This Woven Kingdom, a review

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi was my first book by this author, and it came into my life through the Illumicrate January box. It’s an absolutely gorgeous book and I was excited to read this along with the group Discord.

Let’s be real, the Discord saved this damn book for me. Seeing everyone each day chatting about the book (and overall most people having the same reaction and opinion about the book as me) was really fun and it’s still the best experience I’ve had on the Illumicrate Discord so far.

And my second, and sadly last, positive about this book is that the writing is engaging. Or I guess it’s more that it’s very easy to read. It felt really easy to slip into this and suddenly read 50, 100 pages. And I can’t lie, I was curious about a fair bit in this book. There were a few days where I read ahead of the daily chapters just out of sheer curiosity. Somehow I was gripped and entertained and I rarely wanted to put the book down after the 200 page mark.


The character development and plot line were god damn awful. So much just simply didn’t make sense, certain choices and actions seemed to contradict directly what we’d already been told about this world, these people, their motivations. Our protagonist was supposed to be this super strong young woman, and on occasion she was. But she was also meek and a damsel in distress whenever it meant a man could be there to save her. And certain aspects of the world building could’ve been fascinating, for example there are tattoos that the royals get at birth, and these have deep meaning. But they’re mostly ignored apart from when it’s convenient to the badly designed plot progression.

Not to even mention that the ending of this book was simply horrific. What even WAS THAT?!?! It was the cheesiest bullshit I’ve ever had the displeasure to read. It’s like something you would expect a child to write in their story, so outlandish, so tropey. I’m just… speechless. It was so bad I can’t even describe it.

This book was essentially like driving past a car crash. You don’t want to look, you know it won’t be nice, and really you shouldn’t be looking. But morbid curiosity gets the best of you, and you take a peek anyways and find that you can’t move your head away. That was this book for me. A car crash.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 3, Atmosphere: 2, Writing: 3, Plot: 2, Intrigue: 1, Logic: 2, and Enjoyment: 4, which gives this book an average score of 2.43 and a 2* rating. My lowest rated book so far this year.

I really don’t know whether I’ll be picking up the sequel for this one when it comes out. I was clearly at least mildly entertained. But at the same time there was no technical skill here whatsoever. It’s my first book from Mafi and I’m deeply disappointed. With her being such a beloved writer I had expected a higher level of writing from her. I will 100% not pick up anything outside of this series by her and probably won’t pick up this sequel.

Highlight here for the trigger warnings: suicide attempt, slavery, violence, cannibalism, death of parent, war [end].

4 thoughts on “This Woven Kingdom, a review”

  1. ‪So interesting to hear your opinion! I listened to the audiobook and thought I couldn’t get into it because of the narrator – now I’m thinking it might not just have been the narrator behind it‬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’ve not read anything from Mafi before then I think it might not be the narrator too! The writing style just wasn’t very developed unfortunately (imo obviously)


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