Not a bad start …
The world Gennifer Albin creates in Crewel is a complex one. Arras is ruled by the Guild, which is run by men; but the world itself is controlled and held together by Spinsters - women who, quite literally, weave the world. The world is so intricate that it takes the entire novel to completely understand the kind of world that Adelice, the protagonist, lives in.
Adelice is gifted with seeing the raw weave of the world she lives in and has the rare talent of manipulating the weave without a loom. Her parents, recognizing this talent tried to teach her to hide it, but failed to tell their daughter why they wanted her to hide it in the first place which leads to her being chosen as a Spinster in the beginning of the story.
There is extensive world building in Crewel; a very ambitious attempt. However, to convey the inner workings of the world, Albin had to make Adelice ignorant of the world she grew up in. At first, I was able to accept this, but it struck me as very odd that her parents trained her for years to hide her gift, but did not educate her on the reasons. The more Adelice’s character was revealed the more unbelievable this became. She is a very headstrong protagonist, willful and curious, but she shows none of this towards her parents and blindly accepts their attempts to hide her gift. Given her character, I would assume that she would want to know why her parents did not want her to become a Spinster - the only women who are respected and honoured in their society. The reason they gave her - being taken away from home - seemed very flat.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy her as a main character. I enjoyed her spunk and all the times she stood against the society, I just wished that she wasn’t so ignorant of the world she lived in or the potential of her talent. Of course, without her ignorance the world building would have been an extremely difficult task.
It took almost the entire story to set the world and its history, and even after the end there were still some question as to what exactly Arras was and how large it was. Even so, there was enough there to keep me reading.
If there was one downfall to the story it would be the love triangle. I’m not saying this only because I think most love triangles in YA novels are unbelievable; the main reason for this was that the two love interests could have been one person and nothing would have been lost in the story.
I’m definitely interested to see where Gennifer takes this world and its characters and am looking forward to reading more in the second installment.
[Review of ARC from BEA]
Release Date: 16th October, 2012 || Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux|| Details →