Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

“A tale so fantastical you will swear it is a fairy tale of old.”

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Title:Brightly Woven
Author:Bracken Alexandra
Publisher:Egmont
Pages:368

Goodreads: Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Oh Alexandra Bracken please tell me there is a sequel coming. You see I am kind of annoyed with every book in the YA market having a sequel or being a series or a trilogy but I really want to know what happens to Waylen and Sydelle next.

Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine. From Lord of the Rings to Middle Grade fantasy such as Septimus Heap, I find myself pulled towards stories involving magic and mythical beasts. I am a pretty tough critic of the genre, I have high expectations and I think Bracken met every one of my criteria.

Sydelle was a believable character in the midst of a fantasy setting. She had a rough life living in a drought plagued spot with a whole lot of worries. Then came Wayland bringing the rain. Dust turned to clay and Sydelle’s life will never be never the same.

Brightly Woven is a tale weaved with sadness, hope, realization, and intrigue. There are so many small “Aha!” moments you will never see coming. The drought, Sydelle’s part in the fate of the nation, and Wayland’s motives for everything he does will keep you reading and interested throughout the story.

Bracken is a fantastic story teller, I hope to see more fantasy coming from this young and bright author.

If you like Finnikin of the Rock or Graceling and Fire you will love Brightly Woven.

FTC Disclosure: This book was borrowed from fellow blogger Debbie’s World of Books.

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4 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Ha! I’ve been annoyed by the lack of standalone books in the YA SFF area for some time now, and yet every time I finish a really good story, I want a sequel. Such a hypocrit right? I adore fantasy as well, and this one sounds excellent.

  2. Gravatar

    Okay, add an -e to hypocrit there. I was typing and hitting the send button much too fast. :)

  3. Gravatar

    I really enjoyed reading this one too! Like you, I love reading fantasy. Fantasy and YA are my favorite genres and Brightly Woven falls under both. Have you read Howl’s Moving Castle? Several people have likened North’s character to Howl.

  4. Gravatar

    Ohhh I LOVED Graceling and Fire! This was one I put on my 2010 Debut Author Challenge list, I’m more excited about reading it now!!!

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