In a world where reality is created on looms and woven into complex tapestries, Nels’ life dangles from a single vulnerable thread.
Nels longs to be a knight and can’t understand why his mother’s forbidden him to pursue his dream. Coaxed into disobeying her to attend the summer festival, he beats Avërand’s chief knight in a wrestling match but is publicly snubbed by Princess Tyra, who reneges on her promise to kiss the winner (after all, Nels is a mere peasant). Just hours later, Nels is murdered by a mysterious stranger and becomes a ghost, visible only to Tyra. She may be able to help him back to life, but first he must persuade her to do so and to accompany him on a dangerous quest before time runs out. Mentoring the heroes’ journey is Ickabosh, who practices Fabrication, as he is able to perceive and manipulate the threads from which reality is woven. They’re pursued by Rasmus, Bosh’s former apprentice, bent but powerful and wielding a terrifying gift. Jensen and King’s cosmology draws from weaving and tailoring, as do the tools fabricators manipulate—thread, thimbles, scissors—and what they create with them. While the plot follows a familiar high-fantasy arc that occasionally dips into melodrama, the worldbuilding is dynamic, original and intriguing (if a tad schematic), and the characters, appealing.
A sure bet for high-fantasy fans. (Fantasy. 10-14)