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Brightly Woven Hardcover – Color, March 23, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—A young, rogue wizard ends a 10-year drought in an isolated mountain village. As payment he asks for Sydelle, the daughter of the village elder. Despite her protests, he whisks her away just as an invading army arrives in the village. The wizard, Wayland, has information that may prevent the coming war. But he and "his assistant" must make a harrowing, weeks-long journey to reach the capital and deliver the information. Along the way, Sydelle must overcome her anger toward Wayland, discover the dark secret that haunts him, and unravel the mystery of why he chose her in the first place. Sydelle is a strong, brave, likable heroine. Hers is a story of a young woman finding the great power within herself. Wayland is a tortured soul who saves and is saved by her. The supporting characters add color and depth to the story. Danger appears at every turn, and action keeps the plot moving briskly along. First-time author Bracken weaves a compulsively readable tale that belongs beside Kristin Cashore's Graceling (Harcourt, 2008) and Fire (Dial, 2009) and Tamora Pierce's "Song of the Lioness" series (S & S).—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Sixteen-year-old Sydelle’s world changes forever after the appearance of Wayland North, a mischievous wizard who lives on the fringes of society. He enlists her help in a race to the capital to prevent all-out war with countries bordering their homeland. North claims to have chosen Sydelle, a weaver, because she is able to repair his cloaks without damaging their magic. But as they are chased through the countryside by wild weather and a vengeful sorcerer, and held back by North’s sudden bouts of illness, Sydelle suspects he has selected her for other reasons. The pair’s romance develops slowly. At first they bicker like children, with Sydelle’s wild rages only outmatched by the unpredictable weather. Despite North’s manipulations and Sydelle’s disagreeable nature, they are fun to follow. Bracken’s debut starts out strong, but the first-person narration wears thin as the book draws to a close. Nevertheless, readers will be caught up by the pair’s breathless adventure, the impending darkness, and their ultimate triumph, story elements some more experienced authors can’t always nail down. Grades 7-10. --Courtney Jones
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm curious if this is going to be a series, I felt like everything was wrapped up nicely and the book could really stand on its own. I do like the characters though and would be happy if it turned out to be a trilogy or something.
Brightly Woven is a rousing, humorous, and adventurous book that fans of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore can enjoy. This is a clever novel, seamlessly combining the art of weaving and the art of magic to form a story full of intrigue and suspense. Bracken's characters are well-portrayed and complicated, especially Wayland North. His own story is rather unexpected and fascinating, and he has a few twists and surprises about him, some foreseen and some not, and his personal struggles make for a very interesting subplot.
The story moves quickly, keeping you on edge, and Bracken packs a lot of action and travel into her pages. Sydelle's and North's journey takes them all across Palmarta and further, showing the breadth of Bracken's fantasy world, though at times it would have been nice to have a few more details and for certain situations to be fleshed out a bit more to avoid some confusion. However, the story is entertaining and rounds off nicely, with a very satisfying resolution. It's a relief to have have a solid fantasy novel that doesn't leave you longing for a sequel, or require a whole slew of companion novels to resolve the conflict. Brightly Woven is a nice, lightly romantic and adventurous read with depth and danger.
Cover Comments: This cover is really pretty! I like the scrolling on the side and the background a lot. The contrast in the dark blue backdrop and the girl's white skin is nice. I don't think this is the best cover I've ever ever seen on a fantasy book, but it's really nice.
From what I've seen on other blogs so far apparently I am in the minority in being disappointed by this book. It combined fantasy and romance and had me excited to start it but I did not really care for either of the main chracters. Sydelle's character seemed unrealistic. Yes, I can understand she was upset at Wayland for not staying to protect her village but she totally seems to brush off the fact that her parents basically traded her away to Wayland. I expected her to have some anger towards them and then eventually come to the realization that they wanted to get her away to safety but there was no internal struggle. Watching Sydelle's behavior she did not strike me as being mature enough to come to this realization right away.
Wayland's character was hard for me to like as well. He initially comes off as someone who loves to drink and doesn't know his limits. I think it was supposed to be implied later on he drinks because of his the pain from him curse but I don't really buy it. The way he acted towards Sydelle for much of the story made it hard for me to believe that she was starting to fall for him. The connection seemed to come very abruptly to me.
The ending also seemed awkward. I was surprised by how easily Sydelle seemed to be able to master and utilize her power just when she needed to. The queen's and the sorceress imperial's behavior towards Sydelle seemed to swing back and forth on a whim. I hate sounding so negative in a review but I really found this a hard book to get through.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel was apparently written as a gift for a friend. This book has a rather simple feel to it but was entertaining.Read more
The story starts off quickly.Read more