About the Book:
Author: Cyla Panin
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: August 23, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
*I received an e-arc from the author and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Beguiled is a luscious YA Fantasy story that is the perfect autumn read! It is steeped in Celtic folklore, full of mystery and has a spooky gothic atmosphere. I really thought that having the main character be a textile artist was very unique and creative as well.
Ella is a seventeen-year-old weaver whose very livelihood depends on her loom. Her father passed away in debtor’s prison and she has had to take whatever jobs she can to support herself. She has always dreamed of opening her own shop, but that dream is so farfetched as she barely has enough to get by. In order to buy supplies, she winds up owing a large debt to a cruel man in the marketplace. When her loom breaks, she realizes that she needs more than a repair to ever do more than just survive. She entertains the idea of visiting the Bean-Nighe (an old washerwoman spirit by the river)who may grant her a wish, for a price.
Ella becomes so desperate for help, she goes to the Bean-Nighe and asks her to fix her loom. It works, her loom is fixed, and she begins to weave gorgeous pieces that she never could have imagined before. She has to feed the loom a drop of her blood every time she weaves, and she thinks this is a small price to pay for weaving such magnificent silks. She immediately brings a couple of bolts of the beautiful fabric to one of her rich clients, and meets an enigmatic young man named Callum and bargains for an invitation to one of his exclusive parties. At the party, he is so mesmerized by her work, he offers her a place to live at his home and patronage for her art. Ella feels like her fortunes have at last changed for the better, until she begins to notice that the loom is taking more from her than she bargained for.
While Ella is whisked away by Callum’s charm and caught up in the web of the Bean-Nighe’s magic, she must find a way to secure her future endeavors while she still has a future left.
I enjoyed Ella as the main character. I had so much empathy for her, and the situation that she found herself in, but I don’t think I would have made the deal that she did. She lived in a society that basically disregarded her, and I found her relatable in the way she struggled with feelings of self-worth. The story becomes darker as it goes along, and it was interesting to see the twists and turns that Ella has to face. I do wish there was a little more to the ending of the book, but overall I was satisfied.
A great sophomore novel for Panin! I hope that you pick this one up ASAP, as it releases Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
About the Author:
Cyla Panin is an MG and YA writer 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 fantasy debut, STALKING SHADOWS is a gothic, feminist fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. To protect her sister, Marie laces perfumes with honeysuckle to mark victims for Ama to hunt when she transforms into a beast at night. But when a child in their town is killed, Marie is forced to acknowledge that she might be losing control of Ama—and must instead find a cure for this curse. It will be published by Amulet/Abrams in fall 2021.