1 2 3 4

Review: Brightly Woven

Brightly Woven

Add it to Goodreads?
Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Borrowed
Special: 2012 TBR Challenge
Rating: Special Shelf
Hover over Books in the navigation bar above to find a link to My Rating System In-Depth.

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

Recommendations for this book had been finding me everywhere, and, since I'm a huge fantasy buff, I thought I'd take a crack at it. It quickly became abundantly clear why Brightly Woven is so well-loved. I haven't been overly impressed by the fantasy books I've recently stumbled across, but Bracken spins a gorgeous tale that is magical, intense, and gripping, saturated with wizarding duels and epic rivalries, a terrorizing war, and an endearing love/hate romance that swallowed my attention from the beginning. An irresistible read, Bracken delicately, elegantly delivered me a priceless story of forgiveness, acceptance, and the importance of standing up for the right when things are disturbingly wrong, as well as wove characters that were swiftly imprinted into my heart.

A fascinating young woman, Sydelle Mirabil makes a squealing fangirl out of us by simply being herself. She is unlike what we expect--a fierce, solemn girl who loves her family deeply and will do what's necessary to protect those who matter. Her spirit and courage separates her from the flock of weak-willed/TStL leading ladies inserted in some of the more disappointing novels we've read lately and are mere shadows in comparison. And when Wayland North crops up in her small desert town under suspicious circumstances, Sydelle isn't blinded by him and willing to fall at his feet. After all, he does yank her away from her home to embark on a mysterious journey and is much too secretive for her liking. While unexplained and brand new feelings for North begin to surface, STILL she is cautious and unwilling to crumble under his demands. As for trust, that's far from an option, at least until North is inclined to be more forthcoming. Their developing relationship, strengthened by care and subtle romance, has us wanting to clear up any misunderstandings, then roll up our sleeves and knock the two together until they see what we do. Yet, the pacing of their evolving relationship is beautifully written. And their blazing sweet and hot interactions toward the final chapters are well worth the wait.

The enthralling fantasy element combined with awesome side characters (OWAIN!) added to the already swoonworthy main characters/couple snowballs Brightly Woven into something smashing and devastating and FUN. Traversing through neighboring cities, described vividly by this talented author, and experiencing the unrelenting 'race against time' feel of the plot makes us simultaneously tense and excited, with little to no time left to wonder what thrilling thing Bracken will toss in next.

I'm ecstatic to have found such a brilliant fantasy tale written by a very gifted author and will be reading whatever Alexandra Bracken decides to put together in the (hopefully near) future.

I felt North before I heard him. That same tingling warmth that I associated with him seeped under my skin, even if just for a moment. My back was pressed against his chest, and his tall frame completely enveloped me. I felt his heart racing.
"N...Nor...," I cried. "Please help me, please, it hurts, it hurts. I can't breathe. Please..."
"You're going to be all right," he said fiercely. "I've got you, I've got you."
[Skip.]
"That's my girl," he said. Sensation was tingling in my toes and fingers, but I still couldn't move, paralyzed by the pain the cold had left behind, by its last grip on my body.
That, and the solid, undeniable warmth that was North.
The wizard fell back against the wall in exhaustion. He held me against him gently, as if I was glass--as if I could shatter and fall away from him at any moment and leave him breathless and alone once more.
"That's my girl...," he whispered, resting his cheek against my shoulder. (148-150)

31 comments:

Jen said...

YES! I loved this book so much. North... swoon. And that quote you posted? YES YES YES AGAIN!

Asher_Knight said...

I was a little nervous because of all the high praise. You know how it is when a book gets hyped so much, and then they turn out to be nothing MAJOR. I was so thankful and happily surprised Brightly Woven broke that pattern. NORTH!

And that scene? I totally swooned.

Celine @ Forget-me-not said...

I haven't heard of this book before but your review totally makes me want to read this, Asher! I'm adding this to my TBR!! Awesome review, so glad you enjoyed it! :)

Celine @ Forget-me-not

Asher_Knight said...

YAY. More people reading it makes me VERY happy. It's such an awesome fantasy book and the characters really shine throughout. Don't be shy about letting me know your feelings on Twitter or the like ;)

Heidi said...

I too feel like I've been seeing recommendations for this one everywhere.  I'm glad it lived up to the promise for you, I hope it will for me as well!  It especially appeals to me as a stand alone--I feel like this is so rare in this genre, and I get sick of series at times.

Asher_Knight said...

YES. I know what you mean about so many series, almost too many, out there. I'd want to read more of these characters purely for the sake of being with them a little longer. IF Bracken ever did do a sequel though, I'd be on that so quick *lol*

Missie Bee said...

I'm not usually one for straight up fantasy, but I can never resist swoonworthy! Thanks for the review, Asher. I didn't really know what this book was about before.

Asher_Knight said...

Oh, if you can't resist swoonworthy than you won't be able to resist WAYLAND NORTH. He is the epitome of swoonworthy. Loved him and Sydelle :)

Liz. R said...

I keep seeing good things about this one, I'm definitely going to have to read it at some point! I'm not one to say no to "blazing sweet and hot interactions toward the final chapters" :P. Glad you enjoyed this one - and thanks for getting me interested in a book I probably otherwise wouldn't have picked! Great review :).

Asher_Knight said...

Oh, I think you'll absolutely love it, Liz! Seriously, North is totally going to steal your heart. *sighs dreamily*

Small Review said...

I adore Wayland North! This whole book is perfect. Totally a Special Shelf book.

Asher_Knight said...

Definitely a fictional crush nominee for February's Book Boyfriend. I loved this book so much!

Jenny said...

Wow Asher, that was an absolutely stunning review and a heck of a ringing endorsement for this book! Love how you said Sydelle is simply herself, she doesn't try to e anything else and she's not of the TSTL variety. Definitely making a note to download this one on the Kindle, thank you!

Steph said...

Ahhh, this sounds so amazing. I have no idea why I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I must change that soon! Lovely review!

Asher_Knight said...

Oh, I'm so glad you liked it because I want EVERYONE to read this book. It was just so sweet and wonderful and awesome. Read it!!

Asher_Knight said...

YES. You need to read this immediately. I loved it so much. Thank you <3

Mimi Valentine said...

Asher, I think you might be a writer at heart -- this review was absolutely BRILLIANT! <3 I've never heard about this book before, but your review makes me wish I had a copy in my hands right now!! I've always had a weakness for fantasy books too and this one just sounds even more magical than the ones I usually read!

Amazing review, Asher! My TBR pile is probably miles long but this one is definitely added on higher up now! I can't wait to read it! :)

Asher_Knight said...

Ah, Mimi, you're making me blush. Seriously. You MUST read it the first chance you get. The characters are memorable and amazing and you care about what happens to them. YAY. I'm so happy you're interested :)

Logan Turner said...

Between you and Small swooning over this one, I think it's a must-read for me now! What fantasy books have you read recently that you didn't like? (If you don't want to say, though, I understand.)

Asher_Knight said...

YES. I think you would love Brightly Woven, Logan. I mean you have to. Just HAVE to. Well, for example, I recently read The Gathering Storm and I guess that's kind of a historical fantasy, and it disappointed me because I had such HIGH expectations. Brightly Woven was a nice change of pace ;)

Giselleco said...

Let's see if this works! I've never seen this book before I love the cover! And it sounds pretty neat I love how you describe the characters. I'm big on characters so swoon-worthy is definitely a plus! :D

Giselleco said...

OOOH IT WORKED! YAY! *jumps up and down*

Asher_Knight said...

Yeah, me, I'm a character girl through and through though I love a good plot. And I get what you mean about the cover. I totally want to own it!!!

Asher_Knight said...

YAY. *claps excitedly*

Brodie said...

Holy Asher Knight. You had me at wizarding duels and love/hate romance!! And then you go and expand on that love/hate romance and have me fangirling for not only North, but Sydelle too! I LOVE these kind of romances and especially in fantasy. I have had this on my wishlist for freaking ever, but for some stupid, PAINFULLY IDIOTIC reason, I have not snagged myself a copy yet. Thanks to you, this desperately needs to change asap because this sounds AMAZING. Thank you for bumping it up on my TBR with your beautiful review!

Brodie said...

"Asher, I think you might be a writer at heart" - THIS. 100% AGREED.

Seeitorreadit said...

OMG Omg omg!!!! I've never heard of this book before but that quote and your review have me hooked!!! I am totally adding this one to my tbr list. great review!!!!

Jaskirat~SeeitORreadit
Tempest and The Eternal One's Giveaway!

Asher_Knight said...

Aw, Brodie <33 I'm just SO HAPPY you're planning on giving it a whirl :DD

Asher_Knight said...

YAY more people interested in reading this book! I loved it so much so I'm so happy you're adding it!

Celine said...

Sydelle sounds like a great leading girl! I've been very annoyed lately by weak willed heroines that turn into a puddle of goo the second they meet the hero. I like it way better if the romance develops at a more natural pace.

Great review! I'll definitely add it to my wishlist.

Asher_Knight said...

That's exactly how Sydelle and North's relationship develop. It's such a wonderful thing to watch. And Sydelle is just full of awesome! I hope you enjoy this!