Here are three words to sum up my feelings on this book: I loved it! The writing was simplistic and beautiful, the world and its magical elements were exquisitely crafted, and the characters were well developed and likeable. This book is packed full of adventure, magic, and even some romance. It has certainly been awhile since I got this engaged in a story, and I really did not want it to end.
My favorite thing about this book has to be the characters. I respected and liked Syd and completely fell for the (magical) charms of North. Sydelle, or Syd, is one of the best female MC I have come across, and I appreciated how steadfast, willful, and intelligent she was. In fact, Syd is the epitome of what I believe is a ‘strong’ female character. When under pressure or faced with a problem, she has a hard time protecting herself when the fight gets physical being slight, so she uses her wit. Syd is smart, and I like how she uses her intelligence to get out of some sticky situations. While girls who love to kick butt, live for insulting men and their manly parts, and sport brass knuckles are awesome, I like seeing a character being able to fall back on their wit. The mind is mightier than the sword! (I may have tweaked the saying a little bit to suit my prerogative…) Regardless, knowledge never fails!
And then there is North. Oh, North, North, North. I have developed a new (or another) literary boy crush in North. Here is a wizard who is both cursed and plagued by the past, has a rather snarky demeanor, can be cowardly at times, and even gets drunk occasionally. He is far from prefect, yet he is kind and protective, and he treats Syd with nothing less than respect. I cannot even begin to express how much I adore him. It is so refreshing to finally have a male lead that is not being referenced to Adonis/some Greek god or having angel-like beauty (*bats eyes* Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?). North is not infallible, he does not make all women swoon at the sight of him, and Syd has to fight with him constantly to get him to open up. In other words, he resembles what an ‘actual’ guy is like, and I cannot help but love him.
I loved the chemistry and relationship between Syd and North. Their relationship had me giggling randomly, and it left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end. Syd detests the wizard in the beginning for taking her from her family, but as she comes to discover some of his secrets and grows to understand him more, her feelings and view of him changes. They had some rough patches, and there were even moments when Syd was not sure she could trust North, but they overcame them all and started a nice (romantic, but not in a sappy way) relationship. They really care for one another, and I just adored their steadily progressing relationship.
I have to admit, I am at a bit of an impasse. I loved this book, and I think the ending was beyond perfect. Part of me wants a sequel, while the other part of me wants to leave everything as is. There are a few loose ends begging to be tied (such as North’s curse and if a cure was ever discovered), but readers can interpret for themselves what happened. However, even though I have enough information to make my own conclusions, I want more of this magical world and more of North and Syd. What can I say? I guess I am a selfish person! Either way, Brightly Woven now has its own place on my favorites shelf. This is definitely a book you should look into if you have not read it yet. Bracken has another book coming out on December 18, 2012, and it is entitled The Darkest Minds
. You can bet I will be reading it when it comes out!