If I thought I loved the first, The Black Tides of Heaven, then I absolutely adore The Red Threads of Fortune. Yang is able to masterfully balance these stories that delve into the characters with the broader implications and politics of the broader world.
Mokoya, now ex-prophet, was once responsible for foreseeing the fates of civilizations. But unable to avert the tragedy that befalls her, she has given up her visions and is now an expert naga hunter. Fueled by the grief of her daughter’s death, she is hunting the biggest catch of all – a naga that is larger than ever before and proves to be a sinister threat to the city of Bataanar. However, all is not as it seems, when she meets a mysterious Rider who searches for the same naga in a plot that could spell not only war but a huge overhaul to the balance of magic itself.
I do not anticipate ever getting over the amazing maps in this novella series. Please never stop. But this just further convinces me of the glory and beauty of the world. Yang takes special care in making us feel immersed in the sand and setting in a way that is wonderful from a work of fiction this short.
Knowing that The Red Threads of Fortune was narrated from Mokoya’s perspective, I had such high hopes going in. And I was not disappointed in the slightest. Now she is back and even more compelling. In the first novella, Mokoya was motivated by love and put into a difficult position by her mother. But after the loss of her daughter, she is independent, casting off all relationships and ties that held her down, consumed by her sadness and guilt. To me, this made her even more fascinating and by seeing the world through her eyes, we are able to know her even more than before.
Part of her complex character comes in the form of her new mount, a raptor whom she has taken as her animal companion. Another part is, as I mentioned before, her feeling of grief and guilt. Feeling responsible for her daughter’s death, Mokoya has to learn to move on, if she can. Yang has amazingly accurate titles, and this one is no different. The threads of fortune are not like the black tides of heaven before. This book does not become about having the courage to choose a new fate, but instead to accept our fortunes, good and bad, and move onwards from them. Is it in our fortune to have a second chance?
There are so many other fantastic touches and plot twists to this story. The entire ending is basically one fantastic twist that sets us up for some other phenomenal installments in the future. This red thread connecting all of them, through the overall plot, is one that has incredible promise and I hope to be able to see it through. Yang’s phenomenal writing does not disappoint, as there are some fantastic ‘mirror’ characters in this novella, where we see Mokoya’s grief and challenges through.
Suffice it to say, this book shakes things up – not only for Mokoya, but for the political and magical world as well. Advancing the story and the characters promises for a sequel of fantastic proportions. And I cannot wait. Based on the titles alone, I have got little alerts for news articles on the next two.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
What would you want to have as a mythical mount? I say Gryphon for me!
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