Cover Image: The Bookweaver's Daughter

The Bookweaver's Daughter

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Member Reviews

I was excited to read this story because it was an own voices. However, I could not get into it and then read reviews by own voices that said the book is a misrepresentation. I had to stop after that.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. I wish it worked out better.
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It was exactly as I expected. From every single page I see that the Author is really young and it's a debut novel.
First part of the book is based on scenario "she is running and somebody is trying to catch her". It was really predictable. 
Second part of the book was much more interesting for me, but didn't give me anything new in my reader's life. I saw here a lot of "The City of Brass" vibes with way how Reya starts to learn her magic under the pressure, she finds a soulmate and after that things are not like we thing they should be. 
Some things don't have any sense and they only added to the plot misunderstanding because they always are disaster...but it doesn't add anything useful to the reader's understanding. 
Only one thing surprised me, but it wasn't explained to the end, so I don't understand why all those things had place. 
Cultural motives I will not comment because I'm not an expert in Indian beliefs and culture. 
It wasn't the worst book, but really predictable and sometimes events didn't make sense. 
Author definitely has a potential, but long way to go and a lot of work on the writer's workshop and the way of building the story.
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Nope nada not going to even touch this book wanted to only read because of cover and that its by indian author but after seeing what is actually in this book i wont.
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The upside of this book is that the author created beautiful imagery and a strong friendship. The down side was the pacing and the flow. I had a hard time staying focused on the story. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this book. This author has raw talent and I look forward to trying again.
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Thank you Netgally and the publisher for an ebook copy of The Bookweaver's Daughter in exchange for an honest review.

Things I loved about this book:
- Strong Female friendship
- Unique magic system

I have recently found out that I have some Indian heritage on my grandfather's side. And because of this felt really inspired to break out of my comfort zone of YA fantasy and read more diverse books. So when this book came across my feed that incorporated magic and adventure as well as Indian lore I jumped at the opportunity to read it. 

But I found out fast that this wasn't the book to help give me an accurate representation of Kashmiri culture. 

Things I didn't like in this book:
- I never knew when we were in the story. I think the events of this book were suppose to be over the course of moths, but that was never explained. So to me, the events transpired in a matter of days.
-lack of world building 
-"naan bread"
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The Bookweaver’s Daugther follows Reya, a fourteen year old girl who is the daughter of the bookweaver. When her father is gone, she is the heir of the bookweaver’s power. On the run with her best friend she needs to come to term with what to do with her power in a kingdom where people with magic has been hunted down.

I really recommend checking out ownvoices reviews if you are interested in reading this. Overall, I think the story had great potential but it didn’t live up to any of it at all. Not a single moment in the book bears any weight because there is nothing to leads up to them, we only skip to only the big events but we don’t care when it happens. There were also parts of the book that didn’t make logical and consistent sense to me, but I went more into detail of what in my video review. I have also read other reviews concerning the representation in this book, and again, I recommend reading more about the book before reading it. I sadly didn’t enjoy myself reading this at all, but to say something positive: the writing was very easy to follow. I just think this had some story issues (together with the other concerns), but I will be on the lookout for future releases by the author to see if the things bothering me here is present in later works. 2/5 stars.
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This is the story of Reya, the Bookweaver's daughter and her best friend Nina as they try to fight the current King.

I tried my best to finish this one but was unable to. I was not able to connect with the story and the characters. I think it was too fast paced for me. I haven't yet adjusted with the world and barely know the characters and they were already facing misfortunes left and right one after the other. Since I barely know them, I feel nothing while they are being hunted.

The sequence of events also feels disjointed at some parts. Also, Reya is the Bookweaver's daughter and that's it. I mean what else is there to describe her? It seems to me that Reya is your typical chosen one and that's her characteristic, the chosen one. A lot of one dimensional characters too. Maybe the characters will grow at the latter part of the book but I no longer feel interested on continuing.

If you prefer fast paced books, this might interest you. But unfortunately, this didn't worked out for me. :(

Note: I left the rating blank on Goodreads since I dnf the book.

***Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to access this book via netgalley to give my honest review***
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; the book was entertaining, the story kept me engaged, and I didn't want to put it down.  I loved the friendship between Reya and Nina and the strength they showed on the journey they were forced to take.

Thank you NetGalley, Tanglewood, and Malavika Kannan for the ARC.
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I was originally very excited to read this eARC from Netgalley, but it really disappointed.  I appreciated the strong protagonist young women, but the representation was pretty awful - there appears to be a complete lack of research done by the author.  I wish I could comment more, but it just wasn't worth the read.  Had it non been an ARC I would have dnf'd a long time ago.
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After a good first chapter it goes downhill and the story didn't keep my attention.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This book is marketed as being written by a 17-year-old, and boy does it feel like it. Way to immature for me. The characters' choices don't make sense, and everything happens too easily for them. The villains' motivations and actions don't make sense so it just feels like they're puppets. DNF'd at 20%
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I'm so exhausted and disappointed with this book. 
Not only was the writing poor but it is highly problematic in depicting Indian culture. I've said a lot about this on social media as have other ownvoice reviewers so I request that this book not be published and be revised thoroughly.
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2.5 stars. 

Before reading and reviewing own voices books, I like to look at own voices reviews to see what they’ve thought of it. This book didn’t seem to go down well with own voices reviewers, so I had that in mind when reading it. 

I didn’t enjoy this book that much. The first 30% was quite fun and fast paced, but I got a bit bored with it after this and found it predictable. It was a quick read, so it didn’t take me long to get through it, which is partly why I kept reading it despite not being that invested. 

I felt like we didn’t get to know the characters that well, which is always something that puts me off a book when reading it. I also felt that some of the magical / fantasy elements weren’t very well researched, which was disappointing. 

However, there were some bits that I did like. Such as the message at the beginning and the idea behind this novel, of finding your magic and your strength. I felt like this did get a little lost in the plot, but it was emphasised in the end and gave nice closure to the plot. I did like the writing style too and the descriptive language.
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The Bookweaver's Daughter // by Malavika Kannan

From the NetGalley description: "The Bookweaver’s Daughter is an #OwnVoices YA fantasy—a tale of magic, Indian lore, and radical female friendship, written by debut author, Malavika Kannan, when she was 17 year old. Malavika is an Indian-American novelist, feminist writer, and political activist raised in the suburbs of Central Florida and currently a freshman at Stanford University."

This is a book that I was really looking forward to and was so excited to receive. I rushed through some other books just to make sure I could read and review this one on time for its release. The description of it just sounded SO interesting and I just knew that I would love it. But sadly I was wrong. While the premise itself is absolutely fantastic and I commend her for her creativity, there were just too many issues with the book overall for me to say that I actually liked it. 

I've read a few reviews now by people that are more equipped to judge the accuracy of the references to the culture that this book is based on than me. I have no issue admitting that I know next to nothing about that culture and will therefore refrain from passing judgement on that. I did however have thoughts about the writing and plot that I will lay out below.

As I said above, the plot ideas themselves were not terrible. The execution of them though were not very elegant to put it lightly. The entire story felt like it was one climax after another and as a reader I felt like I never got a break. There were hardly any slower scenes to catch your breath and to bring beautiful little details to the story. This rushing through events also made it seem as if things were just too easy for the main characters to really make sense. An untrained girl beats a young but supposedly well-trained commander of the imperial army before she even learns to use her magic? And she keeps getting herself out of situations that grown resistance fighters with years of experience cannot escape from? A lot of the scenes just did not really make sense to me whether it was due to lack of details, unexplained talent or lack of talent of certain characters, or the timing of things just being.... off. 

While I generally love first person narrations, I honestly found myself wishing it would switch to somebody else sometimes. I know the narrator was a young girl but her constantly erupting emotions just really threw me off sometimes. This story was supposed to be built on the foundation of a strong relationship between Reya and Nina, yet from the start I struggled to understand what their relationship really was. It seemed to constantly teeter between best friends for years and then not knowing each other all that way after all, even denying the existence of her best friend completely at one point by lamenting the fact that she was so lonely and had nobody in the world that could ground her enough to master her magic. It was confusing to say the least. 

But this weird relationship also extends to other parts of the book as well. I struggle to understand how she feels so bonded to people that she hardly knows. Of course, tragedy and struggles like those in the book can bind people together a lot, but there just was not any focus on building relationships with others at all. They were simply assumed each time. On the other hand, a character she had maybe met three times at this point and that was intent on killing her, she all of a sudden knew well enough to notice emotions that those people who knew him his whole life would not notice?

Overall to avoid going into too many details, many of the characters seemed overly emotional and unprofessional to hold the roles they have in this book. There were phrases, such as "rookie" and "what the hell," that just seemed really off-putting and unnatural for the setting, and the Latin-based magical words felt out of place in an Indian-inspired book as well. 

So to close this out, this is the debut novel of a teenage writer. I did not know that until I did some research after finishing the book. I probably would've judged it a little less harshly during my reading if I had known that ahead of time. She seems to have a lot of creativity and I appreciate how she spoke about the importance of books and reading in the story itself. Hopefully with more practice and experience, she will improve her writing and research skills over the next years.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I first request this book months ago and was happy when I was accepted. But when I went to add it to my good reads I saw how low the ratings were. I read some of the reviews and noticed that many people were saying that the representation was bad and that the book was not very good. As I am not Indian or Muslim I can not accurately say in on that aspect of the book and I was extremely conflicted. I wanted to make up my own mind so I began to read it and I found myself bored and confused. For this reason and the ones listed above I gave it a 2 star rating.
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The Bookweaver's Daughter is the action-packed story of Reya Kandhari and the Bookweaver. Reya must take up her father's mantle and save the kingdom, but will she also be able to save those she loves, or will she have to make a choice?

I want to start by saying that it's truly impressive how Kannan wrote this book in her teens. This story has a ton of potential, but you can tell her writing needs to grow.

I enjoyed the concept of the Yogis and their magic; the Bookweaver's power to use and control words reminded me a bit of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy. There's a lovable cast of characters in this book, and there is no shortage of action.

However, almost every aspect of the story felt lacking. There was too much explanation and not enough worldbuilding, and there were small inconsistencies that drew me out of the story. I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief in multiple places, and the plot felt too rushed. I wanted more characterization and more interaction between the characters, especially between Reya and NIna. Their relationship felt forced at times, and it seemed like there was something strong there that never fully manifested. 

Overall, this story is good on the surface but could be fleshed out so much more. I'm excited to see more from this author in the future as her writing grows.
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There has been a lot of controversy around this book and content. Kannan was young when she wrote this book and it was her debut novel. I don't believe that Kannan's intent was to misrepresent Indian culture and religions, but I do understand that there have been offenses taken and suggestion that Kannan should have researched more about the culture. This is all I wish to address about the lack of historical research Kannan had done and will hopefully use this as a learning experience in future writings.

I am going to write this review assessing Kannan's writing style and plot/character development. 

The book had a similar plot and character tropes as Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. A girl named Reya has been hiding her identity because she is the Bookweaver's daughter, and as such she is privy to possessing magic which has been outlawed and slowly wiped out of Kasmira. The Bookweaver has the ability to write stories that come true. Reya is on the run from the tyrannical king. This plot has been over used recently in YA fantasy books and I have seen it done well in other books, however Kannan does a decent job with maneuvering through this plot trope. I have to commend her on her debut novel attempt. It is clear that Kannan had done some research and pulled ideas from her reading experiences. As an avid reader and book reviewer I really did appreciate the expression of passion towards books and words within the plot, which did make this story standout.

The characters were fairly interesting. I liked Reya's character, a person of survival, but I felt that she did not develop too much throughout the book. Reya had always been a strong survivor; keeping her family's secret, working in the fields to hide her identity, but her strength is tested and I feel that Reya did not grow. She does learn to harness her magic abilities, but she fails to recognize that her strength is her friendships until the end of the book. She is so busy wallowing that she neglects her friendships and is ready to concede to the king. Reya was not as strong as some of the other characters and was carried by the supporting characters such as Nina. Nina came across as somewhat meek in the beginning but held tremendous strength throughout the book and never wavered on her friendship with Reya. She was willing to sacrifice herself whenever was needed to keep Reya safe and continue to fight for a better Kasmira.

I feel like an opportunity was missed with the antagonist, Devendra, the prince. We learn little about him other than his father has essentially cast him out and he is trying to earn his approval. Devendra was shallowly developed and was very one dimensional. There was potential and chances for Kannan to build him up and either help the reader sympathize or dislike the character more by the end, and create more of an impact. I would have liked to see a change or difference from when Devendra was hunting Reya to when he is having to interact with her while she is training. Again he remained rather quiet and brooding the entire book.

I actually think it could be pretty interesting if Kannan wrote a prequel about Reya's father, explaining the war on magic, what happened to her family and Reya's mother specifically. I thought this was a very well written debut novel. Kannan has an appreciation for language which is apparent in her use of descriptive words, multiple languages and content creation. She was young when she wrote this novel and I think with more life experience and adventures in life and books, Kannan will be a force in the writing world, definitely someone to watch out for in the future.
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When I applied for this book, I did so without looking at anything else others had said about it and have now realised this was a mistake I will ensure does not happen when I apply for further titles. 

I have not read this book nor do I now intend to based on other reviews highlighting some very glaring cultural issues that I in all good faith do not feel comfortable reviewing as I myself do not have the personal experience to be able to comment on this. 

 I wish the author all the best and sincerely hope she takes the critiques on board to address the issues I have seen mentioned by fellow reviewers.
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Oh dear. I was really excited for this book. It's been a while since I've read a YA fantasy, and even longer since I reviewed one, so when this came along I was thrilled. And then I read some of the advanced reviews. In all honesty, both for the preservation of my sanity and also to spare the author another less than stellar review, I probably should have just marked this dnf and moved on. But, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and see what exactly everyone seemed to have a problem with. The first issue isn't really something I can comment on from my own perspective, since I am very white and decidedly not a person of Indian descent or heritage. However, it appears that the cultural references and customs are not exactly up to snuff and are rather all over the place. From what I can tell, I think that perhaps some beta authors with similar heritages would have been helpful. Perhaps then it would be more succinct rather than a mishmash of many different influences that don’t really fit together. But, I digress. That’s my observation from the outside; now, my observation from the inside. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with the storyline or the plot. In fact, I think it’s rather exciting. Everything from the influence of India to the concept of the Yogis and the Bookweaver I loved. It’s the execution and the juvenile writing that is the issue here. The most impressive thing about this book is that it was written when the author was 17 years old. I would never have been able to write a fully-fledged fantasy novel when I was 17. Unfortunately, it also reads like the writing of a 17 year old. Descriptions, vocabulary, and dialogue are basic. Important plot points go by incredibly quickly, while the in-between moments are dragged out. One moment everything is peaceful, and the next, the city is up in flames, characters have been killed or kidnapped, and someone new is revealed to be able to use magic (which is banned). Plot details are never fully explained, but before you even have a moment to think about the fact you didn’t get an answer, we move onto the next thing. One of the biggest things is that there is little to no world-building at all, which is crucial when you are creating a fantasy like this. I have so many questions about their world, how it came to be, how the characters came to be where they are and the situations they are in. We are given a brief history of the Yogis and how they are passed through to the next generation, but not enough to really introduce the reader. I just want to know more. It’s rare that I suggest a book be longer, but in this case I insist that it should be. In this case, the more detail, the better. In particular I want to know so much more about the relationship between Reya and Nina, and how they became so important to each other. They spend practically the entire book arguing about who should be able to sacrifice for whom, but I don’t get the impression that they know each other any more than we know about them (which is to say, not a lot). Yet, they are always saying it. This is one of those situations where showing and not telling your readers would be most helpful. 

The characters themselves have strong bases, but are poorly fleshed out, leaving the reader unsure if they know anything about them at all or their personalities and feelings, which never seem to be consistent. That being said, I did actually like the characters a lot, which is why I want to know so much more about them. Reya was a strong character who is always trying to save those she loves. She doesn’t struggle with her identity, and knows the value and importance of her role after her father’s death (that being said, if she becomes the bookweaver after her father died, why does she still call herself the bookweaver’s daughter, when she is, in fact, the bookweaver?) She fights for what is right, and isn’t afraid to take down those who stand against her. She is exactly what I want to read in a female fantasy character. However, she often also makes me feel like she has two personalities. One was steadfast and made hard decisions, the other slightly paranoid and indecisive, and both often showed up in the same scene. It felt a bit like whiplash and is part of the reason I feel we couldn’t fully get to know her.She’s also far too trusting and always taking people at their word. I kept waiting for a betrayal to happen but it never did. I liked Nina a lot, and clearly she has a special relationship with Reya (honestly it feels romantic, but I digress). Again though, I just wish we knew more about her, her backstory, her life. We are told that she’s known Reya for seven years and clearly would lay down her life for her, but it feels artificial almost. There are also several points where it feels like we are leading up to a big reveal about Nina, but then nothing. I need flesh and blood and history in my main characters, and these ones feel a bit like paper dolls. More, more, more. You can always cut out things later.

The magic part is really interesting, something that was a fascinating part of the story for me. We learn at the beginning that it’s been banned, but as the story progresses, more and more characters who can use it come out of the woodwork - including (SPOILERS) the prince who is always after Reya (because she can do magic). While I do think it makes a good addition to the story, it comes out of nowhere with no buildup. For something like that, I think even an alternate perspective of the prince himself would be nice, so we could see how he struggles with this ability knowing his father has banned it across the kingdom and he spends his days hunting those who use it. Now that I’ve mentioned the prince though, his relationship with Reya is...interesting. Obviously they are at odds as he spends the first half of the book trying to capture her? Kill her? Unclear. But then when she does end up at the castle as part of the mandatory magic performance bit, they act like bitter bickering siblings, which isn’t exactly love but a hell of a step up from before. I almost felt like we were supposed to believe it was going to turn romantic because they can both do magic (it didn’t, thank goodness). Either way, I could never figure out what the author was trying to do with them. Not to mention that it was also looking like Reya had feelings for Naveen (something else who can use magic, and who I definitely thought was going to betray her at some point). 

So I actually do not hate this book. True, it is the lowest rated book on Goodreads I’ve ever read, and the ownvoices reviews are...not good. However. I feel like I can see potential in this story. A lot of work needs to be done (I mean it’s being published in 3 days but one can dream), particularly a lot more writing and editing, and some strong beta readers, but it has enough in it that I am STILL interested in the story. I just wish it was told better. There’s a lot of good stuff that just needs to be fleshed out, and it would be nice if it didn’t wrap up quite so finitely. But for goodness sakes, please stop using the word peasant.
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Where do I start with this one? Well, first, I have to thank NetGalley and the publishers over at Tanglewood for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All of my thoughts and opinions are my own. The Bookweaver’s Daughter comes out on September 8th.

I had high hopes for this one especially since I am known by my friends and family as the biggest bookworm. But I think there are two solid issues with this novel that could not be overcome. The first issue is the pacing. I struggled to deal with the fact that huge events would happen and we would get no time to deal with it. We have the death of the main character’s father and a page later we’re gone and rushing to deal with the next problem. And it happens with almost every stumbling block in the main character’s way. The second major problem for me was the lack of world building. I always want more from books so I normally don’t fault the books too much for not being as in-depth as I would like. But I think even people who enjoy shorter stories would have a problem with this one. It doesn’t give you enough to go on as a reader. I need more world building and more backstory to understand what’s happening even just at the start of the book.

I think this book does a good job with the main character’s friendship with Nina. I feel like there’s a lot of depth and loyalty there that the reader can see straight away so that relationship is done very well. There were also moments in the story where I was finally able to picture the setting in my mind. In the forest while they’re running is a good example of that. Throughout most of the novel the reader had to fill in the blanks for themselves, but in the forest and the library are two moments where the setting is done well.

I think this could be a good, fast paced fantasy novel for younger YA readers. It didn’t take me long to read and the action packed chapters helped propel me through the story.
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