Published: February 1, 2022
Genre(s): young adult, fantasy, romance
Read as: physical, owned
To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.
The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world. (Goodreads)
I’ll be the first to admit that my favorite genre the past several years has been young adult fantasy romance. There is just something about it that, when done well, absolutely hits for me. The problem is that recently the books being pushed under that genre just haven’t worked for me. They’ve felt hollow and soulless. This Woven Kingdom was one of my most anticipated releases for 2022 and I was afraid I would have the same issues with it.
I should never have doubted Tahereh Mafi.
This book is absolutely everything I love in young adult fantasy romance. We have our female protagonist, Alizeh. Alizeh works as a servant in a prominent household and tries only to keep to herself, do good work, and be left alone. Of course, that is not how it turns out otherwise it would be a very boring book. She keeps finding herself hunted and in trouble no matter how hard she tries to keep her head down. The poor girl just wants to live in peace but peace is not something she is going to find.
Instead we are in a world of Jinn and magic that sits on the brink of war with an ailing leader at the helm and, obviously, our budding love interest is the prince of that realm. Kamran is an interesting fellow in a “took many hormones, too little space to put them” kind of way and he only has eyes for the mysterious Alizeh. He manages to be both a hard edged, murderous creature and a big ole soft dumplin. Honestly, he seems a little confused and out of sorts about what he wants in life and is struggling to make sense of the difference between his place and what he wants for himself.
Of course there are enigmatic shadowy figures that you just know are going to have a bigger part in the story later but there is some solid groundwork laid for those characters here in the first book of this trilogy. Especially Cyrus. I cannot wait for more Cyrus!
Overall, I absolutely devoured this book. It had the romance, magic, and high stakes that I love in the genre. I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 for a couple reasons. One being that that world building wasn’t very fleshed out at all but I feel like we will likely get more information on that in the next book. Also there were a couple of characters that took up considerable page space but ended up being little more than window dressing which I found a little frustrating. But, I loved this story and will be scooping up the next book in the trilogy the MOMENT that it comes out.