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When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.
The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.
Alexandra Bracken's novel is a stunning debut. The plot is simple but not too simple, it flows on naturally. For that it's easy to follow, but it also surprises; you cannot always predict what's coming.
The theme of one's responsibility towards one's country and home is repeated through the novel. However, the biggest part of the story, like often in YA novels, revolves around the relationship between the two main characters. The good part is, that their relationship and it's changes were not artificial, they were identifiable.
Brightly woven was a book that delighted and, in my opinion, is one of the best YA novels of 2010.
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