Covered in riches but trapped nevertheless....
Author: Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World
Publisher: Faber & Faber
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Released: 4th October, 2012
Sixteen year old Adelice has been trained all her life to be awkward and clumsy. She is to hide her talent from everyone, even her little sister. Adelice is a potential Spinster. She can weave the fabric of life itself. If her talent is found out, she will be taken away to a place where she will be kept as a Spinster and would work the loom separated from her family and life. The story line sucked me right in. I could not stop myself from reading line after the other. I loved the world set up and the people who live in it. The fact the women where treated like second class citizens bothered me to no end. All citizens were given a certain position in society and they had to live like that. Only married women were allowed to wear make up and food was provided as rations. Boys and girls were segregated and not allowed to even talk to each other. Only the girls who had the talent of weaving were taken to the Coventry and given special treatment. The difference in living standards between the masses and the upper class(the ministers and the spinsters) was appalling. The masses lived in poverty and the ministers in riches who along with the guild controlled everything. Each and every aspect of your life was monitored and closely surveyed. You were even not allowed to have children without getting permission from the Guild. I enjoyed reading Adelice's POV. She was strong and resilient. Her world was turned upside down, she was taken away from her family, moved to a new place, held a prisoner and yet she never at one point admitted defeat. She was head strong and always had hope that one day she would be free. She has power and I'm glad she used it in the end. Watching the world go by through Adelice's eyes was interesting. She had a blunt way about her which helped make sense of the crazy world.
"He glances up as we pass, and then he looks more closely, and feel a tense energy fill the space between us - the force of it almost palpable. He's taking in my vibrant tailored suit and new face. He looks puzzled for a moment, then something darker flickers across his face. It's not anger or hatred. It's not even lust. It's disappointment.”There was of course a love interest. In fact there were two of them, Erik the blond, careless charming guard and Jost, the dark, sarcastic yet caring valet. For those fearing a love triangle, there really isn't one. It may seem like that in the beginning but it was pretty clear whom Adelice preferred. I enjoyed both of them and I'm still not sure whom do I like more. I like some aspects so Erik but Jost is really appealing too. It seems both cared for Adelice but both hide secrets of more of which, I hope, will be revealed in the later books.
"I won't live without you,' he whispers, and his eyes say it all - desperation, betrayal, grief. but even as these emotions flash across his face, he reaches out his hand. He would risk everything - his own life - for us. But I can't make the sacrifice.”The best part of this story was, of course the world building. It's difficult to explain the world while writing this review but Albin did a wonderful job of setting the world slowly and revealing it intricacies little bit at a time. It was not overwhelming yet I was immersed in the world where Spinsters and the Guild held the reins of the world as they know it. But no matter how much power you may think you have you were never in control. Every action had a consequence and this was drummed well in to everyone. Albin has woven an intricate and complex world of Arras, loom and thread that is mind boggling as to how she even came up with the idea. The Dystopian world is so well constructed and believable that it easy to imagine what life would be like. After a long time have I read a true Dyspotian book with real issues that were brought up and dealt with.
"There is no music, but he leads me elegantly into a waltz. His blond hair glows in the dim star shine, and he looks like he belongs here in the cool night. 'You haven't asked me why I'm doing this yet?,' he whispers in my ear. I have to shallow against the frantic pulse in my throat to speak. 'Will you tell me the truth?' 'Possibly,' he says. 'Although I'm not sure you are ever supposed to tell the lady the truth.' 'You won't know until you try.”The side characters were varied some of which I loved and some I loathed. I especially loved Erona for her motherly ways about Adelice. I even found Meala interesting. Even if she was evil, she was impulsive and it was fun watching her trying and failing to control Adelice. Cormacc on the other hand, was despicable with his drunk and lecherous ways. Loricel's intentions, I'm still not clear about. I hope that gets cleared soon. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger. It was more of a stepping stone as to what would be coming next. Overall, I loved this book. The world, the setting and the characters totally blew my socks off. It may feel like it was influenced slightly by the Hunger Games and The Selection but I guess it's a Dystopian and hence will have some similarities to them. If you haven't read this book and love Dystopian or the books I mentioned above. Grab this quickly as I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did.The story- line is unique, the world is complex, characters with secrets, with twists and turns each time. It is an unpredictable ride, thrilling, exciting and full of secrets.