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The Weavers of Saramyr

01/06/2003. Contributed by Donna Jones

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pub: Gollancz. 375 page enlarged paperback. Price: 10.99 (UK-paperback)/17.99 (UK-hardback). ISBN: 0-575-07442-6 (paperback)/0-575-07441-8 (hardback).

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'The Weavers of Saramyr' - Weavers being the aides to the gentry of Saramyr. The Weave - a cosmic web through which the Weavers can communicate, locate Aberrants and kill anyone they wish.

Saramyr is a structured society, built on the bricks of a strict caste system that labels using the inflection of language. The Weavers are bound to locate and destroy the despicable of society, Aberrants.

The Weavers Of SaramyrChildren who are born deformed of the body or that have special gifts, sometimes both. Saramyr faces another threat, more insidious than the Aberrants. Evil is claiming their very land and its source is unknown.

Rumour has it that the Aberrants have something to do with it. The Weavers have turned the whole of Saramyr against the Aberrants but are they really that bad or is the enemy actually within?

The story follows Kaiku, her trials and trepidation's that enfold others on her Braided Path. Tane, a monk from the temple of Enyu, and his own dark past and a quite surprising character, Asara, who seems to be an enigma throughout the book.

Other characters include people from the Aberrant society and their allies. The Weavers secrets have yet to be found but they are on the brink of being unearthed. Set in an obviously oriental land, it is like walking into a lush water colour painting.

Chris Wooding's detailed explanations of society and descriptive oration of backdrops entangles you into this story. There are pages upon pages of Saramyrrhic myth and legend surrounding her three moons and the gods and goddesses of her pantheon. The one thing that I really liked was the descriptive narration of the very nature of the Weavers. Theirs is a despot.

A very squalid part of our human nature that is magnified by the power they wield and that of their Masks. At some points, my stomach actually turned reading about the awful acts they partook of after a session bending and using the Weave. This isn't just fantasy, it's fantastic fantasy!

It is a multi-layered wealth of story. This is how fantasy should be done. It has all the thrill of willing the characters through whatever befalls them. There is a stark contrast of light and dark throughout. Thus lending to a well-balanced read that satisfies but still leaves you wanting the second book sooner rather than later.

At times, the reading of this book is slow. I think in my case, it was the constant gear changes in pace that slowed me down. The sentence length is sometimes very long and then very short, making for a bit of a jerky read.

Overall though, the story and the novel in its entirety make up for it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the film 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' because this has the same oriental mythology undertones.

A really exceptional read!

Donna Jones

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