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Brightly Woven Hardcover – Color, March 23, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781606840382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840382
  • ASIN: 160684038X
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on March 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sydelle has always lived in a small village in the desert, where it hasn't rained in nearly ten years and not much changes. When Palmarta's king dies and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death incites a war, Sydelle's village is threatened, and she is rescued by Wayland North, a young wizard. Sydelle's talent for weaving and her quick mind catches his interest, and he needs her help if he's stop the war and the dangerous, vindictive wizard behind it.

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.

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Format: Hardcover
I would give this book 2.5 stars.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Solid debut novel. 3.75 stars

This is more of a story of romance that just happens to also be fantasy. I think if you are a huge fan of fantasy perhaps you will be let down as there is not over-description of world around our main character. But if you like a good slow burning romantic build up, I'm a sucker for those, then this is a book for you.

Sydella has grown up in a small village that has been plagued by drought for years. The village on the outskirts of the providence is invaded by the neighboring country's soldiers in preparation of an upcoming war. A wizard comes to town and with him came rain that has not been seen for ten years. For his reward he asks for Sydella to come with him. There the journey begins, Syd and North race toward the capitol in hopes they can stop the war trying to avoid those that would stop them along the way.

The ideas behind magic and how different wizards used magic was so interesting. I especially liked the way North changed with Sydella. How with her fire and determination she helped him be the best man he could be. The story had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing and wanting to turn the page to see what happened next.

The only things that lowered the rating was sometimes the conversation seemed a little disjointed and I had to re-read sentences to get the emotion that was trying to be conveyed.

Good fantasy lite romance that left me wanting to read more about the characters at the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spellbinding read that will lead you on the journey of a lifetime!

It has been a while since I have read a book with wizards and I was not disappointed. The world building was fun and imaginative. It actually put me in mind of a world similar to Eragon's from (Eragon by Christopher Paolini) except that it was more lighthearted and humorous. This story has a bit of a mystery about Sydelle from the beginning which really kept me guessing. I really enjoyed all of the little hints along the way mixed in with a lot of humor. Another thing I appreciated about this book was that there was no Insta love like they have in a lot of YA books. The characters weren't very fond of each other from the beginning either, but throughout the journey they got to know each other little by little and became close friends and maybe even more.

The characters were fun and unique. Sydelle wasn't a warrior goddess, but neither was she a wilting violet. She didn't allow North to control her despite her circumstances and when he did something that didn't sit right with her she let him know it. I would have loved to have Sydell as a friend and I got really attached to her throughout the book.

North was not a dashing, charming, and romantic hero, but he was quirky, funny, and brave. He fought his own battles and was a really good person. I really enjoyed getting to know him and loved him as the hero. One of my favorite traits of his is the fact that he has the worst sense of direction, which gets them into trouble sometimes, but always made me laugh.
There was a lot of action and tons of humor along the way and the only thing I didn't like about this book was that it was too short despite it being 368 pages long. I do hope that the author decides to write a sequel in the future because I would love to see more of these amazing characters whom I've come to love.

This is an adventurous story full of humor and hardships that fans of fantasy are sure to love!
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