Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Brightly Woven
Publication: EgmontUSA (March 23, 2010)
Description: 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.  
My Thoughts: The summary pretty much says it all. Sydelle was a contradictory character. She wanted to leave home but then was angry with North when he took her with him. At the same time, North didn't seem to pay too much attention to her needs on the trip. This was one of those books that would have been a good deal shorter if the characters ever really talked to each other.
I liked the adventure as they traveled and learned more about each other. I liked that both characters were strong and opinionated. I was surprised to find out that Sydelle had the magic that she did. I would have thought that it would be more tied to her weaving. I thought the magic of wizards being tied in talismans was interesting. North's variety of cloaks and Sydelle's ability to repair them was a new take on magic for me.
While I enjoyed this book and found it quite readable, I never found myself engrossed in it. I found it easy to put down to do other things. It was a pleasant fantasy in an interesting and well-developed fantasy world but I didn't find it extraordinary or really memorable in any way. While the story does reach a satifying resolution, there are questions still to be answered. I'd like to know more about the Hedge witches and I do wonder if Sydelle and North will ever find a cure for his curse.
Challenges: 2010 YA Debut Author Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, RYOB Challenge

1 comment:

  1. I've heard mixed reviews on this one, but I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the book even if it wasn't spectacular.


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