Jen's Reviews > Crewel

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
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's review
Jul 14, 2014

bookshelves: series-i-am-putting-on-hold
Read in July, 2012

Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Spinsters and weavers have long been a staple of myth and fairy tale. Think Rumplestiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, or Odysseus' wife Penelope, who told her suitors that she'd remarry when her weaving was finished, then craftily unraveled her work each night. The Greek Fates were also goddesses who spun out the lives of men.

Crewel evokes a world in which men hold the power. However, talented spinsters like Adelice have the ability to weave time and matter. Spinsters can remove "weak threads" from the fabric of life, literally ending the existence of another with a tug and a snip.

Adelice is such a gifted weaver that her parents feared for her and wanted her to hide her abilities. After her attempted escape, the Guild is willing to overlook the small problem of Adelice trying to flee from her destiny. She learns that she has two secret talents above and beyond the average spinster, talents which come in handy as she navigates the hierarchy of spinsters and flirts with both a lowly valet and an ambitious young guard. If that sounds like a love triangle, don't worry. At least in this first installment of the Crewel World series, the threesome didn't seem to be headed in that direction. Crewel weaves together such a fascinating and original story world that some of the characters felt a little flat to me in comparison. But with such imaginative world building, I'd argue that this represents only a tiny snag in a truly stunning tapestry.

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