Book Review : Woven
By Michael Jensen & David Powers King
Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.
All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.
But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.
Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.
Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
When I started reading Woven I knew Nels was going to have to die because of the summary. The big problem was that I really liked Nels, he was a great guy and didn’t deserve to die. I was so discouraged that he would have to become a ghost that I stopped reading it for a month, then forced myself to pick it up again.
I’m so glad I did force myself to pick it up. Nels was a fun ghost and pestered the princess. Warning of a big spoiler alert……Do you remember in the Princess Bride when Wesley is only mostly dead and not dead dead. Well, that same philosophy is used here. Nels is only mostly dead. Yay!
Another reason I enjoyed Woven was because Tyra was a brat. She was beautiful and rich and completely rude. It seemed just that she was the only one who could see Nels because she had treated him poorly at the fair. Rather karma like. Not only could she see him, but she ended up seeing herself as he saw her. It was a great wake-up call for her to do a little soul searching. It turned out she wasn’t just a brat, but was scared and didn’t grow up with the love of her father. He really wasn’t the king he should have been. Her foibles made her much more interesting.
The world was beautifully crafted. I loved how people could be basted together, how a needle could mend the world and thimbles could have special powers. It is a simple idea to incorporate sewing with magic, but the result was more complex and richer than the initial idea. I absolutely loved the world.
Ironically, the novel I read prior to Woven had a gypsy population too Woven’s gypsies are maligned by other nations, are fairly nomadic and displaced. Their situation is wrapped up to a better conclusion with the efforts of another ghost. I enjoyed the rich traditions and images the gypsies brought to Woven.
I would recommend Woven. It seems appropriate for an older middle grade book as well as a young – young adult book, about ages 10-15 would be my guess for the primary target audience. I laughed over the characters and their situations. In fact, you could say it had me in stitches.
4 out of 5 stars
- the Mother
If you like this one I would recommend The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley for an older novel, Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese and The Relic Master series by Catherine Fisher.