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Woven in Moonlight

Woven in Moonlight

Book - 2020
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Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximenas is motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight. When Atoc demands the real Condesa's hand in marriage, its Ximenas duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atocs no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.
Publisher: Salem, MA : Page Street Publishing Co., 2020.
ISBN: 9781624148019
1624148018
9781645672050
Characteristics: 375 pages : map ; 22 cm.

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I thought maybe I'd go with 3.5 stars, but now that I've had time for this one to sit, we're going with 3. This had huge potential for me, from the beautiful cover to the intriguing magical premise. I've been reading a lot of contemporaries lately and was really craving a good fantasy, and this, unfortunately, did not satisfy my craving.

Ximena is the condesa Catalina's decoy, and has been for many years. When the Llacsan leader Atoc demands marriage, or he'll kill Ximena's friends that he has captive, she feels she has no choice but to go in Catalina's stead. Determined to infiltrate the palace from the inside in order to right the wrongs of their oppressors and get an Illustrian back on the throne, Ximena heads off to the castillo, armed only with her magical moonlight-weaving abilities and the confidence that the way she sees the world and her place in it will see her through.

Okay, so, let's start with the characters. Ximena is such a badass warrior, ready to defend her people to the death if necessary; she is surrounded by intriguing people in the palace, from Rumi to Juan Carlos to Suyana to Tamaya to even Atoc. For about 2/3rds of the book, I was rooting for all of them - until everything fell apart in that last third. Everyone starts making strange decisions, and the character development just tanks.

And the mystery of El Lobo was well-done, all the way up to the big reveal. As if we didn't all see that coming??? That was seriously the most predictable way things could have gone, and I was surprised that the author went that direction.

I like the cultural rep that this book offers. The Bolivian influence is colourful and ultimately necessary in the literary climate we live in - we need more rep overall. However, I have read so many reviews of how this just perpetuates stereotypes without adding anything to balance them out and make them feel real. I personally don't know enough about the culture to feel out those nuances, but I did find that I enjoyed the idea of Ximena learning more about her own culture and adjusting her worldview as she went. For me, that was a strength of the book; I enjoyed wondering what the true story was.

But the plot overall was weak. It felt weirdly-paced, and the big reveals were not shocking in the slightest.

I liked the colourfulness here, the cultural influences, and the political undertones that kept me wondering. But this was not my favourite.

This had huge potential for me, from the beautiful cover to the intriguing magical premise. I've been reading a lot of contemporaries lately and was really craving a good fantasy, and this, unfortunately, did not satisfy my craving. I liked the colourfulness here, the cultural influences, and the political undertones that kept me wondering. But the plot overall was weak. It felt weirdly-paced, and the big reveals were not shocking in the slightest.

c
CORI D. MORRIS
Apr 02, 2020

This book is full of magic, intrigue and mystery. I am always one for court drama and this one does not disappoint! Ximena is cousin to the Condesa for the small country of Illustria, when the Condesa is sent for to marry Atoc, Ximena is sent as a decoy in her stead. But soon she will have to choose between loyalty and what she knows is true. This story is full of mystery, magic, and revenge and you never know who is on whose side. Highly recommend this book!

l
lurkykitty
Jan 27, 2020

Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set in the fictional country of Inkasisa. Ximena is a stand in for the Condesa, the last remaining royal of the Illustrian people. Her people were driven from La Ciudad when Atoc, of the Llacsan people, usurped the throne using an ancient relic. The Illustrians live in isolation and poverty while the Llacsans rule Inkasisa. When Atoc demands that Catalina, the true Condesa, marry him, Ximena travels to La Ciudad in her place. Her plan is to act as a spy and retrieve Atoc's ancient deadly relic. Atoc is a cruel and dictatorial ruler, but Ximena comes to realize that not all Llacsan people are bad. She questions everything she has been told about who the true oppressors are, as the Illustrian people did not treat the Llacsans well when they were in power. She meets a kind princess, a vigilante, a healer, a guard and a maid, among others, and changes her views. The story is fast paced and the writing is beautiful. I really loved this book - great world building, fascinating magic (woven animals created from moonlight!), and wonderful descriptions of Bolivian food and clothing.

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CORI D. MORRIS
Apr 02, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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hermione934 Dec 23, 2020

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now she’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight. When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place. She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

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Despite the danger, my protest had burst from my lips, from my heart. Because words empowered by justice can never be silenced.

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