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The first book of “The Braided Path” series by Chris Wooding, The Weavers of Saramyr is a fantasy reminiscent of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Set in an alien fantasy world (which has three moons), the story revolves around the conflict between the various noble families of the Saramyrian Empire when it is revealed that the empress’s daughter and heir is an ‘aberrant’.
Aberrants are mutants with various abilities. They are ruthlessly killed by the Weavers, a priestly cast with magical abilities, including the ability to communicate telepathically over great distances. The Weavers serve the noble families, and are tolerated for their gifts, despite the fact that their powers lead to insanity and often horribly violent behavior.
The writing is good, with detailed descriptions of the imagined world, and solid characters. I found the book some what imbalanced, with most of the good characters being women and most male characters being villains. My biggest criticism is of the ending. I won’t reveal it, of course, but it is a bit of a deus ex machina, though at least it is foreshadowed earlier in the story and didn’t completely come out of nowhere.
I have the anthology “The Braided Path”, so I’ll be reading the sequel “The Skein of Lament” next.