Book Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Brightly Woven is the debut novel by Alexandra Bracken. It was published by Egmont USA on 23rd March 2010 and is 354 pages long.

In a little dusty village, on the outskirts of the kingdom, Sydelle Mirabel leads a pretty ordinary and boring life. In a place that hasn’t seen rain for such a long time, a downpour seems like a total blessing…until Syd realises what was behind it. A strange man who goes by the name North suddenly turns up, along with the rain, and makes a deal with Sid’s father and it isn’t a deal that she is happy with at all.

All North wanted was Syd and her father gave her to him. Embarking on a journey with North, Syd is furious at the fact that she has to stay with him. As time goes on and she begins to get to know North, Syd realises that there is so much more to him than she first thought. Will she be ready for the magical world that North is about to introduce her to and will she be able to keep up?

What I thought
While looking at the US imports in Foyles, Brightly Woven stood out to me immediately. The cover is absolutely stunning and one of the main reasons why I bought it. Yes, the story also looked interesting but the cover had me from first sight and I knew that I had to have it.

Main characters Syd and North were fantastic on their own. I’ll get to them as a couple later on though. Separately, I felt as if I really got to know both characters well, with their personalities shining bright among a whole host of interesting people. Syd was very stubborn and although being forced to go with North, there were certain things that she wasn’t going to back down on and I loved this about her. No matter what was happening, she never forgot who she was or where she came from, staying really grounded in a bit of a crazy world. North was also an extremely interesting character. As a wizard with a multitude of coloured capes, it was obvious that there was going to be a lot to learn about him. I didn’t want to like him to begin with as he took Syd away from her family and everything she knew but as the story went on, I realised that he was looking at the bigger picture and wanted what was best for everyone.

My main problem with Syd and North was that there was no real moment defining their relationship. There was no monumental event that made Syd realise how she felt towards North. It was like one moment she thought one way and in another, she felt completely different and I didn’t really like this part of the book. Neither of their feelings for each other felt real enough to me and I had a hard time believing in a relationship for them both because of this.

One of my favourite ideas from this book was the wizards. The world Bracken has created sees wizards as people who aren’t looked upon too well in a lot of cases but in their own society, this is obviously a different story. Wizards are ranked and this was what I found the most interesting part. There are only around 400 wizards left and whoever is #1 is the top dog. There are some wizards who refuse to be ranked as a choice they make themselves though and some who are not allowed to be ranked, due to the kinds of things that they do.

While Brightly Woven isn’t very fast paced most of the time, there is always something happening. I loved how there were so many different characters from different walks of life added in to Syd and North’s adventure and I was always wondering what kind of person I would end up meeting next. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep readers guessing and I never really felt like I could guess what was going to, or even could, happed next so that was a major plus for me. I really like not knowing or being able to figure out a story. The world that Alexandra Bracken has created is complex and fantastic at the same time. It is magical and mysterious as well as romantic and exciting. Although a couple of small things about this book bugged me, the majority was amazing and I would love to know if there is going to be a second book!!


  1. I have got to go to Foyles. That is all :D

  2. Great review! This was one of my favorite books of 2010. I agree with your evaluation of Sydelle and North's characters; they were strong on their own, and not as completely believable as a couple. Still a great romance, though! :)
    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of "Brightly Woven" by Alexandra Bracken


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