Review: Brightly Woven

Just as the rains come after ten long, dry years, a young wizard, Wayland North, appears, to whisk Sydelle Mirabil away from her desert village. North needs an assistant, and Sydelle is eager to see the country – and to join him on his quest to stop the war that surely will destroy her home. But North has secrets – about himself, about why he chose Sydelle, about his real reasons for the journey. What does he want from her? And why does North’s sworn enemy seem fascinated by Sydelle himself?

Through a journey that spans a country, magic and hard-won romance are woven together with precision and brilliant design by a first-time novelist.

Hey hey hey, everyone! I hope you are all staying safe during this crazy time. Full disclosure; these upcoming reviews will probably be a bit shorter than usual, as I have not been in a terrible “writing conducive” headspace with everything going on 🙂

Many of you are probably familiar with Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series. However, have you heard of her first published novel, Brightly Woven? Probably not; the publisher went out of business a while back, so it has been out of print. However, it is getting a rebirth this summer as a GRAPHIC NOVEL. So, when I found a copy of it, I snapped it up.

n a world where magic is everywhere, but not accessible to the masses, Sydelle is just about as normal as one can get. She’s lived a content life with her family, spending her free time weaving and running through the forest. However, when a mysterious wizard shows up to their little town and ends the drought that has been going on for years, the villagers offer him anything he wants as a gift; he chooses Sydelle. It soon becomes evident that there is much more to his selection than meets the eye, as Sydelle starts to discover she might have a bit of magic of her own.

Brightly Woven is genuinely one of my favorite fantasy novels, like, ever now. It was very much the modern YA equivelent of Howl’s Moving Castle in terms of tone, storytelling, and world-building. It was a simple fantasy novel, or, what I like to call “light fantasy.” We were introduced quite quickly to the mechanics of the world, and the magic system wasn’t something incredibly complex…it was just something you kind of accepted as being a part of the world, and that was that.

It was such a delightful book to read; the sweetest romance, complex characters, interesting world. Seriously, I was absolutely captivated by this story, and have been tempted to give it a re-read already with some of my newfound free time at home! If you can get your hands on an e-copy of it, it is the perfect quarantine read; full of hope, love, and belief in the best of the world.

4 out of 5 stars.


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