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Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Reading level: Young Adult
368 pages
EgmontUSA (March 23, 2010)

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.

The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

BRIGHTLY WOVEN revolves around Sydelle, a talented weaver and North, the handsome wizard who chances upon her dusty village. Long removed from the politics of the wizard kingdom, the townsfolk care only about the drought plaguing the dry, cracked earth of their city. When North miraculously brings the rain, Sydelle's grateful father offers him anything he wants. Unfortunately for Sydelle, he chooses her and she is forced to leave town with him. What adventures await? Well you'll have to find that out for yourself!

A passionate wizard, a willful heroine and the tension of a kingdom on the brink of war...what more could you ask for? BRIGHTLY WOVEN was a fresh and fun debut novel from Alexandra Bracken. Sydelle was a strong protagonist that I admired. I loved how capable she was and how she didn’t fall apart or swoon over North too much (something I can't stand in books). Her relationship with North was subtle, always tugging at you to keep on reading, but never detracting from the focus of the story too much. I found it fascinating how North used magical cloaks - for me, that was an imaginative touch to the storyline.

Fans of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore will definitely want to check out this gem of a book with adventure, danger and the magic of faraway lands!

Order Brightly Woven HERE.

Alexandra Bracken wrote Brightly Woven as a birthday present for a friend, and the story grew and flourished during a year of unpredictable, wild weather. A native of Arizona, she is a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she majored in History and English. She now lives in New York City.
Alexandra Bracken's Official Website & Blog


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I should SO read this :)

dor said...

What a great story but the best thing is that she wrote it as a birthday present for her friend. Wow
What a nice friend she is.