cover image The Red Threads of Fortune

The Red Threads of Fortune

JY Yang. Tor, $3.99 e-book (224p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9538-2

Yang returns to the fascinating world of their (Yang’s preferred pronoun) debut, The Black Tides of Heaven, with mixed results. Four years after the events of the first book, Mokoya, daughter of the Protector, has fled the capitol and its painful memories of her daughter’s death. In her traumatized state, she no longer has access to the prophetic dreams of her youth. Working in tandem with her twin brother’s antimagic populist rebellion, she hunts down dangerous creatures that the Protectorate has weaponized to quash dissent. While tracking a giant naga, she encounters and improbably falls instantaneously for Rider, an ungendered outsider who uses magical Slackcraft in unorthodox ways. As Rider trains Mokoya in these new methods, Yang frequently digresses into explaining how the magic system works. Yang efficiently captures the action of the physical battles that Mokoya, her estranged husband, and her brother fight to protect the city. The underdeveloped diplomatic conflicts remain a bit murkier, with a confusing layering of political jurisdictions and fealties. Though not as gripping as its predecessor, the novella authentically depicts trauma and lays promising groundwork for future books in the series. Agent: DongWon Song, Morhaim Literary. (Oct.)