Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.NOTE: This post may contain copious amounts of fangirling. Don't say I didn't warn you.
In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.
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.
I squealed after reading the last line of Brightly Woven. Literally SQUEALED. I didn't know I was even capable of making such a sound. Truly, though, it was a well-deserved squeal.
Brightly Woven reminded me of Eragon in the sense of the journey that Sydelle took, minus all the dragon talk. (Although it should be noted that there is mention of a dragon slaying!) I instantly fell in love with the richness of the story, with the complexities of Palmarta and Auster, and, of course, with North. North, the wizard love-interest whose sense of direction lacks- despite what his name implies- was exceptionally swoon-worthy. Although he was undoubtedly harsh and crude to start, North becomes a character that is both sweet and unforgettable.
If you haven't picked up Brightly Woven yet, you MUST! Right now, go request it from your library or order it online. This is one of my favorite books of 2010. Please go make it one of yours, and let me know what you think of it! I'll be on the lookout for Alex Bracken's future books, and I highly suggest you check out her blog. (I'm an avid reader of it!)