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Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Weavers of the Alamaxa by Hadeer Elsbai (Reviewed by Shazzie)

 Book Review: The Weavers of the Alameda by Hadeer Elsbai

The Weavers of the Alameda by Hadeer Elsbai

Read Lukasz's review of The Daughter's of Izdihar here
Read Shazzie's review of The Daughter's of Izdihar here
Order The Weavers of Alamaxa here - U.S | U.K

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Hadeer Elsbai is an Egyptian-American writer and librarian. Born in New York City, she grew up being shuffled between Queens and Cairo. Hadeer studied history at Hunter College and later earned her Master’s degree in library science from Queens College, making her a CUNY alum twice over. Aside from writing, Hadeer enjoys cats, iced drinks, live theater, and studying the 19th century.

FORMAT/INFO: The Weavers of Alamaxa is the finale book of the Alamaxa Duology. It was published on March 19th, 2024 by Harper Voyager in harcover, ebook and audio formats in the U.S, and in paperback, ebook and audio by Orbit Books in the U.K.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB:  The Daughters of Izdihar have finally made strides in having their voices heard. . . only to find them drowned out by the cannons of the fundamentalist Ziranis. As long as Alamaxa continues to allow for the elemental magic of the Weavers - and insist on allowing an academy to teach such things - the Zirani will stop at nothing to end what they perceive is a threat to not only their way of life, but the entire world.

Two such weavers, Nehal and Giorgina--come from very different backgrounds, but had come together to grow both their political and Weaving power. But after the attack, Nehal finds herself waking up in a Zirani prison and Giorgina finds herself on the run in her besieged city.

If they can come together, they can rally Alamaxa to fight off the Zirani, because their abilities only continue to grow. Yet with so much in their way--not the least of which is needing to spend their energy protecting the ones they love--this will be no easy task.

And the last time a Weaver fought back, the whole world was shattered.

Two incredible women are all that stands before an entire army. But they've stood up to power before, and they won then. This time, though, it's no longer about rhetoric.

This time it's about magic and blood.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: The Weavers of Alameda by Hadeer Elsbai is the compulsively readable finale to the Alameda Duology.

Where was we? I always forget with series. But here, I had no trouble diving right back into the world, and that’s a big plus. I generally have trouble getting back to a world and getting comfortable with authorial tone, but this is a very smooth beginning to a book two, and probably a small part of it is because it picks up right after the shocking cliffhanger we were left with.

The pace is blistering. So much happens in this book that constantly keeps characters on their feet, and there’s barely time to sit down and have conversations. This is what I wish there was a bit more of, but given the circumstances in the book, I can barely blame the author. While book one focused on the politics of women’s suffrage, it takes a little bit of a backseat here and the girls fight for existence, but there’s still the undercurrent of elements that seek to subjugate them. There’s also a small amount of longing to simply exist, without being hassled. Here, you should note that while there’s a slightly expanded scope shown for the magic system, there’s not much time devoted to it, which is what I’d love to have seen more of.

Nehal really shines in this book, and she’s exactly like she was in the one before this. I have to say, I am like her in many aspects, so I couldn’t help but cheer for her and cackle at her show of arrogance in the face of being helpless. As for Georgina, well, she might or might not surprise you, you’re going to have to read the book for this. This book mostly takes the girls and the country from beginning to end while leaving you guessing, and though it’s very clear what they’ll do based on their personalities, it’s as character-driven as it is reactionary in the face of adversity driven by plot.

CONCLUSION: Now that I’ve babbled without really saying too much, I just want to tell you I really enjoyed this book. It’s more than a satisfactory ending to the story we were promised in book The Daughter’s of Izdihar. It might not be a trailblazer, but this series is a short, fast-paced one for those who love feminist political fantasy with elemental magic.



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