This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi is a YA epic fantasy with romantic elements inspired by Persian mythology. The ebook version is 512 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at a little under thirteen and a half hours and is narrated by Kate Reading. We follow two main characters with third-person points-of-view.
Alizeh the long-lost queen of the Jinns, destined to free her people. She’s been in hiding most of her life, and currently serves as a servant girl and sometime seamstress. Kamran, the crown prince, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his grandfather, the king. He doesn’t see how Alizeh will cause his downfall, but he’s entranced by her strange eyes.
This is the first book in a trilogy and wow does it end with a bang–and an epic cliffhanger! The worldbuilding is fabulous, the prose is lovely and engaging, the plot has good pacing and development, and the character work is superb. This is my first book by the author, but I’m absolutely checking out her back catalogue now. Head’s up that there’s usually a cliffhanger before switching to another character’s point-of-view, as some people dislike that in books.
The romance here is less slow burn and more love at first sight, but we can’t, so it’ll build up over time. I really liked the plot twist, and the reveals of the evils of the world. I don’t know much about Persian mythology but I’m very intrigued to read more about it. There’s also a bit of a Cinderella retelling here, with a servant girl trying to make her way to a ball.
Tropes in this book include: folklore (Persian mythology, Cinderella), forbidden love, secret identity, insta-love
CW: death, murder, violence, parental loss (referenced)