“These Infinite Threads” Book Review


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Mafi has become famous for her YA series “Shatter Me.”

There is no better way to spend a chilly winter afternoon than curled up with a good book, and this decadent new fantasy novel from internationally bestselling author Tahereh Mafi will warm you right up.

Fans of YA dystopias may recognize Mafi as the author of the New York Times bestselling “Shatter Me” series as well as several other standalone novels. “These Infinite Threads” marks the second installment of her most recent venture that began with “This Woven Kingdom,” released last year. The series follows a young Jinn named Alizeh, a powerful but destitute girl destined to unite her people and draw them out of the darkness. As Alizeh struggles to distinguish friend from foe, she meets Kamran, a human crown prince immediately enthralled by Alizeh but suspicious of her supposed thirst for power. Despite relatively little true contact between our two protagonists, romance fans were left with quite a bit of material to swoon over in “These Infinite Threads.”

“This Woven Kingdom” begins just before its predecessor left off, reorienting readers to the lush fantasy world Mafi paints so clearly. Alizeh is swept up by a new character, effectively forming a love triangle between our original heroine, hero and what appears to be a villain. Surprisingly, Mafi chooses to keep her two protagonists completely apart and out of communication for the length of the novel. We are kept informed of Alizeh’s and Kamran’s respective storylines through rotating third-person narratives.

Readers of the first book may remember that while filled to the brim with rich descriptors and stunning imagery, not much happened by way of plot. Unlike in most fantasy novels, our heroes undertake no journey, and in fact only meet each other a handful of times. Even character development seems to be solely reserved for our male protagonist, which mainly occurs through thought processes rather than actions. In short, nothing much seems to truly happen until the end. “These Infinite Threads” contains even fewer “big events” and hardly answers any questions left by the original book. At times it feels like one long introduction of a new character while adding more and more mysteries to the top of a growing pile. This is the sort of book that has no need for spoilers, as there seem to be no real plot points to give away.

Slow plot aside, however, “These Infinite Threads” is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Mafi’s skill at worldbuilding is placed front and center, highlighting another spectacular show of imagination and creativity. Every piece of soaring architecture, luxurious garment and natural phenomenon is a work of art when described by her pen, and the simplest touch or change in expression by one of her characters is rendered in exquisite detail. I raced through this book hoping for more answers that never came, but I cannot deny that I enjoyed the journey. Tahereh Mafi urges readers to slow down and take in the wonders of her world and the characters who live within it, and you will not be disappointed if you do.