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4.6 8
by Michael Jensen

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Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died,


Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person -- his only hope for understanding what happened to him -- the kingdom's heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When a 17-year-old peasant named Nels finally gets to attend his town’s yearly festival, all he wants is the chance to become a real knight—and perhaps win a kiss from the lovely Princess Tyra. But before the day is out, Nels is killed by a master of the magic called Fabrication. Much to Nels’s dismay, the only person capable of seeing his ghost is Princess Tyra, who publicly humiliated him only hours earlier and has no intention of helping her phantasmagorical new companion. According to a magician named Ickabosh, however, Tyra’s fate is bound to Nels, and the man who killed Nels won’t rest until both of their life-threads are cut. While the novel is aimed at a YA audience, its language sometimes feels closer to middle grade and tends to summarize the protagonists’ feelings rather than demonstrate them (“In spite of the peasant’s insolence, Tyra was intrigued and curious about him—if only a little”). Still, this brisk adventure from first-time authors Jensen and King is a charming quest tale in classic fantasy tradition. Ages 12–up. Agent: Meredith Bernstein, Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"It's not often that you read a fantasy that feels as epic and original as Woven by King and Jensen. Clever, well-paced, and full of intrigue, it's a superb read. Highly recommended." –James Dashner
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Nels’ mother has an intense dislike of the nobility and forbids him to attend the festival in Cobblestown. However, he wants to be a knight more than anything else. On the day of the festival, she travels to a nearby town for dyes for her weaving and leaves him with numerous chores. A mysterious stranger tricks Nels into believing his chores are done and encourages him to attend the festival, where Nels bests the favored knight in a tournament, catching the eye of the princess. Not long after returning home, Nels is murdered and becomes a ghost, setting off an adventure to save the kingdom. Nels’ ghost is bewildered as he sees his mother and his body and is surprised when Tyra, the princess, appears in the woods and is able to see him. She says she was sent by the old tailor in the castle, so Nels and Tyra visit him for answers. Bosh explains that fabrication is the magic that holds together the Great Tapestry into which everyone’s life is woven. He sends them on a quest to retrieve the Needle of Gailnor. With this needle they can alter the tapestry, restore Nels’ thread, and prevent the kingdom from falling into evil hands. The unlikely pair begins a journey that leads to surprises and danger in this fascinating story. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson; Ages 12 up.
VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Jane Gov
Nels always wanted to be a knight for the kingdom of Averand, and he finally sees his chance when he attends the festival. Far from unfolding the way he dreamed, his experience goes from bad (the royals announce they are not seeking new knights) to worse (he is humiliated by the princess) to beyond terrible (he is murdered by a mysterious figure). Now a ghost, Nels is invisible to everyone except for the spoiled, contemptuous Princess Tyra, who begrudgingly agrees to help him in order to free herself from his haunting . . . because there is a way he can be saved. The two set off on a dangerous journey, encountering desperate phantoms, deserted castles, and twisted magic, all to retrieve an ancient needle that holds the power to mend torn time lines. With it, Nels could be woven together again. Woven starts off a bit slowly, but the authors solidify the world in few scenes. Nels is an easy character with whom to connect. He is already a knight in his own right. He is loyal, chivalrous, and kindhearted. The magic system in this world is wonderfully intricate, but only small portions are doled out—just enough to keep readers satisfied. And there are hints of a much bigger, more sophisticated magic system, or at least the potential of one. Readers who enjoy the fantastical or pseudo mythology of Melina Marchetta’s Finnikin Of The Rock (Candlewick, 2010/Voya April 2010) and the dreaminess of Tom McNeal’s Far Far Away (Random House, 2013/Voya August 2013) will enjoy this unique tale. Reviewer: Jane Gov; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—A quarrelsome princess and a handsome ghost connect with sorcerers, conjurors, and witches as they seek an enchanted Needle to stitch the world back together. Nels, a peasant lad seemingly dead at the hands of an evil Fabricator, must join forces with petulant Tyra, princess of Avërand, in order to restore himself to life. The mismatched pair stumble into danger, adventure, and love as they discover nothing is as it seems in their quest to preserve the kingdom. The premise behind this mythical world is creative: a great tapestry into which everything in all of the worlds is woven, supported and protected by weavers with magical skills to keep the threads from unraveling. The execution, however, is not always successful: characters with insufficient depth or backstory and dialogue that occasionally seems too modern for the world in which it is spoken. While many fantasy readers may prefer the works of Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones, there are those who will enjoy the world-building, magic, action, and trace of romance found in this novel, which leaves the door open for sequels. VERDICT An entertaining but slight fantasy for libraries with ample budgets.—Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI
Kirkus Reviews
In a world where reality is created on looms and woven into complex tapestries, Nels' life dangles from a single vulnerable thread. Nels longs to be a knight and can't understand why his mother's forbidden him to pursue his dream. Coaxed into disobeying her to attend the summer festival, he beats Avërand's chief knight in a wrestling match but is publicly snubbed by Princess Tyra, who reneges on her promise to kiss the winner (after all, Nels is a mere peasant). Just hours later, Nels is murdered by a mysterious stranger and becomes a ghost, visible only to Tyra. She may be able to help him back to life, but first he must persuade her to do so and to accompany him on a dangerous quest before time runs out. Mentoring the heroes' journey is Ickabosh, who practices Fabrication, as he is able to perceive and manipulate the threads from which reality is woven. They're pursued by Rasmus, Bosh's former apprentice, bent but powerful and wielding a terrifying gift. Jensen and King's cosmology draws from weaving and tailoring, as do the tools fabricators manipulate—thread, thimbles, scissors—and what they create with them. While the plot follows a familiar high-fantasy arc that occasionally dips into melodrama, the worldbuilding is dynamic, original and intriguing (if a tad schematic), and the characters, appealing. A sure bet for high-fantasy fans. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Jensen is the coauthor of WOVEN, with David Powers King. A graduate of Brigham Young University's prestigious music, dance, and theater program, Michael taught voice at BYU before establishing his own vocal instruction studio. In addition to being an imaginative storyteller, Michael is an accomplished composer and vocalist. He lives in Salt Lake City with his husband and their four dogs.

David Powers King is the coauthor of WOVEN, with Michael Jensen. David was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to become a writer. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He now lives in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

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Woven 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
A unique story that has the nostalgic feeling of a beloved fairytale. I was immediately sunk into this book from page one. There is comedy, romance, adventure, action, magic, ghosts, what's not to love? If that doesn't sound like a great book to you, you are dead wrong. I read it so fast that it felt short but it's a decent size novel. I just fell so in love with the plot and the characters, I just wasn't ready for it to be over. It's amazing. There was never a dull moment, and I don't mean it was wall-to-wall action, I mean that in 344 pages I never got bored. I guess what I'm saying is that I love this book and I would highly recommend it to all of you.
44Boys More than 1 year ago
Excellent book for the young and old. This book has everything: great characters; a fantastic setting with castles and kingdoms; magic and mystery; and a well threaded plot that keeps you turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The basic idea is creative but the writing just isn't good. There is little to no detail to make the story enjoyable. I felt like I was reading a story by a kid in middle school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Father_Dragon More than 1 year ago
I read it as a Review Copy and I really liked it. I thought the kind of magic used in this story was refreshing and original. One gets hooked in the story very quickly. Nels, the hero, is a likable character, although it's not always like that. And I mean it in a good sense. Characters who are likable all the time might get me bored. Princess Tyra is one character you start disliking but eventually she grows on you. Another thing that I loved about the story was its pace. It does have action, intrigue and romance in a good balance. I often find stories predictable, but this is definitively NOT the case. I highly recommend it, a very enjoyable read that leaves you wanting for more. 
Cynthia937 More than 1 year ago
Getting Woven in my hands a week early was an unexpected and FANTASTIC surprise!!!  Thank you Barnes & Noble!  I thought I would have to wait until the 27th.  Woven is a beautiful and engaging story.  The use of sewing magic was very well spun!  Scholastic did a beautiful job putting it together.  And to the authors, David Powers King and Michael Jensen, I hope this book is a launching point for more Woven books—there are so many stories within Woven that are bursting at the seams to be told and explained—truly a well-crafted and written story!  Congratulations to you both on such an entertaining and thrilling book—thank you for the beautiful moments that…sent a chill through me, for the humor that made me laugh, for the wisdom expressed and for writing a story that made me sad to turn to the final page!  I wish Woven the best of success!!!
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