Author: Cyla Panin
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publishing Date: August 23, 2022
About the Book
A dark and enthralling story about a young woman who makes a deal with a spirit to try and gain her independence—and the twisted price she has to pay for it
Ella is a 17-year-old weaver whose entire livelihood depends on her loom. She dreams of opening her own shop, but when her father died in debtor’s prison, she had to support herself by taking whatever clients she could get. In order to buy her supplies she goes into debt of her own, and when her loom breaks, Ella realizes she needs more help than a repairperson can give her. She, like everyone, has heard about the old washerwoman spirit called the Bean-Nighe who will grant any one wish—for a price.
But Ella is desperate, so she asks the Bean-Nighe to fix her loom. And it works. The loom is fixed, and she’s creating beautiful pieces she could have never imagined before. All she has to do is feed the loom a drop of blood each time she weaves—a small price to pay for such magnificent silks. And when she brings two bolts to a rich client, she meets a mysterious young man named Callum and bargains for an invitation to his exclusive party. At that party, he’s so mesmerized by her talent, he offers Ella a place to live and patronage for her art. It seems like Ella’s fortune is finally turning for the better . . . until she begins to notice the loom taking more from her than she offered.
As she becomes entangled in the lives of the city’s rich, swept into Callum’s allure, and trapped by the Bean-Nighe’s magic, Ella must figure out a way to secure her future while she still has a future at all.
Content Warning: mild self-harm, gaslighting, and emotional abuse
About the Author
Cyla Panin is an MG, YA and Adult Author who prefers to look at the world through a dusting of magic.
After spending most of her childhood wanting to escape into the wonderful worlds her favourite authors created, she’s now using her own words to craft magical places. When not writing, Cyla can be found playing dinosaurs with her two young boys, watching swashbuckling and/or period TV shows with her husband, and, of course, reading.
Her YA debut, STALKING SHADOWS will be out with Amulet, Abrams Fall 2021. She is represented by Chloe Seager of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, and Film Agency.
You can tell from this gorgeous cover that the book has so much in store!
What if there were a Bean-Nighe who could grant you your most fervent wish? If you’re Ella, who is barely making it through the day, who owes a lot of money and doesn’t know where her next meal is coming, it’s worth whatever price the Bean-Nighe asks of her. So when her loom breaks, she knows she must ask the Bean-Nighe to repair it for her. That loom is her livelihood, and without it, she’s sunk.
If I had any negatives with this, and it’s minor, is the use of the word ‘breath,’ through varying intakes, exhales, and held breath, is immense. (104 times, to be exact.) That’s a small thing, and often, authors have a word that they return to, so it’s expected.
Ella is a very naïve character. One would think she had lived a very sheltered life as she’s quick to forgive whom she shouldn’t and quick to accuse, as she did with Odina. Unfortunately, her thoughts didn’t always match her actions. Had the book been the start of a series, I can picture great character growth down the road for her.
Beguiled is a bit of fantasy, fairytale, and romance. Based on Scottish lore, the Bean-Nighe weaves well into this story. The fabric that Ella weaves is richly descriptive. The reader can picture each bolt as they come off the loom. Although there were a few stumbles in reading this, I really enjoyed this, and I think readers will really enjoy this one overall. Thank you, Abrams Kids/Amulet, for sending this along.
“Did they know about the Bean-Nighe too? Did they understand she was a harbinger of death?”
“He might think he was using me for his own ends, but he didn’t seem to realize my eyes were exactly as open as his.”
“I loved the process of weaving, the creating of something beautiful, but there was always something that could go wrong.”
“I couldn’t help it; this was better than the sweetest honey.”
“Callum, who was the unexpected sparkle, the glitter of sequins in the sun.”
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