Updated: May 2, 2020
I know I'm a little late today but I wanted to get out this post before the day was over. Here is one of my most anticipated 2020 reads, and I hope you find this review enjoyable enough to motivate you to read Woven in Moonlight during the social distancing period we're going through. There are no spoilers in this review, so you can read on without worries.
A tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history. 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 princess, 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.
Woven in Moonlight was one of my most anticipated January reads and I'm glad I didn't wait too long to read it.
The story begins with a scene meant to cause urgency. I personally thought that beginning felt a little weak, but it was enough to set up a situation that fueled Ximena's purpose in the story.
Overall, WIM is culturally rich which allowed the author to honor her Bolivian roots. There was the mouth-watering food descriptions, the language, the weaving that's part of the Latin American identity (each region having a defining style), and the fight from oppression.
As a decoy, Ximena had so much to sacrifice and to withstand when she went into the enemy's territory as the condeza. I personally enjoyed her emotional journey. There was also the mysterious vigilante, which honestly I took a took a right guess on pretty early in the story but I enjoyed waiting for the confirmation. El Lobo gave me major Zorro vibes (From The Mask of Zorro) with his black ensemble.
There is romance, pretty wild plot points, characters that you'll love and characters you'll hate so much you'll scream at the pages. The magic system was original, and I loved how each set of peoples had a god that reflected the moon or the sun, and how individuals were gifted uniquely by their god.
The ending felt a little rushed, and there were some loose ends that left me a little unsatisfied--I'm hoping there will be a sequel to tie those ends up, and if there is a sequel, the end feels like a cycle that makes it possible to wait.
Overall, WIM was an enjoyable read for me, and truly I felt proud as a Latina to have an author that celebrated her culture with this amazing book.
Here is all the info for Woven in Moonlight :
Reading Challenge No.: 8/45
Author: Isabel Ibañez
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Length: 365 pages
POV: #1stPerson POV
Series or Standalone? #Standalone with a rumored companion book.
"My banged-up spoon scrapes the bottom of a barrel that should've held enough dried beans to last for three more months."
Favorite Character: El Lobo, because I can't get the image of him holding a magic-fueled sloth.
Add Woven in Moonlight to your Goodreads, here.
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I'm currently reading Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon and a book on craft.
What are you currently reading? Tell me in the comments!