lea!

  8. I did the same, I was SO excited for this one and then read a few honest reviews. I was glad to have gone in with more medium expectation---I think I enjoyed it more because of that!

  9. LOL, yea, this one definitely does not end on a happy note. But I thought it was good turning point, in the romance especially, and makes me curious to see where it goes from there.

  10. If you're looking for great high fantasies, I recommend Kiss of Deception and Trial by Fire! I loved both of those!!

  11. Give it try! It's definitely a different concept and an interesting mythology!

  12. Yes, lol, I was so bored the whole time they were in the land that Famine built (I can't remember what it was called LOL) but as soon as they got back to the city, it picked up for me. The very end was a bit confusing but I did like the couple of twists. At least enough to make me curious about book 2. :D

  13. I enjoyed this one, but there were certain elements that bugged me. After that ending though, I'll be interested to see where the author takes the narrative!

  14. Love a good fantasy read! Thank you for the review! It makes me look forward to reading Gates of Thread and Stone!

  15. I don't think I've read a high fantasy story yet. I may own some but not even know it since I have yet to read those too. But I'm glad you liked Gates of Thread and Stone, even if there was a few bumps along the way. I may have to read this one myself someday. For now, I'll enjoy reading your reviews ^_^