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Io Ora lives in the Silts, a city that’s constantly battered by flood waters and the ill will of those who distrust other-born like Io. Io is a cutter, descendent of the Fates, sister to a spinner and a drawer. She has the power to see life threads– and sever them. She uses that power to make a living as a private investigator, supporting herself and her sister Ava. What starts as a routine infidelity investigation ends in a murder case when her target is murdered by a Wraith, a woman whose life-thread has been severed and should be dead. This case brings her to the attention of the mob queen of the Silts who hires Io to track down the creator of this Wraith in partnership with Edei Rhuna, right-hand man to the mob queen herself– and also the fate-thread Io has been avoiding. 

As Io and Edei investigate the growing murders, Io has to battle against not only the discrimination against her by people who fear her powers, but also the guilt and shame she feels herself about the power she wields over others. This shame coils around her growing feelings for Edei as she recriminates herself for not cutting their fate-thread and giving him the choice to select for himself who he wants as a soulmate. Using this shame as a boundary, Io tries to keep Edei at arms length even as their investigation forces them to rely heavily on each other. Io and Edei’s relationship forces the reader to evaluate the notion of fate vs free will and the morality of a relationship where one of the parties wields the power of fate.

Through Io’s relationship with her sisters Ava and Thais the book explores the meaning of loyalty and how much of oneself is alright to sacrifice for the sake of others. Constantly told that they’re “one soul split in three bodies” the Ora women cling to their bonds as well as chafe under them. They are each other’s support system but they also hold each other accountable in the use of their powers. However, as Io learns throughout the novel, that accountability lets them manipulate each other in ways that have consequences outside of their relationship. These consequences lead Io to make a choice- should she fight for the Wraiths and the justice they deserve or should she protect herself and the only other people who’ve cared for her since her parents died? As the investigation leads Io to make a decision, she must decide whether protecting her own moral code is worth losing everyone she loves. 

In Threads That Bind, Kika Hotzopoulou merges the genres of murder mystery and dystopian fantasy into a refreshing, fast paced YA novel that keeps you guessing until the ultimate reveal. This is the first book in a series. 

  • Posted by Liliana

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