cover image Threading the Needle

Threading the Needle

Joshua Palmatier. DAW, $27 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1175-6

Following the apocalyptic events of 2014's Shattering the Ley, the once-mighty city of Erenthrall is a devastated ruin, partially frozen in the disruption created when the Nexus, source of its power, was destroyed. As the magical ley lines run wild, many survivors of the Shattering have regrouped in the community known as the Hollow. When a foraging party returns to Erenthrall for supplies, they discover the city divided by numerous warring groups, with the most valuable commodity being the Wielders, those capable of manipulating the ley and healing the disruption. This ultimately brings Kara, a particularly strong Wielder, and her allies into conflict with a group called the White Cloaks, whose plan to control the ley from a new location may end up destroying the continent instead. This middle installment of Palmatier's Ley trilogy increases already-high stakes while introducing another level of complexity to the ambitious fantasy epic. The overly large cast and myriad factions make it hard to follow the complex narrative at times, but Palmatier juggles the ongoing plot lines adeptly. As he explores the relationships among ley, environment, and society, he delivers a fast-paced, often brutal tale. Agent: Joshua A. Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (July)