A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers can compare the class system and king's rule with real kingdoms of the past and how they functioned. This story is set in a fictitious city, but some details are Middle Eastern, including public baths. Also, the Jinn as magical beings, Simorgh as a giant bird, and Iblees as the devil originate in Middle Eastern mythology and Islamic tradition.
The importance of taking responsibility for actions (and what happens to your credibility and sense of self-worth when you don't). Like in the first book, contrasts the powerful who show mercy to others and the powerful who prey on weakness for their own gain.
Positive Role Models
Alizeh is forced to make extremely difficult decisions that affect not just her future but the future of all the Jinn. She's driven to show empathy for her captor, Cyrus, who's a captive himself of some greater power, but still sees him for who he is and holds strong against his bitter and toxic influence. Kamran easily gives into both despair and distrust of everyone around him. It makes him hard to root for until he starts relying on his friends again and realizing not everyone is against him. And just maybe he can trust in the strong feelings he has for Alizeh as well.
Characters are often described as having brown skin and have Middle Eastern names like Kamran, Hazan, Zaal, and Alizeh. Includes Middle Eastern mythology of the Jinn, a large bird named Simorgh, and Iblees, the name of the devil in Islamic tradition.
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Violence & Scariness
Story starts with a king recently murdered and a prince nearly killed in a fight with swords and magic. A man is tortured by the devil figure, Iblees; all that's seen is screaming and bruises. A kidnaping and imprisonments. Falls and rescues from great heights. Two characters talk about wanting to die rather than face the difficulties in their lives. A mother wants her son killed after he killed her husband. Short skirmish with swords and a mace. A story of kids killed, their brains eaten.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some groping and memories of a passionate kiss. Near-nakedness when a dress is burned and soaked with water.
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Rare use of "f--k" in a few forms. Plus "bastard," "ass," horses--t," "damn," and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink at a party with talk of too much drinking by a few, and talk of someone being "deep in their cups" when they spread gossip.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tahereh Mafi's These Infinite Threads is the second book of the This Woven Kingdom fantasy series by the author of the very popular Shatter Me series. Like in the first book, teen readers need to be more prepared for the higher level of reading required than for a lot of mature content -- the character dialogue alone will definitely boost their vocabulary. Though, unlike the first book, a few uses of "f--k" slip into the dialogue this time. The story starts with a king recently murdered and a prince nearly killed in a fight with swords and magic. A man is tortured by the devil figure, Iblees; all that's seen is screaming and bruises. There are kidnapings, imprisonments, short skirmishes with swords and a mace, and falls and rescues from great heights. Two characters talk about wanting to die rather than face the difficulties in their lives and a mother wants her son killed after he killed her husband. Iranian American author Mafi adds many touches of her heritage in the naming of the characters, in the mythology of the Jinn and the giant bird Simorgh.
Is It Any Good?
This sequel lacks the excitement and intrigue of the first, but will still draw readers as it explores characters' internal struggles. What author Tahereh Mafi excels at -- digging deep into the suffering of her characters and the reasons for the difficult choices they make -- gets in the way of the storytelling. So much so that These Infinite Threads backtracks to the last few scenes of Book 1, This Woven Kingdom, and holds there for chapters. Readers already know what happened to Alizeh at the end of Book 1 -- how could you forget someone plummeting off a dragon?! We also know the trouble Kamran is in, trapped at the ball, his grandfather dead. Readers stew with him while he's incased in stone going over every misstep of his life, every person he thinks is against him, and every horrible thing he thinks about Alizeh now. It's a relief when his mother stabs him -- to get him free of that statue, but also get us free of his vengeful rant.
Chapters in, the story finally gets rolling, Kamran finds his footing amongst a few allies, some of them more welcome by him than others -- readers will enjoy the return of the ridiculous Miss Huda. Alizeh has a few shocks at the Tulanian palace where she's either to be a bride or a captive or more likely both. The sparring between her and Cyrus is a highlight. Romantic sparks fly, but he's all wrong for her, of course. Readers will be begging for an Alizeh-Kamran reunion as soon as possible, and (spoiler alert), will still be begging for it when this sequel concludes.
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