Slow burn fantasy
Should darkness be feared or embraced? Maybe both!
Woven in Darkness narrated by Jessica Harris is the first book in Lucy Holden’s new fantasy romance series The Woven Saga. An ancient land with a society that is woven throughout with magic is the backdrop for Zaria’s story. For as long as she can remember she has been marked as a slave with a braid around her neck, the end of which is kept by the master who controls her, and dreamed of the day she would earn her freedom and eventually the freedom of her “siblings” through the deadly braid race, where only the winner walks away alive. A chance encounter with the Lord of the Savage Court and unexplained attempts to kill her change the trajectory her life as her purpose becomes part of a bigger struggle between forces that are set on complete dominion of the world as they know it.
Billed as a slow burn fantasy romance, Woven in Darkness is conceptually an intriguing story with its exotic world, magic societal groups, and strong and gifted heroine. However, there were several things that kept it from reaching its full potential in my mind. As the first book in a new fantasy series, I realize that world building needs to be a big part of the first few chapters. I felt that there were so many foreign terms, titles, etc. and a lot of characters that a glossary of some type would have help immensely in keeping things straight. The opening scenes were riveting with action that was not matched until the very end of the story. It felt like a roller coaster ride I once got stuck on midway through the run and had to sit and watch the crew work on it for a while before it took off again. Lastly, Woven in Darkness is billed as a slow burn romance. For me it burned so slowly that my interest in their relationship fizzled out. Finally, too many lose ends were wrapped up in a much to convenient and timely manner that it did not feel natural.
The thing that got me through Woven in Darkness and kept me engaged was the wonderful voice of Jessica Harris. Her character variations and presentation really enhanced the feel of the book and took me to where I was not just listening to narration but a part of the story. I also loved the addition of the Sea Dragon, Huxley. She was so endearing and I hope we get to see more of her. I really think The Woven Saga has great potential and look forward to seeing how Zaria’s story plays out.
Tanya’s love for books has been a lifelong passion that she likes sharing with others. Reading is also the thing that relaxes her after a day of juggling the many responsibilities that come with being being wife to an amazing man, mother to four great kids spread around the world, business manager, and farm hand on their place in southwest Missouri; home to Akaushi cattle and a menagerie of pygmy goats, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.