Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

I read urban fantasy/paranormal romance for the most part, but every now and then I like to venture outside my chosen genre and read something a little different. In this case, it was good old fashioned fantasy. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Brightly Woven. I would pick up my library copy with every intention of reading it for only a short time, only to find that while reading it, more time had passed then I realized. The story’s general premise is fairly simple. Two kingdoms are on the brink of war when one kingdom suspects the other of assassinating its King. It turns out that a rogue wizard is the one responsible for the King’s death and the main character Sydelle, a weaver by trade, is whisked away on a journey across the country with the reckless, young wizard North to stop the war before it even begins. It should be noted, however, that in the beginning Sydelle is an unwilling participant. In exchange for ending a drought in Sydelle’s village, North requests that she accompany him on his expedition, and her father is all too willing to hand over his only daughter, if only to keep her safe and far away from the soldiers of the enemy kingdom.

As readers, we don’t learn North’s motives for dragging Sydelle along until much later in the novel, but we are given plenty of clues. One clue that we are given in the beginning is that Sydelle is able to repair North’s cloaks, which he uses as talismans to channel magic. Each cloak represents a different element, and the ability to repair a talisman without destroying its effectiveness is very rare. Sydelle quickly becomes his assistant, and by learning about magic and its history, how to make elixirs, as well as the source of North’s dark past and painful childhood, she slowly discovers the truth about whom or what she really is.

I enjoyed seeing how their relationship developed throughout the novel. While, North was never entirely honest with Sydelle, and withheld important information from her on more than one occasion, it was obvious that he cared about her and that her safety was of the utmost importance. I didn’t appreciate, however, how North kept abandoning her in inns and pubs while he ran off on some mini adventure or duel. The girl isn’t fragile! I think she has proven more than once that she smart, resourceful and perfectly capable of holding her own. She isn’t some delicate flower that needs to be locked away in a cupboard at the slightest hint of danger! All in all, this was a very enjoyable book with some surprising twists and a sweet, innocent romance between two people who never expected to fall in love.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


  1. Congrats on your book blog!!! I suggest joining the 'Book Blog Hop' on Friday at It really helps get word out about your blog and will help you gain followers!

    Cute layout!

  2. I *love* Brightly Woven. I really hope she writes a sequel because there's so much about North I want to know. Plus I just really liked him and Sydelle together.

    I'm glad you liked it. I agree, Sydelle did prove her abilities, which is one of the things I really liked about her. She wasn't a useless damsel at all.

  3. I really hope she writes a sequel as well! It doesn't seem as though she's going to though :o( We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that she will change her mind!