Fantasy February: Can a Single Thread Deny its Destiny in the Narrative Tapestry?

Fantasy February: Can a Single Thread Deny its Destiny in the Narrative Tapestry?

A review of THIS WOVEN KINGDOM by Tahereh Mafi.

Confession: I am not a Fantasy fan. Books with multiple “world-building” appendices? No thanks. Pages and pages of “immersive” exposition? Pass. Maybe it’s my TV background or a deficit in my attention span, but I find it difficult to engage with material that insists I walk through a maze of mythology before really digging into the characters I’m supposed to care about. That said, I must also confess that I have fallen in love with THIS WOVEN KINGDOM by Tahereh Mafi, a truly bejeweled fantasy treasure, and I think you will too.

A tale inspired by Islamic tradition and the Persian epic poem, the Shahnameh, THIS WOVEN KINGDOM is a rich tapestry of intrigue, romance, and destiny. The story is told in the intertwining narratives of Alizeh, a servant with a secret identity, and Kamran, a crown prince plagued with compassion. The descriptive prose was evocative and agile, never weighing the story down. The twists and turns were impeccably timed and well-executed. And the ending sends you off eager to read its sharp, glittering sequel (waiting is the worst!). 

On a personal note, I also loved that the romance felt slightly reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice. A story about a clever young woman of low social standing and a wealthy brooding young man assured in his perception of the world, who both make assumptions about the other that are soon proven faulty at best as they draw closer with mutual interest? I’m here for it, whether it’s in outer space, another time, or a fantasy realm of fictional origins. And, with the skillful storytelling of THIS WOVEN KINGDOM, Tahereh Mafi might have turned me into a fan of Fantasy after all.

Buy it HERE.

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