Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Genre: Fantasy / Action & Adventure
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
Story Locale: Alternate worlds
Series Overview: One woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions in the fantasy Worldshapers series.
Worldshaper is the first installment in author Edward Willett's Worldshapers. It is the story of Shawna Keys, living what seems an idyllic life in a small Montana city. She’s just opened her pottery studio, she has a boyfriend (Brent), a best friend (Aesha), and she’s looking forward to the rest of her life. Then suddenly, everything changes. Terrorists attack the coffee shop where she’s gone with her friend Aesha, killing Aesha and many others. The leader of the masked attackers called the Adversary, touches her, calls her by name and then points a gun at her head.
She’s about to die, but she refused to believe it’s happening and just like that, it isn’t. The attackers are gone and the coffee shop is intact but Aesha and everyone else who was killed has vanished. In fact, no one else even remembers they existed! A stranger, Karl Yatsar, shows up and explains to Shawna that the world she thinks is the only world is, in fact, a construct: a world she Shaped to be the way it is. Not only that, there is an entire Labyrinth of Shaped worlds, and all are in danger from the Adversary who has invaded her world and will, inevitably, steal it away from her.
Karl tells her she cannot save her own world, especially now that the villain has stolen something from her, but she has the power to save all these other worlds, by traveling through them, absorbing the knowledge of how each has been Shaped from the Shapers living within each one, and transporting that knowledge to Ygrair, the woman at the center of the Labyrinth, and the one who, though Shawna inexplicably doesn’t remember it, gave her this world to Shape in the first place.
*Note* This was probably the most frustrating thing about the story. The author leaves zero clues as to why Shawna has no memories of her time on the First Earth, or what really happened for her to lose them in the first place. Although I have made some educated guesses, I am not 100% they are correct.
In Worldshaper, Karl and Shawna flee through a world changing around them, sometimes at Shawna’s behest, sometimes at the Adversary’s, to escape through a Portal into the next world. In the end, the series will take Shawna from world to world, each unique (steampunk worlds, worlds plagued by vampires and werewolves, film noir worlds, epic fantasy worlds) as she tries to save as many as she can from the Adversary. Along the way, Shawna will face many challenges, physical, spiritual, and ethical, as she comes to grips with her power, and the responsibility of creators for the worlds they create.