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The Weavers of Saramyr (Braided Path #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,052 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
This is the story of the ancient empire of Saramyr—an empire that rules over a land overwhelmed by evil. The evil comes from within the empire’s center: the Weavers, a sect of male magicians close to the throne, intent on killing any child born with magical powers. But now the Empress has given birth to just such a child…and a revolution is brewing.
Published (first published December 14th 2004)
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D.D. Price No, I believe this is considered an adult book. The first of Chris Wooding's adult books in fact. I wasn't under the impression that it was YA at all…moreNo, I believe this is considered an adult book. The first of Chris Wooding's adult books in fact. I wasn't under the impression that it was YA at all when I read it.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a big fan of Kety Jay series, I went into this with s lot of expectations. Wooding paints a fantastic world in KetybJay and his characters are up there with the best (think The Expanse) so it was with interest that I started this trilogy. The obvious Japanese theme always reminds me of The servant of the Empire series and whilst the story kicks off with a lot of energy, it soon settles into a nice pace. Once again Wooding makes sure you really get to know the characters personalities and agai ...more
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
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
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
[9/10] one of the highlights of the year for me. I've been hearing about this series for years, and I'm glad I have finally got around to start it.
The story has an Oriental feel, closer in style to Empire series by Janny Wurts and R A Salvatore rather than the more lyrical Tales of the Otori by Hearne or Initiate Brother by Sean Russell. It has the epic scope, the grand vistas and the political infighting. It's strenghts I consider to be
- the magic system : powerful and dangerous, unpredictable
Reggie Kray
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully executed first volume. The descriptive text is astounding!
Mar 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Fantasy Literature
Chris Wooding has once again branched out and attacked another flavour of fantasy. This time the story brings the reader a sophisticated beginning to what promises to be a mysterious, cutthroat, and complex trilogy: THE BRAIDED PATH. Both the physical and social settings are richly described and beautifully rendered throughout. The Weavers of Saramyr introduces us to a nation torn apart by sickness, an empress who is all out of options, survival against the odds, and unlikely freedom fighters. T ...more
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Oh Chris, Chris, Chris. What have you done? Where has your brilliant writing gone? Your enthralling plots? Your captivating characters? Where?! I can honnestly say, that if I had read this and your Ketty Jay books without knowing who wrote them, I would say they were written by completely different and disparate authors; one on the verge of euphoric brilliance and the other on the poor side of average-bad. What happened?! Two Stars.

Plot : Two Stars

Long winded. Complicated. Distant. Alien. Col
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 ex ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, fantasy
The weaver of this story shouldn't have tried to follow so many threads, because as a result it's all tangled up.

The main flaw is that there is no clear point of view : you think you follow the thoughts of a character, and then it can jump to another character in the same paragraph. It's very confusing. At first I read back to see if I had missed something, until I realised it was useless and I just read on without trying to see images of the scenes. It's like we have the point of view of the au
Vladimir Stamenov
The book is fantastic in terms of plot,character development and world building and features an entirely female lead cast.These are the first female characters that I actually care about and aren't just some love interest with boobs for the lead character like in other fantasy books.I highly reccommend it to any fantasy fan,who isn't afraid of a little more gore,likes political strife and intricate plots and people who like japan because the book has a Japanese feel to it.
Jul 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who need fuel for a winter's fire.
Shelves: unfinished
This could have been so much more. I was getting really interested in the mechanics of everything, like the way it worked and all, and his writing style was pretty good, but then Chris Wooding had to go and get off on writing some girl on girl.

This is the only book I've ever thrown across the room.

Such a damned WASTE!
Skye Walker
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review of Chris Wooding's "The Weavers of Saramyr" originally appeared in its entirety on

Chris Wooding has once again branched out and attacked another flavour of fantasy. This time the story brings the reader a sophisticated beginning to what promises to be a mysterious, cutthroat, and complex trilogy: THE BRAIDED PATH. Both the physical and social settings are richly described and beautifully rendered throughout. The Weavers of Saramyr introduces us to a nation t
Pauline Ross
This is the first in the 'Braided Path' trilogy (the others are 'The Skein of Lament' and 'The Ascendancy Veil'). It's a full-on fantasy with a vaguely eastern feel (names like Kaiku and Mishani, writing with brushes instead of pens) but still totally original. There are numerous point of view characters, and the story jumps from one to the other within chapters, sometimes without warning, which can be disconcerting.

The opening draws you in immediately, with a brilliant first line ("Kaiku was tw
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by the fine folks here on GoodReads when I requested some. I was excited to start into a new series and I hoped that it would live up to all of the expectations of previous series I had known and loved.

The Weavers of Saramyr opens instantly into a very political world where people are skilled at playing at the politics of court. It then goes on to have a healthy dose of action to counter subtle political intrigues, and wraps it all up inside an ancient oriental {I
Apr 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book some years ago on the recommendation of some website or another based on my enjoyment of fantasy and scifi books, and I'm sorry to say that I really disliked it. I had already ordered the second book in the series and I ended up paperbackswapping them both away before I even bothered reading the second.

It's serviceable enough to some extent, though somewhat flat, and the plot is extremely creative at times, but my main bitch is and will remain that it suffers from the Bad Guy is
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
First book in the "The Braided Path" trilogy.

Here the fantasy empire ruling the land of Saramyr has an oriental flavour, a level of technology that allows rifles and bombs and a communications system relying on magic--the sorcery of the dreaded, masked Weavers.

By manipulating the magical Weave of the world, a kind of fantasy cyberspace, Weavers can not only send messages over any distance but manipulate minds, fight intangibly and kill. The use of the Weaving, and their masks, makes the weavers
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
What an amazing book.
It all starts out in a beautifully created world. It's not your run-of-the-mill pseudo-medieval europe, it is a whole new society, with quite a bit of oriental influences, and well tought out, enough for you to not feel cheated.
But all is not sunshine and rainbows: the book is grim and gritty and quite a bit oppressive, even. Our heroes don't have it easy, and the villains are pretty sick. There are vicious battles, people getting slashed open or blown apart left and right.
I didn't hate it but the story is too scattered for me to connect with the characters. The are some parts that bothered me greatly like when the Weavers were first introduced, their atrocities are too public yet no one not even the empress dare stop it. I didn't buy the 'they are too important now to dismiss' because no one should have let them get into power in the first place with all their evil bared openly for all to see. Maybe one or half of the greedy nobles but all of them? and for all th ...more
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had fairly strong world building with a lot of oriental influence. There are many strong female characters which is nice to see, but all of them are described as "beautiful" which is rather unrealistic and of course makes it seem like for women to have worth (or to not be too intimidating to men) they are beautiful as well as strong.

The main characters live in a country that is slowly being invaded by demons and Aberrants, which are extreme genetic mutations, this includes the citizens
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 wi
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
c2004: Far eastern like setting with the weavers as the bad guys as opposed to some earlier spec fic when weavers were the good guys. Quite nasty they are too - straying into my real dislike of using acts of cruelty and brutality on children to illustrate just how bad these characters are. Surely there must be other plot devices out there to point out just how bad these characters are? And I am not talking about rape which is almost on a par. Anyways..rant over. I didn't really manage to "connec ...more
Sarah Castillo
This book just couldn't grab me.

I never could quite figure out how the magic system worked, which was important because the magic system was always being used. I just couldn't put together how it was described with how it worked. I guess I'm too used to the Sanderson style magic system, where things are a little more firm.

The characters started out very compelling, but as the story carried on they started doing more and more uncharacteristic things without any clear description on their thought
First, a brilliant collection of ideas! The premise, the order of ideas, the way they are revealed, and the way the book is structured is on spot.

However. And it is a big however. The writing is sub-par for the content: exceptionally long, cliched descriptions that add nothing to the story, repeated descriptions of human reactions and emotions, an over-feminization of every female character as if looked at through the eyes of one attracted to them and not a mostly impersonal observer or of anoth
Feb 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 va
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
[3 and 1/2 stars]
Very solid start to a promising fantasy series. Pluses include the strong world-building, where the author appears to be drawing from Western, Middle Eastern and Asian history and mythology (and Asian horror, too, unless, I'm mis-reading the creepy shin-shin). He also has strong descriptive powers, and I really appreciated the preponderance of major female characters, not to mention his willingness to have bad things happen to good people in service of the plot and their journey
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Complex world and characters which made me feel like I was on another planet(this is the good part).
Oh wait...I must have been since earth doesn't have three moons!
And yet they eat potatoes, have horses and...
Well I have to think the author was influenced by Tolkien, this is actually very appearing on the way he describes that something evil is spreading.
However I've always thought of "Lord of the Rings" as a parallel world here on earth which can't be applied here.
Maybe I'll have my explanatio
An interesting start to this series of books. The series was included on a list of Asian fantasy, but there was very little in plot, characters, or descriptions to convey an Asian theme. I'm curious why it was included in that list. Regardless, the plot was unusual and intriguing. I was also struck by the fact that composition of characters. The book had something of an "ensemble cast," rather than one main protagonist. And every single major protagonist was female. The major antagonist was male ...more
The world building was pretty cool and the writing wasn't bad, the plot was pretty interesting but the characters were really flat and forgettable. The bad guys had some disturbing habits that involved children so that was kind of shocking. If I was young and had a lot of free time I would definitely read this but I'm old and don't have time to waste on "average" books. Plus this is the start of a trilogy so I was worried about putting the effort in and then not being satisfied in the end.

Made i
Bjørn Sørlien
The plot finally got going after a while, but the book didn't grow into a page-turner.
I never got under the skin of any of the characters, partly because there is no fixed viewpoint and I had some trouble knowing which character thought what as "he/she" could refer to three different characters in the space of ten sentences.
This might be me and not the book, but I didn't feel the story, the writer describes what is happening in such a way that I don't live the experience and to get more than t
Mar 18, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most horrific books I've ever read. I'm not finished but it's really hard to read this book. Getting past the descriptions of murder and rape, especially of children, makes me want to be sick. The story is good and the use of horror clearly defines the "goodies" from the "badies". It's just really difficult to push through sometimes when the author describes the vices of the Weavers.
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Chris Wooding grew up in a small town in Leicestershire, where not much of anything happened. So he started to write novels. He was sixteen when he completed his first. He had an agent by eighteen. By nineteen he had signed his first book deal. When he left university he began to write full-time, and he has been doing it professionally all his adult life.

Now thirty-nine, Chris has written over twe
More about Chris Wooding

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Braided Path (3 books)
  • The Skein of Lament (Braided Path, #2)
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