Standalone | 384 Pages | Jan 7, 2020
Woven in Moonlight at a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★★★
- Heroine: Who am I?
- Dude: Grumpy and Smelly are so cute
- Steaminess: There was that wall scene…
- Brutality: There will be blood
Pairs Well With
I just want some of that moondust to sleep
I don’t even know where to start. This book is gorgeous inside and out. I mean just look at that cover! Side note: I’m a huge fan of illustrated covers and the font? I’m fangirling over this cover bigtime. Also, Ibañez did the cover art herself! That is some serious talent and what an amazing creation on her part.
Okay, enough with the fangirling, I’m just so happy that I loved this own voices book. Page Street Kids was kind enough to send me a paperback for review so I am going to upgrade to a hardback for my permanent collection and gift this ARC to a friend who I know will adore the story.
Like any YA we are joining Ximena after a rebellion in which she lost her parents and was exiled with the remainder of the Illustrian people. She is a body double for the real Condessa, her best friend Catalina. But even their own people believe Ximena to be the real Condessa. She has been bred for battle and not for governing her people, that job will pass to Catalina once the Illustrians overthrow the Llacsans and their evil King once again.
The true beauty of this story comes from the writing and the culture. Sometimes YA writing can come off as juvenile, but we don’t knock it because it’s made for a 14/15 year reading level. But, Ibañez weaves her language in such a well-structured way that I felt like I was getting the YA plot, characters and excitement, with the higher reading level. And for the record, it’s not actually at a higher level, Ibañez just has a gift with words that lets you live in the story and not be talked at or told it by the main character.
If you want an immersive own voices book, this is one to pick up. It’s a fantasy world, but the Bolivian food, rituals, clothes and everyday customs are brought to life throughout. From the way that they give and receive gifts to the correct way to eat street food, it was such a fun experience and honestly, made me want to book a flight immediately.
As far as characters and development, I was a bit concerned when at around 30% we hadn’t seen anything of some of the characters listed in the snippet and there was no sign of a love story around. But, it flowed naturally and everything did come full circle. I adored every single character. Ximena feels so real. She is angry, but comes to see that maybe her way of doing things is not the only way or the best. Her magic through weaving is such a fun idea and the way that it is used really lent its own magic to the plot. Add to that the super grumpy Rumi and debonair Juan Carlos and I was in character heaven.
If you are looking for an exciting fantasy or a new own voices YA, then this is definitely one to check out. Plus it’s SO PRETTY.
Have you read Woven in Moonlight? Let me know what you thought in the comments!