The Four Horsemen Personified?: A Review of Lori M. Lee’s “Gates of Thread and Stone”

Posted: February 25, 2015 in Book Review, Young Adult

Goodreads.com Description: “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.”

My Thoughts:

I received an e-copy of this book via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Loved it!

I read this book at the same time I was reading Marie Lu’s The Young Elites. Both books included magic, threads of energy, a quest, fictitious settings and androgynous characters. Lee’s book, however, went deeper than I anticipated.

Lee set her story in a world which was hard to picture. The setting was apocalyptic and crossed between the modern and ancient. It wasn’t until the main character entered into the White Court that I was able to visualize the setting.

The characters in her world were strong but mystical. The main character, Kai, was raised by a young man, Reev, when somebody left her on a riverbank. Kai has no memory of her earlier years. Reev doesn’t share any of his past with her. The story picks up right away when Kai’s adopted brother/guardian disappears. Her good friend, Avan, steps up to the challenge of helping Kai find him. Their quest takes them out of their immediate setting into an empty wasteland with even more mystical characters.

And, it is the characters that stand out in Lee’s tale. Along the way, Kai meets up with Conquest, Famine, Death and Strife. She doesn’t meet Peace but learns of his existence–which is apropos since Kai’s world is in a state of unrest. In essence, Lee has personified The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Another Immortal we are introduced to is Kronos. Pull out your Greek mythology books–Cronos is the father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera. And, there was one more reference that requires you to pull out your Bible and turn to The Book of Revelation. Kai and other characters mention The Rebirth. That’s a reference straight out of Revelation. Death, known as Kallas, tells Kai that there are 70 Immortals in all. I bet Zeus and his siblings are amongst the pack.

The plot of Lee’s book is intriguing. Her inclusion of a tournament with cadets reminded me of “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” rolled into one. Fortunately, the tournaments were not death matches. Participants gladly took part in the fighting because they saw it as a chance to improve their status in the city of Ninurta.

There is an interesting plot twist which leads to the climax of Gates of Thread and Stone. In a nutshell, what would you do if you learned the truth of your existence but wished it weren’t true. What a way to close a story!

I enjoyed Lori M. Lee’s Gates of Thread and Stone. I started reading the sequel right away. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good fantasy!

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