Book Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

How Excited Was I About Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken? 6. The cover is a bit creepy, and in general this story type seems more up my sister’s alley. But it was on a recommended shelf at the library…

Book Rating: 7. Although I have to ask myself, how much of that was the book and how much the male lead character named Wayland North? SUCH a name. I basically pictured the entire book as set in the American West, Lonesome Dove style. Or that should be a name on the show Justified. Is it? I thought it might be?

Book Jacket: The day the rains came was like any other, blistering air coating the canyon in a heavy stillness….

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.

Review: As a first time novelist, I was impressed by Alexandra Bracken! Not only for her awesome naming talents (undeniable!) but also for her vivid world-building. This world was complicated… Magic and capes and wizard rankings (all fun ideas) but also politics and neighboring countries and legends and whew! It makes my head hurt thinking about it. But that wasn’t my reaction while reading the book! I wasn’t bored and I kept up just fine. Done and done.

Sydelle was a great main character. I loved that she was not fearless or kickass or whatever most female heroines are these days. I applaud those, of course, but she was refreshing! I also really appreciated her devotion to her craft. That was a lovely element of her character – comparable to Seraphina and her music?

Of course I can’t forget the love triangle. SPOILER ALERT…

Could anyone really believe hometown boy would stand a chance against Wayland North? I didn’t think so. On the other hand, someone did once make Sweet Home Alabama… Think of this as the opposite romantic’s take? (And let’s face it, in real life, would you really jilt Patrick Dempsey at an altar?!)

Neither is real life however. In fact, this is delightful fantasy. I look forward to seeing what Alexandra Bracken does next!

ALSO! No cliffhangers!

Recommended for: Those seeking a well-developed standalone fantasy. Of the fairy tale-ish sort.

If you liked this book you should also check out: I’m sticking with Seraphina! (see above…)