Thursday, March 24, 2011

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

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.

Intriguing story with an interesting magic system, political intrigue and romance.
 I read this book a few weeks ago and don't remember a lot of it. That's not a good sign, is it? While I remember Syd's barren home, Wayland North and the queen, I don't remember a lot of details.Wait. I remember thinking the boy and girl fell in love too quickly. Hmm...

Rating: PG
V: Fights, magic
L: None
S: None

Want to buy it?

Page 69 test:
"...say the least, and left to create their own communities where they taught themselves and one another. those women and their descendants never came back to proper wizarding society."
"What are the hedge communities like?" I asked.
"Tightly knit, highly secretive," he said. "Thought I've never seen one myself. I've only come across one male wizard who grew up within a hedge community, and he wasn't forthcoming with details."
"Who?" I asked.
"Who do you think?"
I stared at him. "Dorwan...?"
North nodded. "Explains quite a bit, doesn't it?"
"How do you know so much about him?" I asked. "He doesn't seem the type to share."
"I met him when we were both still young," he said. "Look, Syd, it's not something I'm proud of. I'd rather not talk about it."
"Did you train with him?" I asked. "Did he have the same magister?"
"No," he said. "When I was with my magister, Oliver was the only other student he had."
"Who in the world is Oliver?"
North gave me an exasperated look.
"He's the current second-in-command of the Wizard Guard, ranked number two just behind the Sorceress Imperial, who is ceremoniously ranked number one. He..."

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