Cover Image: The Bookweaver's Daughter

The Bookweaver's Daughter

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Member Reviews

Initial Thoughts/Expectations:

I went into this book with expectations of being immersed in the culture of India and Indian lore. I had visions of great world building and was very excited about the promise of mythology and magic. I have always enjoyed a good YA Fantasy because of the extra creativity that goes in to balance out the reduced amount (or sometimes, absence)of romance, and I was ready to see where Malavika Kannan took me with her story. I was extra intrigued because Malavika was only 17 when she wrote this, and I found the prospect of reading a YA written by a young adult fascinating.

What I loved:

This book focuses on the incredible friendship of the main character Reya and the best friend she made while she was disguised as a peasant working in the Fields. As the story progresses, the constant driving force seems to be that friendship. Nina seems to be a very strong young woman, one that anyone would be lucky to have as their “ride or die”, and no one needed a person like that in their life more than Reya. 

Reya’s life has seen many dramatic shifts and when her father is no longer the one constant in her life, Nina takes over. Throughout the story we meet many wonderful characters determined to be a constant in Reya’s life, and I loved those characters too. This book was a light and easy read, and I was bought in most by the characters.

The overall storyline was decent. I kept reading to see how it was all going to be brought together or play out in the end. The book tackled big ideas such as friendship, friendship between those in different stations, our propensity to allow ourselves to be held back when we aren’t educated, and even fate!  There was magic entwined in the art of telling the story, which I found intriguing.

What I Didn’t Love:

I felt like the author focused on making profound statements or realizations through her characters arcs, but they occurred in the short term rather than building throughout. And they were spelled out for the reader,rather than letting us come to the conclusions ourselves.

The world building lacked for me. I struggled to see Kasmira on the level I think the author intended. I felt like all the cities, the palace, and the Fields existed in a space as large as my neighborhood. 

The magic, while being made out to be integral part of the story raised more questions than it answered.  I found myself frustrated by the magic and its role in the story at many points throughout the book. The frustration came in large part from an imbalance - too much at some times and little to none at others.  Additionally, magic was mastered in a relatively small amount of time without any real clarity as to how the mastery took place. 

I feel as if this book aimed for “epic” and missed the mark. However, I see potential and can imagine this author reaching that epic level in the future. I can’t speak to the cultural aspects of the book, but I can say that I expected to be more immersed than I was.

Final Thoughts:

I did not dislike this book. It read fast, and I probably could have finished it in one sitting. There are beautiful moments and glimpses of a fascinating world that I know *I* could not have dreamt up at the age of 17! The characters are wonderful, and the theme of friendship absolutely hits the mark. There were a few little twists that are entertaining, as well. I would seriously love for the author to one day take this story and get it to a place that it lines up better with the description in the blurb.
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Thank you, NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book was ok. I didn't love nor hate it, it just wasn't my type of book. On that note I do hope to read more of the author's works.
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DNF at 60%

***ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

This has been on my currently reading for over 6 months now and I just know that I won't continue with it. I was never really engaged in the story. The stakes felt so high and we were told that we should care about the events but there were never enough motivation to why we should care about certain characters or events.

Going through other people's reviews, I'm not gaining more interest in finishing the book. Many OwnVoices readers seem to be disappointed by the representation in this book and are arguing that a lot of its content is problematic.

I can't personally speak on that since I'm not educated about those concerns, but what I can speak of is the fantasy elements and they simply were not interesting enough.
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Hi! I am so sorry, I am no longer interested to read this book. After reading multiple reviews about how this book is problematic and harmful I have decided to not read it. I am an Indian myself and I would have loved to support a fellow Indian writer, who was just 19 when she wrote this book. But, I am so sorry I can't ignore problematic content.
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I dnf'd this book at 25%. I really liked the first chapter but afterwards I ost complete interest. I read some own voices reviews Wich all say that the representation wasn't good at all. And so with all that I've decided to dnf this book.
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I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. When I read the blurb for this book I was so excited to see how it would all workout. I have to say it is a magical world that she has created and the characters are amazing. It pulled me in and I wanted see what would happen to the characters. The magic of the Bookweavers that bring stories to life is magically perfect. With each page I wanted to know more about Reya as she move forward. My heart broke for all she had to go with on her journey, but her self-discovery was so wonderful. It left me hanging on each word to see what would happen next.
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Wow. This novel is awesome, weaving the power of words with magic, mythology, tyranny, rebellion, and redemption. It's awesome. The world-building is so subtle that it doesn't detract from the story. It's an amazing read. Can't recommend it enough.
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An evil King has taken over the lands of Kasmira and Reya Kandhari and her father have been in hiding for seven years. She conceals herself as a peasant to hide the fact that she is The Bookweaver’s Daughter, one of three powerful Yogis. Magic has become forbidden and mages are hunted down and destroyed. After the death of her father, Reya and her only friend Nina are thrust into a journey to find a way to stop the wickedness that hunts them. The girls must decide what is worth fighting for and what they are willing to sacrifice to reclaim their homeland. 

As an avid reader and a lover of fantasy, I was really excited to read this book. I don’t know why this book has received so much hate. If you immerse yourself in a bit of escapism, then the story itself is intriguing. I enjoyed it for what it was, a fantasy story featuring strong female characters who are given the responsibility of helping to create a better world. I have very little knowledge of Indian culture so I cannot speak about that in regard to this story, but if the author’s intention was to educate her readers then there should be more explanation regarding the Indian lore. 

Overall, I enjoyed this tale, and I liked the characters introduced. I could easily see this being made into a series as I feel that there is more that could be told. I would have preferred more world-building and character development but for a young author, I think this was a great effort and I am looking forward to seeing what more she has to offer. 

Thank you to the author, published, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I was excited about this book, but I was not impressed.  I had high hopes.  I felt it needed more, more character building, more exciting plot twists, just more umpf.  I did like the friendship between Reya and Nina. I wanted to see what a Book Weaver could do. I thought we could have learned more about this. 
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*
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The cover is so lovely I was excited to read it! I really enjoy fantasy  I would pick up another book by this author.
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I thought I wouldn't send a review of this book but I have to say that whatever I've read of it, it is in no way flattering and though it boasts of representation, it's half-baked at best. It's commendable that the author wrote it at such a young age but when you're writing a topic as this, it's better to have an wider understanding of what you are writing rather than just dump in everything you see on the news. Sorry, but no.
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My honest review: I could not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, due to a lot of things. The premise of the book was amazing, but I came to realize the Indian representation lacked, although it is written by an Indian-American author,
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This book sucked me into it's story immediately. I was so concerned for Reya from the beginning that I couldn't put this book down. I hope to see continuing stories of her.
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After what I have heard about this book's Islamophobia and misrepresentation of the politics surrounding the Kashmir region; and the author's treatment of bloggers on social media who called this to attention, I cannot in good conscience give a review. I was formerly part of a blog tour for the novel which was cancelled, so I do thank you for providing an ARC for me to review.
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I no longer intend to read this book to the multitude of negative reviews revolving around representation. A book about Indian culture was very intriguing as its a culture that often doesn't get representation in Fantasy. But if the Indian readers find major issue with representation of their own culture, I am no longer interested.

I appreciate the opportunity to review this book, and I don't know how these reviews work, if only the publisher gets the review, or if these are somehow visible to all publishers.

On the off chance any publisher can see my reviews, know that I'm a voracious reader and do like to review books when I can, but I have a a very big policy not to negatively review books.

I try to only request books that I think that I'll like, but so often lately I've been disappointed, and I don't want to go down that road with this book.

Thank you.
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Gods, I had so much expectation for this one! The synopsis? Radical friendship? Magical mythological Indian lore? An OwnVoices novel that tells the journey of weaving their own stories? Along with Roshani Chokshi’s praise on it? I was so EXCITED for it.

But this is what I got: A broken story which needs a lot of editing and a sensible understandable plotline. I mean, how did this happen again? I was asking myself this a dozen times. It is definitely not YA even if the characters are 15 years old and the genre is Teen/YA. It is an averagely written barely middle-grade story. Now keeping the author’s age in mind (written when she was 17), I could say it is great but I’d be lying. It had so MUCH potential! It could be exactly like the blurb suggests! But no. It needs tonnes of editing. I feel like it is a badly written draft and something like I would make up; when I’m half asleep and half my age I mean.

What I conclude is it could have been a great book but I got an unedited draft of it :((
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I absolutely loved reading this book. I would highly recommend it and thank you to net galley for allowing me to read it .
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I didn't like this book very much. 

For one thing, it felt anti-Muslim from the way I saw it. (in a manner of clearly-phrased terms)
1; Kasmira = Kashmir (a province in Northern India which is predominantly Muslim and being brutalized for wanting to join Pakistan)
2. Indira = India (I feel this is more of your Hindu-predominant Southern Indian regions)
3. Zakir = a muslim name (given to the heartless dictator in The Bookweaver's Daughter)
With that being said, and several of the other things that other reviewers mentioned, I rest my case.

In addition, the writing was much too rushed, thus impacting:
1. The character relationships and development: I literally could not feel any connection between any of the characters. They all just seemed to exist. There was no raw emotion. Why are Nina and Reya such good friends? Surely, Naveen and Reya could take a little more time before just jumping into a rushed friendship? Yes, they both have that similarity, but, honestly, is that all it takes to form a friendship? In addition, none of the characters really took away anything from such a memorable experience. 
2. The setting: being an OwnVoices novel, I think it's generally expected to have no explanation for any of the Indian culture because the main audience will be Indian. In addition, I didn't really feel like the setting was described very well or much.
3. The plot: at times, it was confusing. With the rush throughout, the reader gets sorta stranded somewhere in all of the words rushing past, wondering what on earth happened.

The one thing I did like:
The fact that there was little to no romance. It is so overused that there is a feminist main character and that she's ugly or whatever but she ends up in a love triangle with two handsome guys (somehow) or at least that she ends up with someone. I liked that Reya didn't have to do that, though I didn't really approve of the hints at the ending.

Note: By two stars, I say that I dislike the book, rather than completely hating the book at one star.
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2/5 ⭐️
 Firstly, I’d like to start by saying that overall, I did connect well to this book, the writing, and our characters. Although the storyline itself wasn’t super unique, I did enjoy it and the book kept me engaged.

However, when I came to write this review, I became aware from own-voices reviewers that this book has some very problematic elements. Specifically, the representation of  Hindu-Muslim relations in the Kashmiri region of India, of which the setting is based. Please read own-voices review to learn more, as well as doing your own research on the current events and news from that area from people who are or have lived there.
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I went into this book really wanting to enjoy i.t., but I was disappointed by the inaccuracies and classic younger YA tropes that just don't appeal to me anymore. I thought since this was a book about an Indian MC, as an Indian girl myself, I thought i.t. would further break limits placed on women of color in this industry but I was let down. This book had inconsistent characters, pacing that just disrupted the cadence of reading, alongside the infodumps that never bode well. Overall, I had really wanted to love this book but couldn't.
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