Title: Brightly Woven
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: March 2010
Published By: Egmont
Goodreads Rating: 3.89 stars
Review: When rain comes for the first time in a ten-year drought, Wayland North shows up to take Sydelle away from her village to act as his personal assistant. She's eager to join him in the fight against the war threatening their kingdom, but he has secrets about himself, why he chose her, and what his real reasons for the journey are - and most of all, why his sworn enemy has an interest in Sydelle too.
I love books with strong female protagonists, and BRIGHTLY WOVEN was no exception. Sydelle has guts, which I appreciated, and she was both spunky and fun to read about. Occasionally I'll stumble across a book with a protagonist who spends far too much time whining and submitting to everyone around, so it's always a breath of fresh air to read about a character like Sydelle.
Of course, few fantasy books are complete without a romance, and this was no exception. This novel had possibly one of my favorite romances of all time. North was an incredible love interest, and I could totally relate to how much Sydelle liked him. He was kind, smart, funny, had a dark past, and - not going to lie - he was hot.
I know, I know, it sounds completely cliche to hear about a romantic interest with a "dark past", but I promise it's well done in this book. North's secrets were both believable and unexpected, and though he was occasionally moody, it didn't completely discolor his character in any way. He was a complex and flawed character, and one I was so ready to fall in love with.
All in all, BRIGHTLY WOVEN is one of the rare fantasy novels that truly has it all: brilliant characters, fantastic plot developments, and an amazing romance. Fantasy isn't exactly my favorite genre for the most part, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I would recommend this book to everyone, but particularly to those who don't typically read fantasy.