Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That's what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she's exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn't interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom's overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister's academy gossip and laugh at her dad's jokes. One hour to pretend everything's okay. And one hour to escape.
Because tonight, they'll come for her.
Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewis can manipulate reality weaving it like threads in a tapestry a remarkable gift that only Spinsters possess. When Adelice's ability is discovered by the all-powerful Guild, she is torn from her family and thrust into a pampered but tightly controlled new life. Adelice and her fellow entry-level Spinsters learn how to keep the land of Arras running smoothly by regulating things like weather and births and also by "ripping" threads: instantly removing those who might pose a threat. As Adelice learns more about the questionable intentions of the Guild's leaders, she relies on two attractive, attentive guards to help decide both her fate and that of her world. Captivating and intense, Albin's intricate debut has the right balance of mystery, romance, and drama to keep readers' attention; Adelice's media- and appearance-focused society is reminiscent of the Capital in The Hunger Games, though this story's violence is more cerebral and remote. The reality-weaving can get murky, but it's easily forgiven as the plot races along to an unexpected conclusion, setting up the next book in this planned series. Ages 12 up.