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.
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.
Brightly Woven will be released from Egmont USA on March 23rd, 2010.
ARC received from publisher.