From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the first book in a new portal fantasy series in which one woman's powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.
For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She's just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She's in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.
But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They're about to kill Shawna. She can't believe it's happening--and just like that, it isn't. It hasn't. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna's friend never existed...
Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna's shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others--if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth's heart.
Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.
This rollicking secondary-world contemporary fantasy opens with a bang. Karl, a portal traveler, bursts into a world where he doesn't know anyone or anything except that he must find the world's creator, Shawna. She's just opened a pottery studio and has no idea that she created the world she's in, until she unknowingly turns back time to save her own life from a man called the Adversary. He steals part of Shawna's shaping ability and forces her and Karl to go on the run and find a new way into the next world, learning more about her powers on a cross-country road trip. They grapple with the ethics of changing the world, the question of what makes people "real" when the worldshapers can change everything about them with nothing more than a thought, and the need to save the universe. Willett (I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust) meticulously includes small details that make the constantly changing scenery feel solid and real, such as Shawna's hometown being the apple-growing capital of the country. This novel sets up a fascinating, fluctuating universe with plenty of room for growth for the main characters, and readers will eagerly join their journey. Correction: An earlier version of this review misspelled Edward Willett's last name.