Ximena can weave moonlight into lush tapestries of wool, and sometimes they come to life. When her people need her to infiltrate the enemy's kingdom to take down the false king, Ximena doesn't hesitate—she's ready to fight. But what happens when the cause you've been fighting for becomes more gray than black and white?
Ximena's job is to be the decoy Condesa, who is the true heir to the Illustrian throne. The Illustrians were recently overpowered by Atoc, the leader of the Ilyacans, in a bloody battle that decimated the current ruling powers and made way for a new regime. But all is not well in this new rule, and the Illustrians desperately want their kingdom back.
When Atoc demands the hand of the Condesa in marriage, Ximena knows she must go in the princess' stead. Entering into the belly of the beast, all Ximena has to rely on are her wits, her family's culture, and her magical moonlight weaving—which she plans to use to send secret messages to her people.
But Ximena soon realizes that the playing field isn't all that it seems, and it will take an interesting cast of characters--including a masked vigilante, a trapped princess, and a broody healer—to change her black and white beliefs on an entire community of people. Sometimes the "enemy" isn't evil....
This was such a fun story. I liked the world building and the descriptions—this world is described as "lush" in the blurb, and that's so accurate—and I really enjoyed Ximena's character growth throughout the story. Also, even though the plot felt extremely predictable, it did surprise me a few times!
The only real negative for me was the stilted dialogue. Woven in Moonlight really struggles for the first 50% with what feels like extremely scripted, surface level dialogue interactions. Real people don't talk like they're regurgitating rehearsed lines...and sometimes Ximena's interactions felt like B-list theater plays, where none of the conversations feel organic. This does improve throughout the novel (or maybe I got used to it, let's be real) but it was still something that kept me from getting fully invested into the plot from the get-go.
Thank you to Page Street Books via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. The photo used is of my Book of the Month edition, which I received prior to publication date.