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Woven in Moonlight #2

Written in Starlight

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An adventerous South American Tomb Raider! This hotly anticipated companion to Woven in Moonlight follows an outcast Condesa, as she braves the jungle to forge an alliance with the lost city of gold.

If the jungle wants you, it will have you...

Catalina Quiroga is a Condesa without a country. She’s lost the Inkasisa throne, the loyalty of her people, and her best friend. Banished to the perilous Yanu Jungle, Catalina knows her chances of survival are slim, but that won’t stop her from trying to escape. It’s her duty to reclaim the throne.

When Manuel, the son of her former general, rescues Catalina from a jaguar, a plan forms. Deep in the jungle, the city of gold is hidden, home to the fierce Illari people, who she could strike an alliance with.

But the elusive Illari are fighting a battle of their own—a mysterious blight is corrupting the jungle, laying waste to everything they hold dear. As a seer, Catalina should be able to help, but her ability to read the future in the stars is as feeble as her survival instincts. While searching for the Illari, Catalina must reckon with her duty and her heart to find her true calling, which could be the key to stopping the corruption before it destroys the jungle completely.

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 26, 2021

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About the author

Isabel Ibañez

6 books1,528 followers
Isabel Ibañez was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and is the proud daughter of two Bolivian
immigrants. A true word nerd, she received her degree in creative writing and has been a
Pitch Wars mentor for three years. Isabel is an avid movie goer and loves hosting family and
friends around the dinner table. She currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her
husband, their adorable dog, and a serious collection of books. Say hi on social media at

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5 stars
425 (28%)
4 stars
571 (38%)
3 stars
355 (23%)
2 stars
101 (6%)
1 star
34 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 299 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
February 17, 2021
im like 99.9% certain i read a comment from the author saying that each installment of this series could act as a standalone and i somewhat disagree with that. yes, this follows a minor character from the first book on a different journey, but this is very much a filler book, one that is connected to the plot laid out in ‘woven in moonlight,’ and im assuming will be connected to how the story continues in the next book.

and even though this is complete filler, i still enjoyed it. i liked the characters, i liked the jungle adventure, i liked seeing catalina come to terms with the end events of the previous book, and i especially liked the reunited childhood lovers trope. the story plays well off of the information the reader has from the first book and nicely builds upon it.

this is easy to recommend to those wanting read about a magical south american adventure, but just a heads up to those who also saw the comment saying this could be a standalone - you should definitely pick up ‘woven in moonlight’ first!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for caro | sanjariti.
398 reviews23 followers
January 4, 2021
DISCLAIMER: e-ARC was provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please note that there are spoilers for both WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT and WRITTEN IN STARLIGHT below.

When I read Woven in Moonlight, I fell in love with Isabel’s writing. However, after reading Written in Starlight, I realize how I missed A LOT of problematic issues in the first book, that are continued in this sequel (not a sequel).

Firstly, I’d like to start by saying I love the writing. I think this was a well-written story, but with many problems.

Written in Starlight centers on Catalina, who is a colonizer and racist towards Indigenous communities in the story, and in Woven in Moonlight. This narrative perpetuates extremely negative and harmful stereotypes and ideas about Indigenous people. We are supposed to feel for Catalina, who has been cast out of her ‘home’, and removed from the throne (her ‘birthright’) and left to fend for herself in the jungle. This narrative is supposed to make us see Catalina as a good person who learns who she ’really is’ and comes into her own while surviving the jungle.

But this is anything but that. Catalina’s views of the jungle, her people’s history, and the way she views and talks about (and to) Indigenous characters in the story play on racist misconceptions and stereotypes, and violent ignorance, which in turn makes the story more racist and violent.

I did not like Catalina after the events of Woven in Moonlight, because of her stubbornness and unwillingness to bow to the Llascan queen. After reading Written in Starlight, I like her even less than before. Her colonizer attitude and behaviors are never condemned or discussed on the page. She decides to find an army in the jungle to take back her throne (which isn’t even ‘her’ throne), and decides to use the Illari (Indigenous people) as a means to an end. She refuses to see any wrong in what her people (Illustrians) have done, nor does she believe that the new queen will treat her people well, because she harbors racist sentiments and vengeful anger towards all Llascans. When she finds the Illari, she learns that they too worship and are blessed by Luna, which OFFENDS HER(?), even though they were the original people of Inkasisa who were driven away to the jungle after colonization in the first place.

She then decides to ‘change’ and accept that the Illari worship and are blessed by the same deities FOR HER OWN INTENTIONS. And we are just meant to see it as a change of heart when it is anything but that. She even reflects on the violent colonizer history of her people, but comes to the ‘realization’ that no one is truly ‘blameless’ for what happened, and does not try to learn from the past - she simply justifies colonization and racism.

I cannot love this story, or these characters, when they perpetuate violent stereotypes and racist representation of Indigenous communities. Objectively, this was a well-crafted story, and there is no doubt that Isabel can weave stories effortlessly, and create worlds full of magic and delicious food. But also, objectively, and personally, I can’t enjoy a well-written narrative when it is violent, racist, and tries to justify and romanticize colonizers.
Profile Image for Kristin.
Author 3 books576 followers
February 18, 2020
Come for the descriptions of food and magic, stay for the romance.
Profile Image for abthebooknerd.
294 reviews145 followers
September 11, 2020
YA meets a South American Tomb Raider in this thrilling companion to Woven in Moonlight.

This sequel was so adventurous, I loved it! After the ending of the first book, I felt like our Catalina deserved a happier ending, and we got that in this one! I loved her character development, and how she embraced her true identity, instead of the identity that she had been taught to embrace. It was so satisfying. The romantic tension, the jungle, the beautiful Illari people - everything was so magical! If you loved Woven in Moonlight, you’ll love the next book even more 🧡

A big thank you to Page Street Kids for sending me an ARC!

To check out my Written in Starlight inspired Bookstagram post, click here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFAadH2A1Uu/
Profile Image for ✧˖° lydia °˖✧ {semi-hiatus}.
195 reviews169 followers
March 26, 2023
4.5 stars

Legend says if the jungle wants you, it will have you.

A condesa without a country. Her loyal bodyguard. A beautiful and dangerous jungle. A lost city of gold. And a journey of self-discovery.

Not to mention the dang stupid reoccurring caimans.

It wasn't quite as glorious as Woven in Moonlight, but it was so good in its own way. I missed Ximena and Rumi, though, and I definitely wish they could have been in it more.

One of the things I really loved about this book was the setting. A legendary jungle of shadow and light, where danger lurks at every corner and even the most beautiful things come at a price. With all the twists and turns and constant fighting, it was high-stakes and fast-paced and I devoured it.

Where have adventure fantasy novels been all this time?

Of course, it wasn't all adventure. There was a hefty dose of character development and a very angsty romance.

Ah yes, the romance.

It was a princess-and-bodyguard, childhood friends-to-lovers, touch-her-and-I'll-kill-you, I-don't-deserve-you, against-all-odds, fiery romance. And I'm in love with it.

“I can’t escape you no matter how far away I am.”


And the characters. The characters!! Mwah!! Catalina could be annoying but she was pretty relatable, and Manuel is basically Jacin (from Winter) with a beard (yuch, I hate beards) and a little less hotness (cause no one can measure up to freakin Jacin in hotness).

But.... still. Jacin.

Yeah I liked Manuel.

Because.... Jacin.

*starts to sweat a little bit*


This definitely lived up to my expectations. Again, I couldn't become quite as attached to the characters as I did in Woven in Moonlight, but it was still a fun read. Recommended!

I arrive without a title, without family. But with friends, and an ability to read the stars. More than enough for me.
Profile Image for Savannah (forest_reader).
645 reviews41 followers
December 7, 2020
First off, love the cover. Isabel Ibañez is extremely talented. Second, my high hopes were a little dashed with this one. I loved Woven in Moonlight, but Written in Starlight felt too conventional, too frustrating at times, and too boring. I struggled most with the romance (or really lack thereof). Manuel and Catalina reminded me of Alina and Mal from the Grishaverse trilogy . . . and I didn't especially love both of their romances. The reasons keeping Manuel and Catalina apart weren't enough for me, and I was never really rooting for them in the first place.

Overall, I'm disappointed in this book. But there was some good character development with Catalina, and I really enjoy Isabel Ibañez's writing style. I'll definitely give her future books another chance.

Writing Aesthetic/Style: 4
Plot/Movement: 3
Character Development: 3
Overall: 3

Thank you, Page Street Publishing, for the review copy!
Shelved as 'wishlist'
August 29, 2020
SOOOOO excited for this to come out. This is like the South American equivalent of THE WINNER'S CURSE. The covers make you think it'll be really cute and fluffy.... BUT IT IS NOT.

Drugs. Violence. War. Political intrigue.

Profile Image for Jenni Walsh.
Author 13 books396 followers
September 4, 2020
Isabel Ibanez has officially become my go-to when I need a fantasy fix.
I adored WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT. The world-building is amazing. The magic is fun (I still want my own wooly animals!). Ximena and the others characters are endearing. And I like how Inkasisa is inspired by Bolivian history and events. It was a treat to read.
And the treat continued when I got my hands on an early digital copy of WRITTEN IN STARLIGHT through NetGalley. WRITTEN IN STARLIGHT is a spinoff from WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT, where the protagonists switches from Ximena's point of view to Catalina's, who is a Condesa without a country to rule. I really enjoyed Catalina's evolution throughout the novel. And, I REALLY enjoyed the setting in this novel: A jungle, and how it was inspired by Isabel's own father's experiences. That's just such a cool detail.
You don't *need* to read WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT to read WRITTEN IN STARLIGHT, but I'd highly recommend reading Ximena's story in the coming months to prepare for Catalina's, which is releasing in January. Ximena makes a cameo in Catalina's adventures and it was fun knowing her full story.
Profile Image for Nicole.
298 reviews5 followers
January 17, 2021
Before I start, I did receive this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This will be a different review, more of a discussion, but regardless, these are my thoughts.

I started reading this book last weekend. A day or two later, I started seeing some shares on the harmfulness of Written in Starlight, as well as Woven in Moonlight. I read the concerns that were brought up on the portrayals of indigenous people and then started to do some research. I will leave some links to some of the reviews and info I read at the bottom.

I did still choose to continue reading the story. One of the reasons being that I am still in the process learning to be more critical when it comes to plots or descriptions with potential problems. I wanted to read this book with the information that I had acquired, as well as reflect on Woven in Moonlight.

It is okay to change opinions once new information comes to light. I was not aware of the harmful content included within these stories. I also realize that I recommended and raved about Woven in Moonlight quite a bit. I apologize if I hurt anyone by mentioning this book. I am learning and trying to listen to those with different experiences and who are within cultures different from my own. As I initially did not see the connection to colonization and it’s negative undertones, I think it is important to research and understand opinions and views when issues are raised.

Researching interviews with the author and what the inspiration for Woven in Moonlight was, I learned that the current political events and turmoil Bolivia is experiencing was weaved into the story (this is said in the synopsis, I just didn’t realize it was current). The Llacsans were inspired by the indigenous people of Bolivia, and Illustrians based on Spanish conquistadors (taken from interview with author).

The inspiration of the people is where the problems start. There are problems with how the two groups are described. The Llacsans are not described well and play into some stereotypes of indigenous groups, where the Illustrians are described in a positive way. And although there is a redemption arc in Woven in Moonlight, the descriptions are still within the story and done in poor taste. This is something that I did not realize while reading. Until having some of these examples pointed out, I totally moved past them. While reading Written in Starlight, I was able to see some of these issues while reading.

There is a redemption arc in Written in Starlight as well, but it took a long time to get there. There were still some issues with the redemption that I may not have seen without the knowledge I have now. Catalina, the MC in Written in Starlight may have felt differently by the last 15% of the book, but she still represents the Spanish conquistadors. The way the redemption arc happened, and the events at the end of the book, did not sit well with me as I was reading it.

I definitely read these two books differently. One without the knowledge of Bolivian history and connection to colonization, and the other with more information on the inspiration and my eyes open for negative portrayals of indigenous people or other potentially insulting remarks.

Now for the somewhat review part. Like mentioned, when I read Woven in Moonlight last year, I really enjoyed it. For Written in Starlight, even without the information I have today, I don’t think I would have liked it as much. I was not a fan of Catalina in the first, and she did not get better in this one. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the character interactions in this one and found the pacing a bit weird. I still enjoyed the writing style, but this one would have been just okay for me. Adding in the information I have today is why this is not a normal review.

Please be respectful. I’m not telling you not to read them. I read these myself after all. I just wanted to share some of the issues raised and my journey reflecting on the first book and reading the second. I have some of the reviews and resources that I was looking at to try and better understand the harmfulness and situation below. Just note these aren’t all of them, and there is a lot more information out there.

I think that we should be listening to those within the community, especially marginalized groups, and educate ourselves in multiple perspectives and current events. I did not see these problems initially, and once they were pointed out, decided to take the opportunity to listen and learn.

📎Interview with Author

📎Youtube Review on Woven in Moonlight (Gives some history on Bolivia as well)

📎Blog Review on Written in Starlight

📎Goodreads Review on Woven in Moonlight

📎Political State of Bolivia

📎Human Rights and Environmental Issues
Profile Image for Maria Elena | _mkarys.
531 reviews186 followers
September 8, 2020
Woven in Moonlight was my first five-star read of the year. I enjoyed Ximena and Rumi, the story and the atmosphere and you can find my review in the book’s page. When I found the eARC of its sequel available on NetGalley, I couldn’t resist. I hit request faster than you can say sabotage, and the publisher graciously accepted.

Isabel Ibañez had a challenge for Written in Starlight: make me like Catalina. I wasn’t entirely impressed with her in the first book, and I was greatly annoyed with her at the beginning of this one because of it. The author, however, was incredible at showing Catalina’s vulnerability, her anger, her fears and also her very witty, fun character. It was impossible not to grow fond of her.

It took me a while for me to warm up to Manuel as well, especially since he spends a lot of the first 50% of the book trying to keep himself emotionally distanced from Catalina for the sake of propriety. Still, theirs was a friend-to-lovers romance I really enjoyed, and once the two were honest with their feelings, their relationship gained so much.

While the pacing of the book was good, I enjoyed the first half less than I did the second, because I had to warm up to the characters and because there’s not much happening besides Catalina and Manuel surviving the jungle. There’s a lot of action, but personal preferences led me to enjoy the second half of the book more. We get to see other characters, a new society, and new royals. There’s more drama, and the mystery surrounding the plague that befell the jungle thickens. I was intrigued.
Profile Image for Kristina.
274 reviews78 followers
February 19, 2021
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I adored Woven in Moonlight and was so excited to get my hands on Written in Starlight. Isabel Ibanez did not disappoint with her wonderful writing and lush jungle setting. She wrote in a way that incorporated all 5 senses and I was really impressed. The magic and fast pacing were also highlights for me.

Unfortunately, I did not really love the characters in this one nearly as much as the ones in Woven in Moonlight. Catalina was selfish, entitled, and absolutely clueless. She definitely grew as a character but it wasn't enough for me to love her. The romance between her and Manuel was exasperating for me, but I'm sure the target audience would be fine with it. Overall, I enjoyed the book. The stakes were high and there were some great messages about taking care of the environment.
Profile Image for Lauriane (L.M. Durand).
157 reviews13 followers
August 8, 2020
Written In Starlight was such a wonderful read. This story is not about Ximena, Catalina's decoy, but Catalina herself, and is different from the first book. The story keeps this lyrical and mystical feel that I love with an ever-present Bolivian-inspired culture. Truly beautiful!

From the very first pages, the story grabbed my attention. The world-building is well crafted and very inspired. This fast-paced story kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Between the turns and twists, how dangerous Catalina's environment is, and her mission, I couldn't put this book down.

Catalina embarks on a journey that will challenge her physically, mentally, and spiritually. Her character grows and her path towards finding herself and healing is both beautiful and brutal. As for Manuel, he is a wonderful character with a strong sense of loyalty and duty. I loved this romance, which is somehow a slow burn but not quite. I don't want to say too much, but it is beautiful.

The ending is simply spectacular and I hope there will be another book. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Bicho da Galáxia.
157 reviews207 followers
December 7, 2022
É o segundo volume da série “Woven In Moonlight”, um dos livros mais bonitos que li em 2020.

Continua a ser das leituras mais bonitas que alguma vez já li.
Diferente, mística e com aventuras quase poéticas.

Catalina Quiroga é uma Condessa que foi afastada do trono e banida para a selva de Yanu onde para sobreviver terá de fazer aliados improváveis e de virar uma autêntica Tom Raider para conseguir enfrentar todas as adversidades da selva e voltar ao que é seu por destino.
Ao contrário do primeiro livro acho que este mantêm uma acção muito mais rápida e que agarra logo de início. Ambos mantêm a mesma fórmula mas conseguem ser distintos.
É uma história de auto-conhecimento, crescimento, de luta onde vivemos com a Catalina cada dificuldade que atravessa o seu caminho e surpreendentemente a personagem de Manuel, o seu novo aliado, começa por ser cliché e até aborrecido mas acaba por se tornar a minha personagem favorita.
Profile Image for Isabelle✨.
369 reviews14 followers
March 14, 2021
Isabel Ibanez's writing perfectly captures the jungle atmosphere and characters.

Catalina Quiroga, the deposed Condesa from Woven in Moonlight, takes center stage in this book. I already didn't like her from book 1, but she has a very nice character arc here. She isn't completely flipped by the end of the book, but she certainly is a much more likable person. I will say, though, Woven in Moonlight and Written in Starlight have very similar character plots. Both feature a privileged girl who gains new perspective with the help of others.

In the beginning, Catalina is selfish and petty. Her crown is her birthright and her identity. Without it she is nothing (except her really bad star-reading skills). So when she's thrown into the Yanu Jungle to fend for herself, she has pretty much no chance of survival by her princess-y self.

Enter Manuel. You already guessed, right? Love interest. He's the son of her deceased general Ana, who she hasn't seen in years. Seriously, there would be no story if Manuel wasn't in the picture. Catalina would be eaten alive or poisoned or wounded and dead. Manuel has a lot of experience living in the wild, so he is basically her crutch in the jungle for those first few weeks.

The Illari are the people who live in the jungle. Catalina wants their help (their army) to help her reclaim her throne. So, Manuel reluctantly takes her to try to find Paititi, the rumored city of gold where they live. Throughout all this, Catalina becomes stronger and less whiny. She learns that she needs to depend on herself to survive and that she can't just rely on other people for everything.

I liked Written in Starlight because of the exploration of the Illari culture. We learn about them through Catalina, the newcomer. She slowly falls in love with their culture and realizes that her crown isn't everything, Ximena didn't want to betray her, and that she has other talents. By the end of the book, Catalina embraces her true calling- being a seer. Putting away her previous mindset on other peoples and life eventually helps her become more in touch with her magic gifts.

Written in Starlight is a perfect blend of fantasy and adventure. It's the perfect companion book to its predecessor. Fingers crossed for a third book about Reina Tamaya!
Profile Image for Christina.
297 reviews12 followers
November 12, 2020
I'm struggling with the rating on this one. There was some slight redemption in the last bit.

Let me begin by saying that I loved Woven in Moonlight. The author had a challenge in this book of making me like Catalina as our narrator, as I couldn't much stand her in the first book. And... I don't think she was successful. This book starts off right where book 1 left off - but from Catalina's point of view - with Catalina being dropped off into her jungle exile. She is whiny, narcissistic, and entitled as ever. Then she runs into her old general's son who disappeared into the jungle three years ago (which was OBNOXIOUSLY CONVENIENT and I hate when authors do that) and they resume their travel together to try to find the City of Gold, where Catalina hopes to persuade their ruler to help her take back her country... Which was originally the country of the people now hiding in the jungle.

Some of the major plot points of the book were nonsensical. The "romance" was angsty and tropey in a not great way. The portrayal of indigenous people in the first half of the book was bothersome. The magic felt over explained. The plot was predictable. No one was particularly memorable and I don't know that anyone fully redeemed themselves.

The good: the magic system (when not over explained), the use of Spanish, the final scene, the food.

I think I'm in the minority here, but I'm sorry - this one just didn't live up to the first book for me.
Profile Image for anna ✩.
447 reviews115 followers
January 25, 2021
5 stars!

Isabel Ibanez returns with another wonderful adventure in the world of Woven in Moonlight. In this magical companion novel, we follow Catalina, a Condesa without a country, who is banished to the jungle. Even though Catalina knows her chances of survival in the jungle are very limited, she is willing to try in order to reclaim her throne.

Just as in woven in moonlight, the reader is put through a whole journey in this book! Isabel has a way of hitting all humans emotions and give them the recognition they deserve. Not only that, but the actual story itself is incredibly amazing. The magic! The jungle! The characters! The wisdom! Everything is just so perfect and so hard hitting. Catalina’s character development is some of the best I’ve ever seen.

I love happy stories. Stories that pull at the strings of my heart that demand happiness and reconciliation and better things to come. Stories that depict humankind with all of its flaws but also all of its virtues. Stories that soothe the heart. Isabel’s stories are like this. This is what Written in Starlight leaves you feeling. There’s a sense of fulfilment, a sense of happiness and a sense of hope. Isabels writing is whimsical and beautiful and magical and I never get enough.

I wish there were enough words in the world to describe how much I’ve loved this story, but I’m afraid they all fall short. Just do yourself a favour and please read this book.
Profile Image for Samantha Hastings.
Author 31 books211 followers
September 6, 2020
A spoiled princess’s journey for revenge becomes her road to redemption.

Catalina was born to be the condesa, but she was betrayed by her best friend and exiled. She travels through the Bolivian jungle looking for the golden city and an army to take back the throne that is rightfully hers. The jungle is full of dangerous plants, vicious animals, and dark magic. Her guard, Manuel, helps her on her quest. But is war really what Luna the moon goddess wants? Is being queen worth sacrificing the man that Catalina loves? Even for a seer like Catalina, the future is hard to see.

Isabel Ibanez is a master weaver of words! Her tapestry is an unforgettable jungle setting with plenty of adventure, mythology, and forbidden romance. The book challenges Catalina to examine her prejudices and everything that she has been taught. Only then, can she see the truth about herself, her goddess, her people, and the world around her.

You don’t have to read Woven in Moonlight first to enjoy this story, but there are spoilers for it in this book.
Profile Image for Brithanie Faith.
272 reviews163 followers
September 17, 2020
4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After reading Woven In Moonlight earlier this year, Written In Starlight quickly became one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. Being approved for the e-ARC felt a little like receiving an early birthday/Christmas present, and I'm happy to report that it exceeded my expectations and was every bit as wonderful as its companion.

Isabel Ibañez has a way with words. The only downside to reading the ARC is the wait between this release and the next, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Profile Image for Brianne.
125 reviews
October 6, 2020
I do not normally gravitate to YA or fantasy, but I am so thankful I did. This book was like nothing I've read before, and kept my attention from day one. It had been a while since I read Woven in Moonlight, but as soon as I opened up Written in Starlight it was as if no time had passed! The setting was so unique and provided for such adventure! While the main character is royalty, she is so relatable! The descriptions are so vivid, I felt like I was in the jungle (and I have zero experience to draw from)! I cannot wait to read more from this author, we need this kind of diversity in stories!
Profile Image for Sophia.
55 reviews4 followers
August 24, 2020
***ARC Review***

Written in Starlight is a true work of art. Honestly, I could go on and on about how beautiful Isabel Ibañez’s writing is. The writing style is incredible and the world that has been created in this book is so vivid and beautiful, I could get lost in it forever. Not to mention the descriptions of food are absolutely drool-worthy. The world building is gorgeously lush and the magic system is unique and interesting. Plus, the aesthetics are on point. I love that the author infuses her culture into the story through the occasional Spanish phrase and descriptions of the characters’ lifestyles, it’s wonderful. The characters themselves show amazing growth over the course of the book and are interesting and relatable, exactly what I always look for in book characters. And the plot? Just wow. The mystery, the intrigue, the unexpected twists, this book is just so incredible, I’m obsessed. It’s also one of those books that gets better and better as you read on. The romance is also very sweet and really complex and well done. Another thing I love about this book is the cameos of characters from Woven in Moonlight, an equally incredible book, and it’s amazing that Ibañez managed to take small seeds from that story and spin yet another stunning tale.
So magical in so many ways, Written in Starlight is an absolute must read.
79 reviews14 followers
November 29, 2020
Written in Starlight is a gorgeously written, intense and immersive story! I couldn’t stop turning the pages!!!

Set in a lush, dangerous jungle inspired by the Bolivian Amazon where Isabel’s dad grew up this book truly transported me! There a bits of magic everywhere, and beauty mixed with danger. I was prepared to hate the main character, Catalina, based on what we knew of her at the end of Woven in Moonlight but I ended up loving her! And I fell in love with this book even more than book one! It’s fast paced, while still filled with fantastic world building and wonderfully satisfying character arcs. And it includes my favorite romance trope (but I won’t spoil anything by telling you which trope that is.) 🙂

It gave me tons of The Girl Of Fire And Thorns vibes, which makes me soo happy, because that’s one of my all-time favorite books. I recommend it for fans of ya fantasy with unique magic systems, survival stories, and diverse reads. Thank you Page Street Publishing and NetGalley for the free copy to review!
17 reviews2 followers
October 6, 2020
The setting for Written in Starlight is so immersive I felt like I could taste the jungle, the sticky heat of it coating my throat as I walked along with the characters waiting for the next moment of reprieve! I loved Woven in Moonlight, but I’m having a hard time deciding if I liked that better of Written in Starlight! Isabel Ibanez has definitely outdone herself with this beautiful story of magic, finding yourself and forging ahead no matter the current circumstance. It doesn’t hurt that the love interest in Written in Starlight is a little more my speed! I found myself trying so hard not to speed read ahead to get to the “good stuff”! Let’s be honest, the whole book is good stuff, but I was pretty partial to those moments. Definitely add Written in Starlight to your must read list for 2021!
Profile Image for literarylesbian.
226 reviews2,535 followers
December 24, 2020
The writing style was incomprehensible? I don’t know if this is a translation or publishing error, but regardless, I was unable to read and enjoy this. From what I was able to read, I wasn’t exactly a fan of the story in particular.
Profile Image for Bright Star.
418 reviews126 followers
February 1, 2021
If I had to climb a mountain, I would be less tired.

Written in Starlight was a disaster. And I expected it to be.
Last year, I read Woven in Moonlight and I loved it! Ximena was such a beautiful, strong and smart character, and I loved her relationship with Rumi. But Catalina... I couldn't stand her. And my opinion didn't change in Written in Starlight. In three-quarters of the whole book she's whiny, self-centered and even childish. She would have died in two days if it weren't for Manuel. And honestly? I couldn't have cared. Plus, the first 100 pages were a repetition of the same scene and actions. Boring. I really had no expectations but I didn't think this book could have been so bad.
Profile Image for Johanna.
60 reviews31 followers
February 4, 2022
I really wish I’d like this book more. I loved Woven in Moonlight because of its cute and comfy and creative magic system. Sadly, most of the things that I loved about the universe was nowhere to be found in Written in Starlight.

Let’s start with Catalina. I really really really don’t like her. She was horribly annoying in the first book (which was great and clever from the author because it fits the plot and everything so well) so I expected to need to wait a few chapters in this novel to like her. I was expecting there to be a redemption arc that would be fitting to her. But that kinda didn’t happen? For 2/3 of the books she was stubborn, flat, and unintelligent. Then for the last 1/3 she magically found herself. Like it didn’t really make sense to me how it happened. I feel like her only character traits are her need to be queen and her way-too-sudden love to Manuel. Additionally, she feels very much damsel in distress. She never really fights or carries stuff. Sometimes Manuel even carries Catalina herself. She does not feel like a strong female lead.

Also, the idea of the book kinda feels weird to me. In woven in moonlight we follow Ximena and get to know this society of people. And now, in this book, Catalina constantly plots the downfall of said society that we as readers cherish and love. It was hard for me to connect to Catalina because of it. I saw her as a villain throughout most of it.

Pacing feels a bit strange to me as well. First 2/3 of the book is just kinda wandering around in the jungle and there is no real milestones to me. It’s just constant danger that doesn’t help anyone. And then the plot twist seemed to be resolved rather quickly and kinda seemed to be easy to defeat.

I’m also not sure if there is a conflict of information. I will check this once I’m home. But if I remember correctly then Ximena says that they are up at night (in woven in moonlight) and sleep during the day due to them worshipping the moon goddess Luna and Catalina and Manuel in this book talk about how everybody used to sleep at night.

I do want to say that I think that many people will be able to enjoy the book. Please keep in mind that I am 26 and it might just be one of those cases where I’m too far removed to enjoy a YA novel. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Gina Adams.
651 reviews55 followers
September 8, 2020
Thank you af to the publisher and netgalley for early access to this one!!

This was one of my most anticipated books of Winter 2020/21 and I am so thrilled to say it didn't disappoint.

This book follows a different main character than book 1, Woven in Moonlight, but it's hard to say much about that at all without spoiling book 1. I highly recommend you NOT read the synopsis to this story if you plan on reading book 1 and haven't yet!

However, it's obvious, at least, from the cover that this story takes place in the jungle. It's part survival story, part characters' development, part romance, and it was all so fun. The storyline in this one is pretty simple compared to book one - it's almost a quest book, with a journey to one place, spending time in that place, and then the resolution. The simplicity, though, definitely did not hurt the story in any way. It's so different from book 1 in that way, but there's still common themes and styles between the two books and it is a great continuation of the story.

The writing in this book is absolutely stunning. The imagery is so thorough and detailed, without being too fancy. It's incredibly easy to picture this story scene by scene, even for someone like me who typically has TV static in the brain. I said this about Woven in Moonlight, but this one, too, would make a fantastic movie. The way these books' rising and falling action scenes go are really just cinematic.

The characters in this book are really easy to get attached to, regardless of the way you were introduced to them at one point or another. They have emotional walls up, are hyper-focused on goals that might not be right for them, and are quick to say things they don't mean, or mean things they don't say. They are flawed and lovable in the best ways. The way people change and grow throughout this story is very in line with the way Ximena grew over the course of Woven in Moonlight, and it was one of the things I loved most about that book.

Full and complete transparency, I read Woven in Moonlight solely because the cover was beautiful. I truly could not make a lick of sense out of the synopsis, but I tried it for the aesthetic. I am not a fantasy person, normally, so I was trying something out of my comfort zone. But the magic system in these books is pretty interesting - they are just people who happen to have powers. The books aren't really about finding magic, losing it, discovering new magic... it's just kind of part of who they are. It makes it easy to grasp that way, and I completely fell into both stories even with magic playing the part it did.

Sorry that this review couldn't be more in depth, but just know that I love these books and I think they're both wonderfully executed, fun, and moving. I love the characters and the world and the writing and I would wholeheartedly recommend both books to almost anyone.
Profile Image for Sowmya (bookishelflife).
408 reviews37 followers
December 16, 2020
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for my advance eARC for an exchange of honest review, all opinions expressed are mine

I fell in love with Woven in Moonlight earlier this year so when I saw that the sister novel is available for request, I crossed my fingers and put in my request. Let's start with the cover, how gorgeous is that? if you don't know the author herself is the designer of both the stunning covers, no wonder she has an incredible imagination

Written in Starlight picks up where the former book ends with Catalina being banished out of the kingdom into the mysterious forest, feeling betrayed and stripped of power Catalina ventures into the sinister yet beautiful Yanu Jungle. With the deadly jungle full of Anaconda's and her water's filled with Piranha's to mysterious mythical beings,Catalina's chances at survival are slim yet the ever determined she is to displace the current Llacsan, she fights against all odds before she meets her long lost alley Manuel. Manuel sworn to the ex-Condesa agrees to accompany her to the mysterious city of Pititi to find an alliance for Catalina in order for her to overthrow the current queen and regain the lost glory for all her people. However this is not a mere stroll in the woods, every step is a suicide with all the magical beings in the jungle and other things that haunt the thick forest, will Catalina survive the jungle and brewing battle both inside herself and in her kingdom? will Manuel become more than her sworn in knight?

Isabel Ibanez has a beautiful writing style, she built a world so resplendent that everything comes to life with her words. The first half of the plot comprises of Manuel and Catalina trying to survive the jungle, to be honest the first 30% of the book can be slow but still engaging nonetheless, the rest of the book is evenly paced and kept me intrigued until the very end. The plot is quite gripping as I was unable to figure out how or what was happening till the very end, I enjoyed Catalina's journey of self- discovery. While the tough life in the jungle puts things into perspective, the allies she makes brings her hidden gift to life showing the real path that fate wants to put her on., with a good dose of forbidden love and South American folklore aspects Written in the Starlight definitely lived up to my expectations. A very special mention about the mouthwatering food descriptions Isabel had written in the book which made the world just as special as it was in the Woven in Moonlight ;)
Profile Image for Maria.
427 reviews23 followers
August 22, 2020
Written in Starlight
368 pages
Genre: fiction
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
** Thank you to @pagestreetpublishing & @netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

SYNOPSIS: This companion novel to Woven in Moonlight follows the outcast Condesa, as she braces the jungle to forge an alliance with the lost city of gold. Catalina is a Condesa without a country. She’s lost her throne, the loyalty of her people, and her best friend. Banished to the perilous Yanu jungle, she knows her chances of survival are slim but that won’t stop her from trying to escape. It’s her duty to reclaim the throne. When Manuel, the son of her former general, rescues Catalina from a jaguar, a plan forms. While searching for the Illari, she must reckon with her duty and her heart to find her true calling, which could be key to stopping the corruption before it destroys the jungle completely.

REVIEW: I was thrilled when I heard this book would be about a side character from Woven in Moonlight! I wasn’t a huge fan of her in the last book, but I was looking forward to reading her banishment. This book has a gorgeous cover just like the first one, but what’s even more beautiful is the incredible language the author uses, from the first page to the very last sentence. The writing is so descriptive and poetic, and I felt like I was in the jungle right along with Catalina. Catalina goes through so much growth and development as a character, and I’m so glad we got to see her on this journey and I’ve come to appreciate her more and where she comes from. This book was filled with adventure and a hint of romance, which was perfectly laid out and didn’t seem forced. I also loved how many conflicts were going on and that they were all tied together in some way. The battle the Illari face on their own is interesting, and adding in Catalina’s internal conflicts, and struggle to survive in the jungle, made for a really good story that I devoured. I highly recommend Woven in Moonlight, and this sequel, Written in Starlight!

I can’t wait to see where this story goes next. Written in Starlight comes out January 26, 2021!
Profile Image for Shannon.
16 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2020
Definitely a sequel. While this story could be read as a stand alone., it makes way more sense if you have read Woven in Moonlight. I personally am so happy that we got to have Catalina's story because when Woven in Moonlight came out I asked the author if she thought Catalina would survive the jungle and I was told to "wait for the next book ;-)" Catalina has been banished to the jungle and is saved by her former guard and the man who she has held a torch for for 3 years, Manuel. The go on a mission to find the Illari and their city of gold to plead for assistance in regaining Catalina's throne.
Along her journey Catalina will find many truths, her true purpose, her true love, her true friends, and her true people.

The only downside to this novel was that it took me a little while to get through than normal because it is what I consider "an outside book" and I tend to find myself drifting when it comes to nature descriptions. This is not a problem of the novel but of mine.
Profile Image for ellie.
232 reviews1 follower
Want to read
February 5, 2020
2/4/20 - Just finished Woven in Moonlight, and I thought I smelled hints of a companion novel with that ending and I'm SO happy I was correct! I didn't particularly care for Catalina in WiM but I'm excited to see where this book will take her since she has so much room for growth!!
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