Cover Image: The Bookweaver's Daughter

The Bookweaver's Daughter

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Member Reviews

Although I did finish this book, it was a struggle. I was very uncomfortable with many of the author's choices. I do feel like, as a young, author, there is time to hone and perfect her craft and this book might have benefitted from time and edits. The name choices and ideas presented seemed like poor representation.
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I DNF'd this book. After a few chapters, I realized this just wasn't something I was interested in reading at the moment. Maybe one day I'll give it another chance.
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An Indian based fantasy with a strong female protagonist. Reya is thrust into a position she doesn't completely understand except for the fact that the ruler wants to eliminate those with magic. On the run and then being controlled by someone who hates her she needs to figure out who she really. There is action & adventure. Understanding nothing about Indian mythology, I found it an entertaining story by someone just starting out. Maybe not the best story out there, but interesting enough to make me want to look into Indian mythology. 
    I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC.

After seeing several other reviews for this book over the years, I am officially DNFing this book. It's wonderful that Kannan was able to write and publish a fantasy novel so young and we all make mistakes when we're young, but to me it seems as though Kannan and her readers were let down by this book being sent out into the world before it was ready. From reviews I've seen, it seems like more research should have been done to prevent the Islamophobic echoes present in this story.
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Couldn't even finish this book, it was clear there was a lack of research and as an #OwnVoices book, it was disheartening to see the reviews online agreeing that this book is a poor representation,. Not one I will recommend, and not one I enjoyed. Its unfortunate as I was looking forward to reading about a new culture and had high hopes after the cover and synopsis. But alas, just a disappointment. Giving 1 star because I can't leave zero.
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I loved the idea of this story when I first read the description; the title and the beautiful cover also convinced me to request this book.
I do feel that portions of the book could have been put together better (jumping around to different cultures for ideas, it would have been great if it would have continued with one idea) 
I did had a lot of hope for this book but I felt a bit lost and pushed my way through it.
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The Bookweaver's Daughter was a new discovery for me. I hadn't heard anything about it about until I saw it on Netgalley. I couldn't resist but request it as that cover just dragged me in.

I really enjoyed this book. It is such a unique and interesting feminist fantasy. I really liked that it had inspiration from Indian mythology. I am a huge fan of mythology and I haven't really read any with Indian mythology before. So this book was really refreshing for me. I really enjoyed this aspect.

I did find the book a little slow in the first half. It took a little while to get into it. I understand why it was slow, with it building up this world. But it did affect my enjoyment of this book a little.
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I'll be honest - I am not desi / Indian / Pakistani. I am a white American girl. And even I felt a little weird about this book? I think it was pretty clearly written by a young author who is still learning her craft / voice. While I appreciated the intent of the book, I'll have to agree with many other reviewers that it missed the mark.
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I did not finish this book after about 30% in going to Goodreads to see what other people were thinking when struggling myself. After the endless comments from readers giving valid, genuine feeling and opinions on this book I decided not to carry on.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is well written and the characters are described well. I enjoyed how this author put in Indian folk lore. This is a enjoyable fast paced fantasy book. This book is in stores for $17.99 (USD). This story will keep your attention from the first page. It is wonderfully written. I would recommend reading this book to anyone and everyone.
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This was a really fantastic novel that really blew me out of the water. Especially for a debut author, my experience in reading this book didn't feel that way at all! I was very impressed with the beautiful prose, lyrical writing, and fantastic characters. The story developed I a very clear way, and the plot never felt rushed or underdeveloped in my opinion. I would definitely recommend this novel to a wide variety of audiences, and it can be enjoyed by anyone who is looking for a great fantasy that will be very easy to understand.
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I found this to be very interesting. I enjoyed reading it and found myself picking it often once I started reading it. I think this book is definitely worth a read.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted SO badly to love this book, because it contained so many elements that I usually love in fantasy novels--magic, a unique setting, strong female characters, and some truly stunning prose.

However....the execution made this book a chore to read, and I found myself searching for ANYTHING positive. But the magic was undeveloped, the setting was a hodge podge of cultures with no cohesive element, the characters were bland and undeveloped, and the stunning prose was interrupted far too often with inane, unnecessary descriptions and explanations. The infodumping, the rushed pacing, the repeatedly far-too-convenient plot devices....I just couldn't get through it. 

The author clearly has a lot of talent and some incredible stories inside her, but some time studying the craft and working in revision cycles would help immensely.
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I would like to preface this review by mentioning that I am an #OwnVoices reviewer. 

When I first read the summary for The Bookweaver’s Daughter by Malavika Kannan I was immediately reminded of Inkheart, one of my childhood favorites, and immediately requested the book as an ARC. Fantasy has been one of my favorite genres since I was a child, however, I have not read many fantasy novels that incorporate Indian culture so I was thrilled when I received the novel. However, once I started reading, I immediately realized that the book would not meet my expectations. 

The first issue that I noticed with the book was the complete lack of world-building. The synopsis of the book on Goodreads incorporated more world-building than the novel itself. For example, we are told the main character, Reya, and her father are “bookweavers,” however there is no explanation of what being a bookweaver entails. The fantasy components such as the mythical creatures and the magic do not add much to the story and seem to be thrown in without intention. Furthermore, Reya is not well developed as a character. Even after completing the novel, I do not have a grasp of her personality or her motivations. 

Additionally, I found the setting of the novel to be very confusing. According to the synopsis, the book is set in an ancient Indian kingdom. However, it was apparent that many elements in the book were drawn from a variety of cultures across Asia. Note that I do not mean that multiple cultures were represented. Instead, multiple cultures were blended in a non-meaningful way, resulting in an inaccurate representation of any culture. 

For instance, the ruling class is called the Zakir Dynasty, which is a name drawn from Muslim/Persian culture. However, the name of the prince of this dynasty is Devendra which is a Sanscrit name. There is no reasoning provided for this discrepancy, and therefore, it comes across as a lack of research and understanding of either culture. This meaningless blending of cultures was so pervasive throughout the novel that I found it to be distracting. There was also rampant romanization and random use of western elements. This was evident with the use of terms like chai tea (which is like saying ‘tea tea’ since chai is a Hindi word for tea) or naan bread (which is like saying ‘bread bread’). 

Lastly, the writing itself left something to be desired. The plot was rushed, so much so that I often did not understand what was happening. This combined with the previously mentioned lack of worldbuilding and the flat characters made this book very hard to complete. I think this book could benefit from revisions because the concept is not bad. However, as is, I found The Bookweaver’s Daughter to be at best frustrating and confusing and at worst offensive to the cultures it was trying to represent.
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I went into this book with big interest, because I love to learn about other cultures, love their folk tales and retellings, etc. So I was excited that this is an Indian lore with a strong female protagonist, and it is about books.

As I was reading along I realized fast that although this is a YA fantasy, it felt too childish, too juvenile for me.
Then I was searching for reviews and came across many of them that are from Indian and Kashimiri people, who explained their issues with this book. 
I had no idea, because I am not familiar so deeply with their history, but turned out the representation of the Indian culture is very poor in this book and it have problematic content that’s offensive to the history of Kashmir.
Maybe this is because the author is young and/or she just had experience from one side that she see and that’s how she wrote this book, I don’t know.

I will give this book a 3 star, I don’t like to rate bad, this was also a debut novel, but this book was not for me and I understand the issues that it have and see why people find it problematic.
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I don’t post negative reviews here, but I had to do it with this one. I would have DNF’ed this book if I wasn’t halfway through it. The author’s dedication(in the second slide) was a promising start, but as the story progressed, I didn’t really feel it. There are a lot of things in this book that made feel very uncomfortable—like how the story is set in a place named ‘Kasmira’ and the tyrannical rulers of Kasmira are from the Zakir dynasty—which is a Muslim/Persian name. Kashmira sounds very much like Kashmir and given what’s happening in Kashmir now and the existing racial tension in India as a whole, writing this book was ill-timed. 

As for the representation, it felt like token diversity because there was a mash of cultures written in a way that didn’t make sense. And I didn’t feel like it was meant for ownvoice readers. Phrases like ‘naan bread’ was incredibly off-putting and I found it hard to connect to the story as a whole. The writing was okay and there were a few things about the book that I liked, but given it’s problematic content, this is not a book I’ll be rereading or recommending to anyone.

If anyone has read this book or is reading it, I advice you to read the reviews of ownvoice reviewers before you comment on it. However I do want to mention that if the author writes another book, I would give it a chance. A lot of authors who have written offensive representation of different cultures are still making NewYork times bestselling lists but this kind of thing can end the career for an author of colour. I hope you give the same amount of forgiveness and openness to a debut author of colour, who can still learn and grow, as you do to your favourite authors.

Thank you to Tanglewood publishing for granting me an e-copy in exchange of an honest review.
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This book has magic and adventure and friendships I would die for, but more importantly it's fast paced and the perfect thing to get you out of a reading slump.
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This book was really good, and I loved how you follow Reya through her journey to find out how to follow in her fathers footsteps as she navigates how to become the next bookweaver. This book kept me intrigued all the way through!
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I tried really hard to get into this book but the beginning just fell incredibly short for me and I didn't make it through. I won't give much of an opinion considering I didn't make it to the end, but from what I read the characters and plot were incredibly strong, the writing just wasn't at the same pace.
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I didn't enjoy this book, but that was my own fault in that this isn't a genre I normally read. Thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity.
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