Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

SynopsisJust as the rains come after ten long, dry years, a young wizard, Wayland North, appears, to whisk Sydelle Mirabil away from her desert village. North needs an assistant, and Sydelle is eager to see the country - and to join him on his quest to stop the war that surely will destroy her home. But North has secrets - about himself, about why he chose Sydelle, about his real reasons for the journey. What does he want from her? And why does North's sworn enemy seem fascinated by Sydelle himself?

Through a journey that spans a country, magic and hard-won romance are woven together with precision and brilliant design by a first-time novelist.

Review: I decided to re-read Brightly Woven since I haven't read it since it came out, and I'm glad I made that decision. I remembered enjoyed Sydelle and North together and that feeling definitely stuck. They aren't perfect characters, but they have fun banter which I always appreciate. A lot of care seemed to go into the side characters as well. Owain, Oliver, the queen and the sorceress all felt distinct which is impressive considering this was Alex's debut. 

The only negative I really have to say is that the world was very small. Granted, this was a standalone fantasy which is ambitious on its own. It just would have been nice if it was longer and more was explored. There are two lands in this story and we only really get a feel for one of them. I enjoyed how reading this book, at times, felt similar to playing a video game. North and Sydelle set off on a singular quest, but on the way they would stop and do what I thought of as little sidequests. Maybe it's just because I play a lot of video games, but this was how I viewed their journey. I also think this is the perfect book for people who don't read a lot of fantasy, but want to check some out. The way Alex incorporates street names made it feel similar to a contemporary story so I think it might be easier for new fantasy readers to get through.

Easy standalone fantasy with interesting characters. Thoroughly enjoyed this re-read.

4 howls