This is my spoiler free review of This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi.
‘Alizeh stitched in the kitchen by the light of star and fire, sitting, as she often did, curled up inside the hearth.‘
Alizeh, the lost princess of a Jinn Kingdom – is hiding in plain sight, working as a house maid and seamstress to keep off the streets in a kingdom where her people are feared and unwanted. Kamran, the crown prince – witnesses an altercation between a street child and a servant girl, not realising that his next choice of actions will set in motion a cascade of life altering events that leave Alizeh hunted and Kamran questioning everything he knows. From the moment these characters catch sight of each other the story is full of misunderstandings and assumptions which twist our characters view of the world around them and has them questioning who they can trust.
I found the main characters believable, relatable and well rounded. Alizeh and Kamran have hopes, dreams and flaws that drive them through the story and affect the world around them. The dual point of view helps us build an understanding of how different the world is for our two main characters, my heart ached for both of them as the story unfolded.
‘I haven’t the slightest idea what we’re doing’ he said softly. ‘Though if you mean to take me captive, you need only ask. I would come willingly.’
For lovers of a slow burn, forbidden romance – this book does not disappoint. Alizeh and Kamran are drawn to each other despite everything that should keep them apart. Their interactions are full of emotion and you long for them to live in a different world where nothing is in their way.
Tahereh Mafi’s poetic writing conjures up sights, sounds and feelings that suck you into the world. I found myself stopping, closing the book, holding it to my chest with closed eyes and seeing myself standing in the kitchens of Baz House or on the streets of Setar or Yent.
At first I wanted to describe the pace of the story as ‘relaxed’ or ‘on the slower side’. But, on reflection, given the time frame under which the events unfold, that would be unfair. I felt like I was moving through the hours with the characters, experiencing their days as they were. We don’t see fast paced action scenes in every chapter, but by the end of the book I felt like our characters had been through a whirlwind. In just a few days their lives have been completely turned upside down. The final few chapters are a wild and exciting series of events that left me unable to do anything but close my book, turn to my husband and say ” I love this book so much”. The ending was a perfect balance of a satisfying conclusion and an intriguing set up for the first book in the trilogy. I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.
I give this book 5/5 stars and if I could give it more I would.
Have you read The Woven Kingdom? Let me know your views down below. (Beware of spoilers in the comments!)
Please research this book for Trigger Warnings before reading.