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.
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.
Here is yet another book where my review just can't be coherent.
Alexandra wove such a detailed, complex world, that even though my ARC has no map, I could see things clearly in my head. Does that make sense?
Syd was never a damsel in distress either. She was smarter than you usually see in a female protag. A lot of the time, the protag. is weak and helpless, but Brightly Woven is part of the trend with strong protags. that don't need a guy to help them. Although, North does come in handy. And he's some good eye candy. ;) But even in the end, Syd still didn't *need* North.
The ending to this book was absolutely perfect, all things considered. It closed everything up tightly, but still left the option for more books in the future. Besides that, it also worked with the book. The flow was wonderful.
I also love the development of the relationship. While it wasn't always said, you could feel the tension growing between Syd and North the entire time. It was like you were there, walking with them.
My only complaint was that it was sometimes predictable. I never really minded when I was reading, it was kind of nice really. In a way, I'm glad this was there, because no book should be completely perfect.
Overall, Brightly Woven was a fantastic, beautiful story that seemed like a fairy tale. And it was certainly a tightly woven novel. I look forward to Alexandra's next work!