Friday, August 13, 2010

Review by Alex- Brightly Woven

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
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.

First Impressions: I had read some reviews praising Brightly Woven when it first came out, and so I was excited to finally read it. I love fantasy! And that cover? So pretty. Brightly Woven resembled a lot like the Immortal series by Tamora Pierce, which pretty much decided that I would read this book.

Brightly Woven was all that I thought it would be. It's a light fantasy - and not paranormal fantasy, thank god - and a romance. The fantastical elements are really interesting, because well, I do love me some magic. I thought it was really unique that Wayland used magic through his capes- and that Syd could weave those capes. It's an exciting world, but we unfortunately only seemed to get a snippet of it. I'm sure there's a lot more to it. (Companion novel coming up?)

The characters were all quite fun, and Syd and Wayland North are adorable together. Syd's wary of North at the beginning, but through their travels they grow on each other and protect each other. Cue the "aaaw"s. The other characters could have used more time, but it is a rather short novel at 368 pages (for a fantasy, where many new things of the new world have to be explained) so it can be understandable. The problems and revelations both Syd and North face are fascinating.

The writing is easy and smooth and Brightly Woven is a book to finish in a night. Which is what I did. Actually, I stayed up late into the night, so that's telling you something. While some parts of the story didn't always mesh well together, the overall plot is quite addicting, and the ending goes at a brisk pace.

Final Impressions: A fantasy that's full of fun, romance, and of course magic, Brightly Woven lives up to its expectations. It's a lighter version of novels by Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce, so fantasy fans, line up.

Oh! And Lauren and I are planning on having a big giveaway at the end of the summer, but it would be even better if we could also celebrate 200 followers at the same time! We only have 9 more to go... We could toss in an extra book or something if it happens.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it Alex! I must read this, I've read so many good reviews of it.

  2. Just became a follower, so hope you reach 200. I'm faaaar behind. :-( Love your shelf rating system!

  3. I've just discovered your blog and am now following you. Good luck getting to 200 soon. I am also quite far behind that.

    I have also awarded you the Versatile Blogger award which you can collect here:


  4. It's always nice when a book lives up to expectations. I've had a bad run of luck lately with books that haven't lived up to my expectations, so I've come to appreciate the ones that do even more.

    Thanks for the review.

  5. This book sounds interesting. I love fantasy novels, so I will have to check this one out. Also, you won an award! Check it out here:

  6. This is a once in lifetime kind of author, I really think you should get on this bandwagon as soon as you can. (I also read The Darkest Minds and pre-ordered Never Fade, and Brightly Woven is not a fluke, Alexandra Bracken is that great.)
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