Got a little magic in your fingertips? Always suspected you aren't quite like those ordinary mortals? Adelice has known since she was eight years old that she could do something others could not do and that her parents needed her to hide that incredibly unique ability. Now at age 16 Adelice is standing on the threshold of a huge life change.

For years her parents taught her to hide her gifts and abilities so she would escape the notice of the authorities in search of Spinsters. But, when Adelice had to submit to testing as all sixteen year old girls are, she loses control of herself momentarily. Her parents do not know that this is her last night in her home with her family. Adelice knows the authorities will come for her soon and she's trying to savor every moment with her younger sister and her mother and father.

When they arrive, things do not go well. Adelice's parents tell her to run and she is stunned to find tunnels in the basement of her own home. But there is no escape and Adelice will be taken battered and bruised to a cell where she will be evaluated again among the other girls who have been brought for consideration as Spinsters. What do the Spinsters do? They weave the strands and threads of time, of weather, of crops and water. They create the fabric of society.

This is a story of illusion and the role of women. Our main character, Adelice, has self-confidence and a simmering potential for tremendous power with her unexpected gifts. There is plenty of intrigue in this manipulated world but Adelice seems to be equal to the task. She is quick with the truth and has growing concerns for those she cares about and what the truth is about the role of the authorities.

Plenty of hints at the imperfections that are expanding in our own times. A nice read alike for Divergent or Incarceron. Touches of romance, some violence.  I love these books that center on main character girls who have a special gift that seems to connect them to other dimensions beyond our own.  When the main character is strong and falling in love, the story is that much better.  This one has all those magical ingredients.  

Ages 13 and up 358 pages 978-0374316419

Recommended by: Barb


  1. After the earth failed from the many wars and killings Arras was created by weaving threads of time and matter. By using the Earth itself Arras is able to exist and be its own place with the help of the many Spinsters and the one Creweler that have been chosen to weave.

16 year-old Adelice is now old enough to be tested to see if she has the ability to weave so she can move on as a Spinster. Being a spinster will give you everything that you want: privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary or teacher or one of the few other jobs that women are allowed to do. They are the ones who will be able to weave reality just like weaving a tapestry. Adelice doesn’t want to be a spinster and when she fails the test by accidently showing that she can weave without a loom she knows that they will come to her home that evening to pick her up.

Later she is torn from her family and sent to live at the Coventry where she and others are trained in keeping the land of Arras running smoothly by regulating things like

weather and births and also by ripping” threads (removing those who might pose a threat). Everything in Arras including life and death are controlled by the weavers and how they weave their tapestry. Being a Creweler is the highest station of a weaver and only a few will ever have the ability to be one.

As other girls are excited to be there and are looking forward to the work all Adelice wants to do is escape and find her sister. She meets Eric and Jost who both seem to want to help her but both leave her with reasons why she cannot trust them. She meets Enora h

er mentor who seems to be a true friend. Then there is Cormac who is the leader of the Coventry but is a threat to Adelice.

Adelice is a smart girl with a goal in mind and seems to never worry about speaking her mind which may not always be in her best interest. Will she get herself in trouble and have to have her mind remapped or can she find the ones she can trust and actually escape the Coventry?

Recommended by:  Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA

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