There are not many downsides to being a book blogger. One of the few of them is that moment you read a review copy that is so good that you immediately want the sequel. Except, because you read a review copy before the publication date, you realize you have to wait longer than most readers for that sequel. This rare occurrence sums up my feelings about Tahereh Mafi’s newest book, This Woven Kingdom. I want the sequel, and I want it now.
The heart of This Woven Kingdom is Alizeh. She ends up being such a tough character that you want to follow her forever. Yet, her backstory is so heartbreaking that her poise and self-confidence are as admirable as surprising. At the same time, while authors tend to gloss over the lasting effects of trauma on their characters, I feel Ms. Mafi instills Alizeh with the correct balance of trauma and determination to form her character. It is a balance that makes her such a fascinating character to know.
The other reason I fell in love with This Woven Kingdom is because of Ms. Mafi’s writing. Her sentences are fluid to the point of being lyrical. Yet, she is not verbose. Instead, I feel that she carefully chooses each word to maximize its impact on whatever she conveys, whether world-building or establishing the setting. The result is a story that flows so smoothly that you arrive at the end well before you are ready and a world that is brilliant in its clarity.
I so thoroughly enjoyed This Woven Kingdom that I felt disappointed when I finished it. I loved watching Alizeh grow feisty. Given all that we discover towards the end of the novel, I am particularly anxious to find out what happens next for Alizeh and Kamran. Unfortunately, now I can do nothing but wait and stalk HarperTeen and Ms. Mafi on social media to find out just how long that wait will be.