The Bookweaver’s Daughter by Malavika Kannan (debut YA author)
In the ancient Indian kingdom of Kasmira, stories don’t begin with “once upon a time.”
Instead, Kasmiris start a woman’s story with those who came before her: her parents, grandparents, ancestors. For fourteen-year-old Reya Kandhari, her story always starts the same: with the fabled line of Bookweavers, tracing centuries back to the lost Yogis—the mythical guardians of Kasmiri culture who created the world itself. As a result, Reya’s entire life has been shaped by words. Words of mystique and mythology. Words of magic that allow her father, the Bookweaver, to bring his stories to life. Words of power that make him the target of tyrants who will stop at nothing to destroy magic in Kasmira.
Living in disguise as a peasant in the fields, Reya’s sole focus is protecting the Bookweaver’s secret. But when her father is taken, Reya must flee deep into the jungle, alone with her best friend Nina and one ancient book. Grappling with Reya’s newfound magic, the two girls find themselves in the center of a war of liberation where magic reigns unchecked, and destiny takes a dark turn. As the stakes get higher, Reya realizes that her father’s legacy contains more power than she ever imagined. For Reya Kandhari is more than just a fugitive—she is a symbol of revolution. And that makes her a threat.
In a tale of magic, Indian lore, and radical female friendship, Reya must pass the final test: the Bookweaver’s daughter must weave her own destiny. The fate of Kasmira depends on it.
What are prominent authors and critics saying…
Kirkus Reviews : “In this captivating debut, the author deftly creates a fantasy world with poetic precision. The story is fast paced, and the character development is quite robust for both primary and secondary characters. Reya has a strong character arc that will leave readers rooting for her and her best friend. The fantasy world combines various Indian cultural elements such as food and the grandeur of royalty with magic-weaving. Enchanting.”
Roshani Chokshi, NYT bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves : “A celebration of storytelling by a sparkling new voice who is bound to be a star.”
Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States: “Kannan’s language is as magical as the story she weaves. This book, with its vibrant world and infectious heroine, is sure to enchant its readers.”
Joan Morgan, Author of She Begat This: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down : “The Bookweaver’s Daughter is a captivating, page-turner of a debut with an endearing crew of female characters that embody the eternal magic and sheer badassery of #girlsquads, past and present.”
School Library Journal : “With the descriptive style of Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard and dialogue reminiscent of M.K. England’s Spellhacker , this novel throws readers immediately into a fantasy world where an evil king reigns and there is only one hope for the land: the magic of the Bookweaver. VERDICT: Fans of medieval fantasy, action/adventure novels, and books with strong heroines will love this novel. Recommended for teen libraries.”
Available Now | Ages 12+
$17.99/Hardcover: 978-1-939100-41-2 | 250 pages
Distributed by Simon & Schuster Distribution