HomeReviewsYoung AdultReview: Woven In Moonlight

Review: Woven In Moonlight

Woven in Moonlight

Title: Woven in Moonlight
Author: Isabel Ibanez
Genre: YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 384
Published by: Page Street Kids
Date Published: January 7, 2020
You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Ximena’s life is not her own. As the decoy for the last surviving Illustrian princess, her role is to pretend, to stand in, be the leader the Illustrians need, while holding no opinion of her own, no power of her own … she is invisible.

When Atoc, the Llacson rebel King who drove the Illustrian’s off the throne in a brutal civil war, demands the princesses hand in marriage, Ximena must fill her place. Her goal is simple. Find the relic Atoc used to aid his victory against the Illustrians and send her secret discoveries to Illustrian spies in her tapestries, where her moon magic allows her to weave sparkling, hidden messages.

But as her time in enemy territory continues Ximena begins to learn her knowledge of the past isn’t as certain as she once believed. Her “side” isn’t as innocent as she was taught, and her allegiance isn’t as certain. What’s more is for the first time, Ximena has a voice for herself. She holds the power to potentially stop another deadly war … but she may have to betray those she once called family to do so.


Let’s Talk Attention to Detail:

It all comes down to the details.

For me there is such a fine line between overly detailed description and sparse development. Of course what is overly detailed to one, is sparse to another and etcetera etcetera. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again … I am an incredibly picky bitch when it comes to books. I need a book that is going to remember the details but not drown me in them. Invoking all the senses. Especially the food … bring me all the descriptions of food.

Well it is all here.

Isabel Ibanez strikes the right balance giving me all the delicious descriptions of food, clothing, colour that really made the Central American culture come to life. I loved it.

Let’s Talk Character Growth:

Holy Jesus was Ximena tough to stomach at first! She was so doggedly headstrong (not in a good way), annoyingly naive (not in an endearing way), and altogether too self righteous (is that ever a good thing?). But, what prevented this story from falling apart was the fact that Ximena continued to pay … and pay gravely … for her misguided, hasty judgments and stubbornness. She showed genuine character growth throughout this novel as her assumptions and preconceived prejudices were systematically brought to question time and again. Of course there were excellent parallelisms to our toxic culture of “my side” “your side” politics, but even more so – it truly made for an enjoyable, honest read.

Side characters were very well drawn and I truly enjoyed the masked bandit, kind healer, and my favourite – the head wise princess locked away in her tower … but not so helpless.

Let’s Talk More Central American Fantasy Please:

I just loved this book that not only struck the right descriptive balance to bring alive the story and world, but was also loosely based around real Bolivian history and politics. Woven in Moonlight is a delicious combination of fantasy, historical fiction and political intrigue wrapped up with dazzling description … did I mention the food? I think Isabel Ibanez needs a cookbook accompaniment.

Overall Thoughts:

I really loved this historical fiction fantasy loosely based upon Bolivian history and politics. Combining just the right amount of delicious description to create atmospheric world building, a gentle slow burn romance, and fantastically honest character growth … colour me impressed. I think this is an excellent example of YA fantasy done right. For once, I’m actually happy this isn’t a stand alone!

TBR Ranking: High

You may also like:

A River of Royal BloodA River of Royal Blood

Written by Amanda Joy

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

You can find it here: Bookshop.org



The Shadows Between UsThe Shadows Between Us

Written by Tricia Levenseller

Published by Feiwel & Friends

You can find it here: Bookshop.org




Beneath the CitadelBeneath the Citadel

Written by Destiny Soria

Published by Harry N. Abrams

You can find it here: Bookshop.org




Any purchases made via retailer links provided in this article may result in this site receiving a share of that sale.

Welcome to And other tales. The little corner of the interweb where we don’t count cups of coffee, believe cancelling plans to stay home & read is just good life advice, refuse to acknowledge the calories in baked goods and will never judge you on the number of marshmallows in your hot chocolate or the size of your TBR piles. Curl up, get comfy and click through for book reviews, life chats, playlists, vegan & gluten free baking recipes, gift guides and more.

Newest Articles