Book Review: Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Woven in Moonlight
Series: Woven in Moonlight #1
Author: Isabel Ibañez
Genre: YA Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Hardback, 384 pages
Goodreads / Amazon / Waterstones


Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.


‣ POV: 1st person, Ximena

‣ Summary in Emojis: 👸🌙🌿☠️🗡️

‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: battle scenes, references to torture, brief scene of an execution, violence

My Thoughts

Oh this was wonderful! Woven in Moonlight is such a gripping, fast-paced fantasy, filled with culture and politics, love and revenge. The author manages to portray two sides of a revolution without making either side all bad, or all good.

It’s easy to see how the past has shaped Ximena into the bitter, angry girl that she is at the beginning of the book. Her parents were killed, her people lost their homes and she’s forced into a role for the sake of protecting the real Condesa. It’s a lot for a young woman to take on and throughout the book her struggles to find her real identity were heart-breaking. I loved how Ibañez showed Ximena slowing changing her views as she learns more about the history of her people, and also how she starts to show signs of her true self as she forms ties with the new people she meets.

My favourite parts of this novel however weren’t the characterisations, although they were amazing, but the sense of culture Ibañez showed. It was in everything from the clothes, the surroundings, even the food the characters ate. Oh my gosh, the food sounded delicious. There’s a summary in the back of the book explaining some of the terms and some of the food items had me drooling! Everything was so lush and vibrant.

Also the magic in this novel is different to anything I’ve read before. It was wonderfully unique and beautifully described, I loved the imagery Ibañez brought up with her words of how it all worked.

All in all this is one I would highly recommend for those looking for a lush, vividly imagined fantasy world with a wonderful cast of characters and some very drool-worthy food.


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