Review – Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Title Woven in Moonlight

Author Isabel Ibañez


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 princesa, 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.

Release Date January 7, 2020

Initial Thoughts

I was super excited to read this book. I have the sequel in NetGalley and just last week, this was announced as one of Time’s Best Fantasy books. I also loved buddy reading it with my wonderful friend @lianne_the_bibliophile.

Some Things I Liked

  • The magic system. I loved the concept behind the magic and particularly, Ximena’s ability to weave moonlight. I loved that colored yarn brought here creations to life and I adored the menagerie of friends she was able to create through her magic.
  • Batman vibes. I was also a huge fan of the vigilante / mystery man concept here. I thought the reveal was perfect and even I wasn’t completely sure who was going to be under the mask.
  • The romance. I also really enjoyed the subtle romance plot. The enemies to lovers storyline was present but not overwhelming. At its core, this story centered around the political conflict and saving the people. However, the banter was snarky and perfect and I was so happy to see any interactions between Ximena and her love interest.

Series Value

I’m super excited to read the next book in this series. From what I understand, it’s a spin-off. I think that’s the perfect direction to take this series. While I’d love more about Ximena, I’m excited to see the world expanded.

Final Thoughts

I loved this book. I was a bit skeptical when it made Time’s list (and a certain favorite series of mine didn’t). But, after reading it, I can easily see why it is considered one of the best fantasy books of our time.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez – I haven’t read this one yet but I’ll be reading it later this month. If there is even half the magic and stunning writing in this sequel as in Woven in Moonlight, I know it will be amazing.
  • Rook by Sharon Cameron – these are very different stories but I felt like the main characters were similar as well as the vigilante characters.

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