The mattress groaned—the weight shifting—and Alizeh experienced a fear so violent she saw sparks. She pushed backward, knocking her head against the wall, and somehow the pain focused her panic.
A sharp snap and a flame caught between his barely there fingers, illuminated the contours of his face.
Alizeh dared not breath.
Even in silhouette she couldn’t see him, not properly, but then—it was not his face, but his voice, that had made the devil notorious.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved Tahereh’s Shatter Me series, so I was excited to hear her new series coming out. I had high hopes for this book, and part of me wishes I could give it a higher rating, but it really fell flat for me. Now this book is worth all the praise it’s been getting, it’s beautifully written, and Tahereh has created a world that is lush and rich in detail. The characters have plenty of depth and are incredibly interesting. The problem I had with this book was the slow pacing and the fact that nothing really happened. This Woven Kingdom is just shy of 500 pages, and the plot’s only action or real movement happens in the last few chapters. I like my fantasy fiction to have more action and a faster plotline. I am hoping the second book picks up in its pacing.
I want to talk about all the great things this book has going for it. Tahereh knows how to create a world that is rich in detail. I felt immersed in the world she created while reading this book. I love how she wove all the world’s detail and history throughout the story. I didn’t feel like I was being overwhelmed with information, and I never felt lost while reading this book. The story is told from the POV of both Alizeh and Kamran. I like both of these characters. Alizeh is a Jinn hiding from those who seek to kill her. She knows there’s something special about her and that she is destined to rule the Jinn. Alizeh is a quieter, thoughtful heroine. She is powerful and can take care of herself, but she doesn’t act rashly or have that brash attitude many heroines seem to have. All she wants to do is live in peace, but her life is rarely peaceful between running from those who want to harm her and hiding from Ibeeze (the devil). I enjoyed how different she is compared to most YA heroines, and I am excited to see what the second book has in store for her. Kamran is more of your typical hero. He is struggling with the weight of responsibility placed on him because he will soon be taking the throne from his grandfather. In this book, his character goes through this internal struggle of doing what he wants and what is expected of him, especially when it comes to Alizeh.
There is a bit of romance in this book. There is an obvious romantic connection between Alizeh and Kamran. These two spend a lot of this book trying to learn more about each other. This unknown factor exists between them: is the other person the enemy or ally? Like the pacing of this book Alizeh and Kamran’s budding romance has a slow-burn feel. I also suspect that there is a potential for a love triangle to exist between Alizeh, Kamran, and a mysterious man who appears near the end of the book.
This Woven Kingdom is another beautifully written fantasy novel by Tahereh Mafi.