Title: Brightly Woven
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Pub. Date: 3/23/2010
Main Themes: Fantasy, Wizard, Love, Opposites Attract, Good vs. Evil
Plot (from GoodReads):
Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.
Generally, I am not a fan of YA fantasy novels. I appreciate the attempt to write a great YA fantasy, but I personally feel that YA often does not allow enough pages to fully develop the characters and plot. When it comes to fantasy, I often want almost too much detail. My favorite fantasy novels are often at least 3 times the length of an average YA book and have 5 or more volumes. I know the worlds within those pages inside and out. It seems, however, that Alexandra Bracken has disproved my theory about fantasy and YA and, for once, I was happy to be wrong.
I was relieved to see that Bracken delved into the magical elements of her story. Many times the details of that aspect are glazed over to focus on the bigger picture, but I really enjoy the background information – it makes the story more realistic to me. The wizardry in BRIGHTLY WOVEN has some unique twists that set it apart from other similar novels which is always commendable.
BRIGHTLY WOVEN has been marketed with a strong emphasis on the romantic plot line, but I didn’t really love that part of the story. I’m definitely glad it was included, but it moved a little bit quick for my tastes. I think it could have been written a little more smoothly or portrayed a bit differently. I don’t really know how to explain it… I was bothered by how angry Sydelle was at Wayland in the beginning of the novel. Some of the actions and motivations didn’t add up as neatly as a I would have liked. I will admit that I their relationship had grown on my by the end of the novel.
I really like the colors used in the cover and the detailing along the bottom of the cover. The cover model looks gorgeous… except for the hair. That’s the only part of the cover that I’m a little iffy on. I haven’t seen it yet in person though, so it might look a little different.