Jessalyn Suntold lacks the Thread, source of the mysterious magical abilities that her father has long wielded to rule the kingdom of Fyngree. When the threadbare princess uncovers a sinister plot to remove her father from the throne, she must marshal the powers she does possess—courage and ingenuity—and embark on a dangerous quest to expose the plotters. Joining forces with Traejon Frost, the formidable Shadow sworn to protect King Owyn’s familiar, Jess forges unlikely alliances and confronts treacherous enemies as she races to save her father's empire from an ancient and unspeakable evil.
Jessalyn Suntold may be the heir to the kingdom of Fyngree, but she’s also a Threadbare, someone who has not paired with a familiar and thus cannot perform magic. Her father loves her and worries that she will not be able to hold the throne against their northern neighbor, Rojenhold. When Jessalyn is attacked after hearing a message that warns of a conspiracy close to the crown, she sets off to discover more information by meeting with the sender. Along the way, she joins up with Traejon Frost, the guard of her father’s familiar, and together they trek across the kingdom as Rojenhold prepares to invade Fyngree. Weston’s worldbuilding is imaginative, with such details as dragon oaks—trees that burst into flame as part of their life cycle—and snowy, treacherous mountain landscapes where one false step means death, giving depth to the world. The characters are all crafted with subtlety. Jess realistically vacillates between determination to do her best, despite being a Threadbare, and fear that she won’t be strong enough to protect her people. Fans of fantasy will enjoy Weston’s first book in the Casting Shadows trilogy. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)