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.
Fiber art magic brings Bolivian-inspired fantasy to life in Isabel Ibañez's debut novel ... Woven in Moonlight — appropriately — weaves a beautiful spell that takes culturally specific details and spins them into an engaging fantasy world. There is nothing generic about the land of Inkasisa ... My favourite touch may be the glossary of food terms at the end of the book, where each dish is lovingly described ... Nuance is something that Woven in Moonlight seems to care about very deeply. What beings as a clear-cut tale of a girl seeking revenge and restoration for a generation of wrongs soon blossoms into something much more quicksilver and subtle.
I’ve been waiting my whole life to read a book that takes the Andean history of the Spanish and Inca, and transforms it in a fantastical setting ... It’s refreshing to see her faults and the promise of her strength as a character. Her only solace is her brand of magic ... There are some things that Ibañez handles with great care. The binary of good and evil is thwarted and at often times left unresolved. The reader is never spoon-fed the answers on who to root for because that isn’t Ximena’s path ... Some of the best moments are when Ibañez lingers in Ximena’s exploration of the castle and the people she gets close to ... With gorgeous magic, a strong narrative voice, and a satisfying finale, Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez opens up a whole new world for readers and is a debut author whose career you want to watch.
...a glittering and richly drawn story ... Readers will half expect to look up and see a finished tapestry, shimmering with moonlight, after they finish a passage detailing her handiwork ... Natural slower periods in the storytelling are equally as entertaining with skillful worldbuilding, mouth-watering food writing, and, of course, Ximena’s beautiful weaving ... this novel is full to the brim with heart.