Aug 11, 2011

Brightly Woven

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Published: March 23, 2010 by EgmontUSA

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 ased 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.

       This book is something there should be way more of in YA books. It's exciting and complex at the same time, but never lets the plot get confusing or dull. There are no paranormal creatures, just certain kinds of magic and magical skills. If you've read Graceling or Fire by Kristin Cashore, or any of the Study or Glass books by Maria V. Snyder, you will seriously love this book. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • Sydelle- She's a strong character, and stubborn too. An older guy, a magician, takes her away from a home she's never left and she doesn't fall all over him and expect him to protect her. 
  • North- I think what I like most about North is that he's flawed in more than 1 way. In addition to being stubborn and having family and personal issues, he gets drunk a few times too many, which is probably more entertaining than it should be.
  • layered plot- North's duel with Dorwan, the curse, why North chose to take Syd with him- there's always something happening
  • Syd + North- they have a cute relationship. There's no love at 1st sight (thank goodness) and they never make goo-goo eyes at each other- they fight constantly but they look out for each other.
  • this book is addicting and it only took me 2 days to finish (that's fast for me- I read when I should be asleep). It's also very fast paced.

Huh, what?:
  • political stuff- I recognize that some stories are fueled by an underlying political shift, but I tend to skim over those parts when I'm reading. Very rarely does a book make a direct connection between the politics and the main character, although this one did it well. 
  • legend- the lore and legend behind the magicians was a little confusing for me

The Boyfriend Factor:
  • My boyfriend really enjoyed this book (he also loved Graceling), but mentioned that Syd and North fought too much. He liked that they always managed to make up pretty quickly though.

Favorite quotes:
  • "Some wizard you are!" I whirled back around. "How about using some of your magic to sober your sorry, drunken self up? And stop calling me Syd!"        - pg. 40
  • Time sped back up, and so did my fall. I fell onto North, my arms wrapping around his shoulders. He used the force of the impact to drop us to the ground, bringing his red cloak up in one fluid, sweeping motion and pulling it over our heads.           - pg. 307-308

5 Robots
An exciting and brilliant book- definitely recommended!

Acquired: Won (I really don't know who from, I swear I'll remember to write it down next time!)


  1. I loved this book! Like you, I felt like it really stood out from a lot of "mainstream" YA books. I can't wait to see what Alexandra Bracken comes up with next!

    Stopped by from the Saturday Situation!

  2. I loved this one too- it was just romantic enough to be very sweet but I liked that the action was what kept the book moving. I'm glad you liked it!

  3. Loved this book. North was definitely immature. Nice review.

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