Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review - Threshold by Sara Douglas

Threshold, January 2004, * * * *

From Goodreads:
Over the hot southern land of Ashdod looms the shadow of Threshold, a massive pyramid which the Magi of Ashdod are building to propel themselves into Infinity, a plane of existence that holds the promise of technological magics and supposedly unimaginable power. For decades, thousands of slaves have lost their lives in the construction of this edifice. Now that this construction is almost complete, the Magi need only to add the finishing touches, and they will let nothing stand in the way of achieving their desire.

The Master of the Magi, a young and ambitious man, ready to do anything for power, sees the glassworker slave Tirzah as a plaything, a trifle to relieve the tensions of the day. He senses that under her placid façade Tirzah is hiding something, but try as he may to see beneath her surface, she remains an enigma.

What he does not know is that her secret is the knowledge of forbidden magic. That she senses the inherent power in glass and can communicate with it-and that the glass in Threshold screams to her in pain.

For it knows what neither Tirzah nor any of the Magi suspect. That something waits in Infinity, watching, biding its time, and when the final glass plate is laid and the capstone cemented in blood, it plans to use Threshold to step from Infinity into Ashdod...

My Thoughts:
Threshold is probably my favorite of all of Sara Douglass' novels.  It's a some-what stand-alone novel - it can be read on it's own, but the story and characters also tie into the Darkglass Mountain series which Sara Douglass wrote much later.

Set in an unusual fantasy realm reminiscent of ancient Egypt, Threshold tells the story of Tirzah, a young slave woman who works with glass, who comes to the attention of Boaz, one of the Magi who have designed Threshold, a giant glass pyramid that they hope will connect them with Infinity, granting them unlimited magical powers over all creation.  The unlikely pair don't realize how their fates are intertwined at first, and even though they begin as enemies they soon begin to work together against a force of unimaginable power and evil.

The novel itself has a good plot, and Sara Douglass is an amazing story teller.  The pacing of the novel is good for the most part, although there is a section in the middle where things bog down a bit before it picks back up again for the ending.

I recommend Threshold to anyone who likes fantasy in general, and the desert setting makes a nice change from the traditional Euro-centric landscape.  Interesting characters and an innovative plot make this novel very enjoyable and well worth the time.  I give it four stars - if you haven't read it give it a try and let me know what you think!

Have you read Threshold by Sara Douglass, or is it on your To Be Read List?  Leave me a comment and tell me if you agree or disagree with my review, or if you plan to read it in the future.


  1. Good review!
    I haven't actually read anything Sara Douglass has written... This seems like it is a good place to start, and I have now written it down on my "to buy" list :-)

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!