Title: This Woven Kingdom
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 512
Date Published: February 1, 2022
You can find it here: Bookshop.org
While it’s definitely easy to compare This Woven Kingdom to Chakraborty’s City of Brass series, I’d actually liken it to a Cinderella-esque retelling, complete with elaborate balls and scrubbing floors and falling in love with the Prince … except add in Jinn.
The writing will be a make-it break-it for you as it is exquisitely detailed with languishing prose. Luckily for me I was up for a slow moving, purple prose story even if there were a few times I’d wish the plot could gallop along instead of more description.
I’m very interested in this world Tahereh Mafi is building, but I would have liked to see (and considering she had about 500 pages to do so) that the world building had received more attention – feeling more complete, more realized. There were snippets of the fantastical (aside from the well established jinn) that included dragons, magical bugs, and other magical elements that were popped into the story without further explanation or mention. At times I’d have to reread sections to see if I had missed something because suddenly there be a dragon! and no one seemed too surprised.
Overall it was an entertaining YA fantasy that felt fresh even though it tromps around well trodden YA tropes – kingdoms in peril that can only be saved by these teens, forbidden romance, and magical chosen ones. Fans of Serpent and Dove and the writing of Stephanie Garber are definitely going to want to add this to their immediate TBR.
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