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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review: Meghan Nuttall Sayres' "Anahita's Woven Riddle'

Here's another good on from my Wild Things Summer Reading Challenge. Tomorrow I'm going back to a bad one, but for today, we can pretend everything is happy and every book is good...

Anahita's Woven Riddle Anahita's Woven Riddle by Meghan Nuttall Sayres

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am not going to lie, I fell in love with the coverAnahita's Woven Riddle and that was a big reason I had to read it. I am glad I did. The book takes place in Iran (Persia) around 100 yrs ago, and centers around a young carpet-weaving nomad, Anahita. When her father tells her that it is time for her to marry, and that the local khan (a boorish, crude man who holds the villages fate in his hands) is interested in her, riddle-loving Anahita comes up with a plan to weave a riddle into her wedding carpet, and marry only the man that can solve it. Her father is at first against it, but the idea takes on a life of its own, sweeping up the villagers and far-flung strangers. Some are shocked by Anahita's boldness, some envious of her chance at a choice in who she marries, but spirited Anahita (though she at times feels the contest has gotten away from her) cannot make her self submit to a life where she has no choice, and where her talents, personality and intelligence are not prized.
The book changes perspective from Anahita to some of the men who pursue her and enter her contest, and though there are times when this can get a little frustrating, it is interesting none the less, and allows the reader to make a choice as well: who do we want Anahita to marry? I am not sure how likely the story is (a young nomadic girl in a culture and time when women do not have much of a say about anything), but there are always exceptions to rules, and there are always people who stand out and stand up for what they want. I think young girls will enjoy her journey and her fiestiness, and they will get a dose of culture as well.

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Bonus Material:
Even though I don't feel like this is something I would read again, I still want to buy it just to have it to look at. It truly is a stunning cover.
Also, I was a bit torn over the guys in this. I think she ended up with the right one (read: my favorite), but getting the guys perspectives too, and seeing that they each had something to offer (except the khan, who is repulsive) and were good prosepcts made me wish for a little polyandry. Not gonna lie.


  1. This book sounds quite intriguing! I like the idea of the story, it sounds quite fun and clever. Being a bit of a historical though, I'm not sure whether it would work for me. Perhaps something to check out of the library! Great review, cheers!

  2. I've never heard of this one but it sounds really good! A nomadic girl waving in a puzzle that stumps all these men, my kind of book! Thanks for bringing my attention to a great title/book. I also love the cover :D


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