Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Review: Brightly Woven
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: EgmontUSA (March 23, 2010)
This was a return to my roots, a more traditional fantasy novel. In a desert village, Sydelle and her neighbors all live with the fear of running out of water. Then one day it rains... but joy is quickly overshadowed by fear when a wizard, as well as troops from a neighboring kingdom, arrive as well. The wizard, Wayland North, is trying to stop the coming war, and demands that Sydelle comes with him. She must discover why he chose her, and what she can do, in order to prevent a needless war.
I did like this book, although it wasn't perfect. It reminded me somewhat of Howl's Moving Castle because Wayland North is a bit of a rapscallion, for a wizard. And that is one of my favorite books of all time. Brightly Woven wasn't quite as delightful, but it was still well done.
The system of magic was creative, as were the relationships that we learn about on the journey. Sydelle may be the narrator, but as we travel with the pair we meet North's friends, mentors, and family and realize the tragic history that haunts him.
The relationship between Sydelle and North follows the "I hate you! No...maybe... I love you!" form, but it is well done and comes off as charming, mostly. North's habit of keeping secrets, and Sydelle's refusal to accept what is blatantly obvious to the reader can be a bit frustrating around the middle, but both prove themselves in the end, with a very satisfying finale.