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Read The Weavers Of Saramyr (2004)

The Weavers of Saramyr (2004)

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3.79 of 5 Votes: 2
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0575075422 (ISBN13: 9780575075429)

The Weavers Of Saramyr (2004) - Plot & Excerpts

In many ways the first novel in the Braided Path trilogy is a fairly standard epic fantasy novel but it does have a few distinctive touches. It isn't the first epic fantasy series to be set in a world largely inspired by feudal Japan, but it's still a nice change from the default medieval European setting. Saramyr is an interesting setting and the world-building is generally convincing, although occasionally some things are a bit under-explained, for example as the series goes on and the plot expands the different provinces of Saramyr become important but the differences between, say, the Southern Prefectures and the Newlands are never really described. The most memorable part of the world-building are the Weavers, officially the only people in the world able to use magic. They have insinuated themselves into every aspect of Saramyr society and stand beside every noble lord because their talents are indispensable. One of the main themes of the series is how much a society is prepared to overlook when there is something to gain, in this case the Weavers' abilities are considered so valuable that the people of Saramyr tolerate the fact that the True Masks they wear which allow them to do magic drive the Weavers insane and cause them to go on rampages of rape, torture and murder. In case we might forget how evil the Weavers are, there is generally a reminder every couple of chapters, it does a good job of building up the Weavers as dangerous and detestable villains but the frequency of their awful deeds does seem a bit unsubtle and gratuitous at times. Despite the lack of subtlety, the complicity of Saramyr society in the atrocities the Weavers commit is one of the more interesting thematic elements of the book. The Weavers are entirely male (for reasons explained later in the book), on the other hand four of the five main characters in this are women. There is a good variety of characters, Kaiku is a naive young woman with magical abilities which are potentially very powerful but also dangerous to both herself and those around her, her noblewoman friend Mishani has no special powers but is adept at the manipulations and deceptions of Saramyr's nobility, Lucia is the otherworldly and almost angelic heir to the Empire whose abilities must be concealed from her Mother's subjects and Asara is 90-year old shapechanging assassin who is ruthlessly self-centred. The characterisation is generally good, Kaiku is a likeable protagonist despite being excessively foolhardy at times in her quest to avenge herself against the Weavers who killed her family, Mishani probably gets the most character development as she is forced to confront her assumptions and prejudices and Asara is an interesting antihero who finds herself on the 'good' side of the conflict for largely selfish reasons. The interaction between Kaiku and Asara is the most interesting relationship in the novel, they need to work together and they want to like each other but they also can't trust the other. Tane, the main male character in the story, is probably the weakest of the major characters since his motivations often seem to be a puzzle even to himself and the incipient romance between him and Kaiku never feels like more than just teenage infatuation. Although the world-building is relatively original and some of the character motivations are varied and complex, the novel feels a bit too conventional when it comes to structure. From Kaiku's perspective it is fairly standard coming-of-age story as she deals with an early tragedy and starts to realise some of her potential power. Her attempt to make her way into a hidden Weaver monastery does have some elements of a conventional fantasy quest to it. However, there are enough original elements to avoid it feeling too clichéd as an epic fantasy story. It is an entertaining read, although perhaps not quite compelling enough to really take its place among the great epic fantasy novels. There's nothing really particularly lacking about it, but there's also not much that really stands out about it and aside from the creepiness of the Weavers nothing is particularly memorable about it.

I'm not sure why I seem to be in disagreement with most of the reviews, but this book simply didn't captivate me. I forced my way through this book through sheer stubborness, and only for about 5-10% of the book did I feel like it had any entertainment value. I gave this 2 stars instead of 1, because I didn't HATE it, but I definitely didn't like it. I also felt that the author has great potential as a writer.The story had great potential. The setting and plot was reminiscent of X-Men set in an anime-ish eastern fantasy world of temples and forest spirits and empresses and emperors, where Aberrants are a mutated/evolved form of humans, and they're prejudiced upon. The explanation (when you finally get there) was well-thought, and it was one of the only pleasant surprise about this book (along with the plot/idea).That's about as much as I can say positively about this book. The shortcomings are rather many, and while it's easy to just let it slide because the author was fairly young when he wrote the novel, I feel like more people should at least point them out to help balance the reviews properly.The writing was downright boring. Many chapters started with pages after pages of description of the environment, or current events, or something from the past -- anything other than present events told in an active format of character interaction. It killed the pacing and slowed everything down to a crawl every single time.The characters had zero personality. I would say that Asara was probably the best character in the story, but there's really not much that a person can identify with her. She's vain, cares little of human life, but cares for the good guys for some reason. All the other characters were simply boring boring boring. What was the point of even telling us about Tane's past? It added almost no value to his character, and had zero ties to anything in the story. It was... interesting, I guess, but it felt like a mini story on its own that has no place being in the book. In fact, this could be said about 50% of the book. It was a bunch of fluff thrown in together to add atmosphere and told zero story. Where the hell was the editor in all this???The violence and sex were so forced. They came out of nowhere and was completely foreign in the setting of the story. It's as if the writer set out to write a book for adults, but since the story was more PG-13ish in tone, he added adults elements to make it darker. It just fell flat.I AM curious as to what happens in book 2 or 3, but only because I spent days forcing myself to finish the book. I don't think I can endure another 2 books like this. I will, however, give Chris Wooding's sci-fi book "Retribution Falls" a try. What I've read from the first few pages seems like it doesn't suffer from the same issues of passive story-telling, though now I'm wary of all the good reviews after reading this book. Still, I'll give it a shot, and I'll be fair about it!

What do You think about The Weavers Of Saramyr (2004)?

When I first read this book it was a five star read, since then I have re-read it so many times it is probably a four star read - but as this is the first time reading whilst on this site it gets the full five stars.I think Chris Wooding was one of my favourite authors as a teenager, I really like his writing style though I can see why, in this book, people dislike it because it can be almost overly descriptive. The best way to describe this books setting is as a kind of feudal Japan or China with 'magic'. Considering how many books or shows take Asian influence to give a touch of the exotic this book never seems to use it in that light. The mythos within the book reminds me of the little I have heard of Asian and even Greek/Roman mythology - it is perhaps not necessary in some places (such as explaining about the abandoned incestuous goddess) but it helps to shape the world.I really like the way this book (well the series) twists and turns, the major twists are memorable but the minor ones tend to slip your mind meaning re-reads are still interesting. The characters are quite realistic, I think my favourite has to be Mishani - the way her character develops seems to be the most natural, though Asara is by far the most interesting.

4 Stars I had a great deal of fun reading The Weavers of Saramyr (The Braided Path, Book 1). This book and series has been in my to-read queue for a long time. I was looking for a straight up fantasy with plenty of magic and action, and with this book, I got just that.I am a huge fan of Chris Wooding because of NY love for his rollicking fun steampunk series Tales of the Ketty Jay. His writing style shines through in both genres in that he crafts characters both good and bad that you can relate with and route for or against. One of the best things about this book is that it is almost completely female. All of the main characters are female and they carry the load easily. Wooding has given this story a serious Eastern feel with the setting, the names, and the plot. Kaiku our main heroine grows as a character as she comes to grips with what it means to be Abberant.Like so many books these days this is a novel that has prejudicism, segregation, a class based society as it's main plot line. The Abberants are children/people that are born with magical abilities. They are quickly found and killed by the Weavers as they are an abomination. The story follows this point...The novel is fast paced and light. It has quite an original feel to it that makes it easy to recommend. I already am a fan of Chris Wooding and I hope that so to will you.

Okay, so I really didn't like this book. I wanted to throw it in the fireplace multiple times throughout the novel, and wash my eyes out with soap. I had such high hopes for this book, since it sounded like it could have an interesting plot line and character development. The main problem I found was the excessive use of description, a good amount of the time it being cut down into short, choppy sentences. Let me give an accurate example of what the book was like."The outside was dull. Golden vases were everywhere. That building was broken down a long time ago. Potholes line the street. That building has beautiful artwork..." And so on for the rest of the page. ALL THIS DESCRIPTION LED TO NOT HAVING ENOUGH TIME TO BRING A GOOD PLOT AROUND.So, I'm sorry Mr. Wooding, but I would have to suggest cutting out a lot of description, and working a bit more on the plot. Such high hopes.... Crushed.

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