Woven in Moonlight

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Woven in Moonlight
Author(s)
Age Range
13+
Release Date
January 07, 2020
ISBN
978-1624148019
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Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight. When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place. She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princesa, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge―and her Condesa.

Editor review

1 review
lush and enthralling stand-alone fantasy
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT is a lush fantasy that transports the reader into the world of Inkasisa, a place which is frequently under revolt by different tribes. This stand-alone was beautifully written, and I completely devoured it. Ximena has been a decoy to the Condesa (title of an Illustrian queen) since she was eight years old and had been found by a guard after the revolution left her an orphan. When the Llacsan king, Atoc, demands that Catalina (the true Condesa) marry him, Ximena must of course take her place.

She does so hoping she can spy on him and send messages back. In particular, they are searching for the Estrella, a magical item that can command a ghost army and had won the revolt for the Llacsans. As Ximena journeys to the palace, she realizes darker truths about the state of the current king and the history of her people, which was one of oppression over the other tribes.

With messages about politics, ethics, and the path to doing what is right, this magical fantasy is an enthralling read. The characters, world-building, and magic are all unique and really drive forward a lovely story. Add that on to an interesting plot and the fact that this is a stand-alone, and you have an unforgettable read.

Towards the end, there are some bumps in the plot, which I hope will be smoothed during editing, as some of the actions of certain characters- while overall necessary for plot- just did not quite seem to fit. These were minor, however. I would add some warnings for domestic violence, torture (graphic at times), and ritual sacrifice, as well as past child bride type mentions.

Overall, this is a beautifully constructed story, and I would love to read more from this talented author.
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User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0(1)
Characters
 
5.0(1)
Writing Style
 
5.0(1)
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A beautiful and lush fantasy based on Bolivian culture
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set in the fictional country of Inkasisa. Ximena is a stand in for the Condesa, the last remaining royal of the Illustrian people. Her people were driven from La Ciudad when Atoc, of the Llacsan people, usurped the throne using an ancient relic. The Illustrians live in isolation and poverty while the Llacsans rule Inkasisa. When Atoc demands that Catalina, the true Condesa, marry him, Ximena travels to La Ciudad in her place. Her plan is to act as a spy and retrieve Atoc's ancient deadly relic. Atoc is a cruel and dictatorial ruler, but Ximena comes to realize that not all Llacsan people are bad. She questions everything she has been told about who the true oppressors are, as the Illustrian people did not treat the Llacsans well when they were in power. She meets a kind princess, a vigilante, a healer, a guard and a maid, among others, and changes her views. The story is fast paced and the writing is beautiful. I really loved this book - great world building, fascinating magic (woven animals created from moonlight!), and wonderful descriptions of Bolivian food and clothing.
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