A Thread in the Tangle can be read by itself. Although the ending was abrupt and clearly meant as a cliff-hanger, the dilemma of the story was resolved.
“No, absolutely not,” Sotaen said shaking his head. “The nymphling is worth far too much. You’re nothing but a barbarian. How do I know you won’t sell her yourself, or take her for yourself when she come of age? Your fondness for women and debts are well known in my court.”
Isiilde is the nymphling Emperor Sotaen and Wise One Oenghus are talking about. Nymphlings are coveted by men, raped by men and forcibly married away to the highest bidder.
Our own world is not much different from the world of Fyrsta in that regard. Selling women into marriage is still a common practice. Slavery is a condition millions of people suffer through today as well. Having to live with the knowledge that your life is not your own and that at any time anything can happen to you if your owner wills it so must be gruesome. Slaves of old have shared their experiences with the world.
At four Isiilde doesn’t quite realize what it entails to be considered an object in the world of wealth. But she will learn.
Thankfully, her allies are powerful and devoted. Oenghus has reasons of his own for protecting Isiilde so fiercely. Her other ally is also a Wise One and the Archlord of the Isle all in one person. Marsais allows the two to live on the Isle under the protection of the Wise Ones until Isiilde comes of age.
Marsais and Oenghus are old friends. They both stand against the Void and the terrors it can unleash. Now their mission is to make Isiilde’s life as good as it can be until it is time for the bidding to begin. A Thread in the Tangle is full of humor and welcome relief from what lies in the future. Isiilde’s less than stellar ability to focus on anything for more than 5 seconds at a time gets her into trouble time and again. Good thing she is Marsais’ apprentice.
Being a nymph is a challenge in the world Isiilde is born into. Where once upon a time they had been revered for their connection with nature, they were now seen as sex-toys for the wealthy. Once the Guardians had defined them as less than sentient, it was a free-for all with regard to sexual abuse. When Isiilde learns of that history from the MUCH older Marsais she is angry.
I found the idea of a tooth fetish funny. What a cool creature Flynn introduced into her story along with that fetish.
A Thread in the Tangle fit me. There were some hiccups, but I see that other reviewers have addressed those. Flynn managed to combine humor, tension, sadness and magic into a world that I stayed in all night to finish.
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