Review: Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

Woven in Moonlight
Isabel Ibañez
Page Street Books
Published January 7, 2020

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About Woven in Moonlight

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Woven in Moonlight on Goodreads

My Review

I’m kind of a sucker for books that explore post-war relationships between former enemy groups. In this case, they’re still enemies, still at war, but in WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT, Ximena finds the hate she’s nursed for Lllacsans her whole life may be based on things that aren’t true. Or based on only parts of truth.

Her emotional journey as she lives among her enemies really drew me into the story. It was complex and sometimes rough or ugly, but felt so real and understandable. I loved her character and all the layering to it. Condesa. Decoy. Survivor. Weaver. She’s so many things, and it’s really only through seeing all those things about herself that she begins to see what her future could be and what her place in that future would look like.

I kind of have to talk about El Lobo, the masked vigilante. I loved the way those threads were woven into the story. And the scenes where Ximena meets him. I was pretty sure I knew who it was from early on, but I don’t think that detracted anything from the story. I also think the author may have meant for there to be a trail of breadcrumbs, because a few of the clues were pretty pointed. So it was kind of fun feeling like I was figuring out El Lobo’s identity right along with Ximena.

I kind of wish the tapestries had had more of a role in the story. They do have a role, for sure. I guess I wanted there to be more to them – something special they could do. There is something critical to the plot that happens because of them, so it’s not like they were pointless. I loved how creative and unusual they were.

Overall, I loved so many things about this book. I can’t tell from the ending– it might be that there’s a sequel or at least a companion novel to follow? I would love to see more of this story world, and especially would love to know what happens next with Ximena and the Condesa.

If you’re a fan of stories like Zorro or the Scarlet Pimpernel– put WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT on your list! I think it’s also a great pick for fans of fantasy like The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta.

Woven in Moonlight on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Characters are POC – this is a Latinx-inspired fantasy.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
A couple instances of swearing in Spanish.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. One scene shows a girl waking with a boy in her bed.

Spiritual Content
Each people worship different gods/goddesses. Ximena worships Luna, a moon goddess, who blesses her weaving. Each character has some kind of magical ability.

Violent Content – trigger warning.
Battle scenes, references to torture and brief descriptions of execution. Some graphic violence described. There is also one scene in which a man gets violent with a woman.

Drug Content
Characters drink wine.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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