October 16th, 2012
368 pages (hardcover)
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Source - ARC from publicist
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
"That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back."
As with Greek Mythology's Moirae (aka, the Fates), Crewel's Spinsters weave and control all aspects of life in Arras. The Spinster's are beautiful, talented, and privileged. And, in a world where men hold the power, being a Spinster provides the best possible future a woman can hope to ever have. But unlike others, Adelice Lewys isn't eager to give into the world of Spinsters, despite being highly adept at weaving Arras – a natural skill that makes her both valuable and a threat. But Adelice has to be careful, because where the Spinsters can create, they can also destroy.
After a heart-pounding and terrifying beginning, Crewel eventually slows down and takes its time as Albin pulls back the layers of Arras and reveals the details of Adelice's world. From social structures to technology and even to the fascinating job of being a Spinster, Albin carefully reveals all in due time. From beginning to end, it really is quite easy to get caught up in the story, the world, and the characters. Fresh and very unique from other books on the bookshelves, Crewel will show you a world you haven't seen before and leave you eager for so much more.
Highlights: The surprises and creativity. I can honestly say that I did not expect the ending, so that was an interesting surprise. The world was wonderfully written. As a main character, I mostly enjoyed Adelice's POV. Right from the beginning, Albin managed to make me feel sympathy for the protagonist. Descriptions were incredible.
Lowlights: A couple moments that just didn't work for me#. A lot of time is spent waiting for something to happen, instead of actually adjusting the plot so certain events happened earlier. It appears the author is setting up a love triangle for the next book, but it doesn't (thankfully) come across that way for this one.
# Spoiler: Pryana blaming Adelice for her sister's death was ridiculous, since it was Maela's fault. And then Pryana buddies up with Maela? What? It's idiotic to think that anyone would want anything to do with the person who killed their sister. Pryana did not seem like an idiot, so this confused me. Maela also comes across as a bit cartoon-evil a few times (a.k.a. over the top).