Release Date ~ September 1, 2008
Review copy received from publisher for review
Destroying a deadly prince, in a violent court far from her home, was not what Alina expected when she was chosen to serve on the Isle of the Weavers.
Fifteen-year-old Alina comes from a long line of women who have gone to serve on the Isle of the Weavers. One day, the weavers come and take her there, where the destiny of the world is born. Alina struggles with her trademark impatience during the training to prepare her to be a weaver.
Alina finally gets her first glimpse of the awesome tapestry, with its multitude of threads, and colours, and shifting patterns. When she impulsively repairs a broken thread, thousands of other threads in the tapestry snap. What has she done? By reconnecting a thread that was meant to be broken, she has caused the end of thousands of others.
She must undo what she has done and so is transported to a faraway land, complete unlike her own beloved isles. There she encounters a people equally different from her own. But she learns that there are basic human similarities -- love, fear, jealousy, goodness -- wherever you go. And she also learns there is more than one way to change a person's fate.
The Broken Thread came HIGHLY recommended to me from Coteau Books after they learned how much I loved fantasy - and I want to support Canadian literature as much as I can, so I picked up this slightly older fantasy book from Linda Smith (written before she passed away).
Every once in a while you'll find a book that completely captures your heart and steals it away before you even realized it, let alone expected it. The Broken Thread was exactly that type of book for me - I lost yself in its pages and as I reached those final few pages, I knew I didn't want it to end (but knowing it would).
- A clever, stubborn heroine:
Alina's bravery and courage doesn't stem from her skill with a sword or magical powers; she's quick-witted and willing and able to hold her ground. And that's what counts when she sets off on this adventure to save thousands of people all on her own. I love female knights and mages as much as the next fantasy reader, but I really loved reading about a character who's able to to use her intelligence to work through problems. It definitely gives her an edge on being able to relate to characters - and I found this to be a very similar idea to what I said about Seraphina in Rachel Hartman's 2012 debut.
- An outstanding cast of secondary characters:
As much as I loved Alina, I found myself to be exceptionally taken with Daris and Ranjan. They both warmed my heart with the ways they were able to see past the norms and standards of their society, and embrace a better future and look for MORE out of life. And both characters worked so well in their little trio with Alina. They just played off of each other so well. And the rest of Ranjan's extended family I found rather endearing as well, which surprised me since I initially expected them to be rather flat and instead If ound them to be quite the opposite. And more than anything, I loved that I actually cared about these characters and desperately wanted to see things turn out well for them.
- A fantasy world with a mystery plot:
The fantasy world is familiar enough, yet vibrant without getting bogged down in picky details which is great for readers who are either life-long fans of fantasy or those who are a bit more heistant with it. There's nothing intimidating about the world in The Broken Thread. And it has the added bonus of being heavily based on a mystery-driven plot line to keep the reader (and characters) guessing for most of the book. It isn't the most intricate mystery, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.
- The permanence of destiny and free will:
I love books that raise good questions, and The Broken Thread was excellent at this. We really get the idea that Alina is struggling with a way to change what she feels is destined to happen, and she struggles with finding a way to undo the problems she's caused. But maybe- just maybe- we can all hope that there may be some way to save it all. And the answer to that isn't as simple as we'd all like.
Other than that, I really only wish a few other beginning details to the world building had been established earlier on as I did feel a bit jolted and just thrown into the story rather suddenly at first. But it was easy enough to adapt to and lose yourself in.
I loved this book a lot, but because it's a fairly unheard of book and one that may be trickier to find around I'm giving away one paperback copy to one lucky commenter. Just fill out the form, answer the question, and good luck! Open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you.
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