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BRIGHTLY WOVEN by Alexandra Bracken

BRIGHTLY WOVEN

By Alexandra Bracken

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60684-038-2
Publisher: Egmont USA

Conventional teen tropes translate surprisingly well to fantasy romance in an uneven debut. Sixteen-year-old weaver Sydelle is presented to North, a wizard scarcely older, as an unwilling payment for ending her village’s devastating drought. North has the information to stop an imminent war, and he needs Sydelle to guide him to the capital. Sydelle slowly overcomes her resentment of her mysterious, arrogant captor as she learns about the ways of magic and her own unexpected place within it. Sydelle’s narration portrays her as the stereotypical feisty-yet-commonsensical redhead, entirely unaware of her hidden powers and irresistible attractiveness, while North is the bad-boy hero with the angsty-secret back story. Everyone else is a stock character, especially the Crazy McEvilpants villain. But archetypes exist because they work, and, despite cursory world-building and awkward prose, the romance is chastely sweet while the plot trots along at a ripping pace, culminating in a (literally) earthshaking climax, with just enough unresolved questions to make a sequel welcome. A guilty pleasure, perhaps, but a pleasure nonetheless. (Fantasy. 12 & up)