Alyssa D’Yaragen is just an elf trying to make ends meet. Thankfully, working as a freelance thief – a runner by the street name Lysistrata -- pays more than she would make in a month selling cell phones to retropunks at her antique shop. Though she’s low-tech, she has an advantage over her fellow larcenists. She has magic.
Logan Turner, a techie and fellow runner, offers to bring her in on a high paying run stealing data from megacorporation Americorp. She accepts, partially for the payout, mostly for the challenge. Things get complicated, though, when her ex-boyfriend Tristan McCullough shows up with apologies – and, infuriatingly, the perfect recon opportunity for the Americorp job. Adding more fuel to the bad-decision fire is the mysterious Seraphina Dubhan, and Alyssa finds herself falling hard for the enigmatic elf.
But when Alyssa suddenly becomes the target of mystical attacks, things stop being about the money and become all about survival. With others caught in the crossfire, she needs to find and stop the attacker before the Americorp job is ruined and she – or one of her friends – pays the ultimate price.
Weaver’s Folly is my kind of read. Fae (okay Elf) based with a mystery to solve, suspense, action, an underdog type protagonist and to top it off with some romantic tension, this book had everything that I absolutely adore in my reading material.
Allyssa is an elf living in the human world. She makes a legit living selling cell phones, but is a “runner” on the side. A Runner is someone who will acquire, mostly illegally, objects for a price.
In Weaver’s Folly, Allyssa finds herself running against a human techie named Logan. When the job becomes more complicated, Logan and Allyssa team up only to draw the attention of someone targeting the magically inclined.
Great characters, a fantastic plot and a perfect balance of all the things I love in a story!
New, fresh and straight up amazingly original fae based read. 4.5 stars Full Review to follow
I received this ARC copy of Weaver's Folly from Curiosity Quills Press. This is my honest and voluntary review. Weaver's Folly is set for publication March 15, 2018.
My Rating: 4.5 stars Written by: Sarah Madsen Series: The Shadowspinner Chronicles #1 Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press Publication Date: March 15, 2018 Genre: Urban Fantasy
This book actually seems to tell two stories. One story is about Alyssa and Logan. They are "runners" or cat burglars. They are quite elite. I really enjoyed this part of the book. They had a great comradeship that made you want to read more about them. They were complete polar opposites which played up perfectly to so many things that could have happened. They had a great twist ending that I didn't see coming and it can be really good in follow up books. If the author would have spent more time with this part of the book instead of making it a little repetitive and making their runs so easy, the book could have been a 5 star book.
The other story was with Alyssa, Tristan and Seraphina. They are all elves and there is suppose to be this amazing chemistry between them. Tristan is her ex and she is suppose to be all gaga over him still, but I felt nothing. He was a cardboard cutout character who really had no role in the book whatsoever. Alyssa and Seraphina were suppose to have so much instant chemistry between them it cause literal sparks. I am glad the author wrote the sparks in there because I felt nothing. The big reveal in this storyline, which was the major part of the story, was so obvious, it made me want to slap Alyssa for being so stupid.
I gave the book 3 stars in hopes that future books center around Alyssa and Logan. That is where the chemistry actually is.
*I requested this book from Netgalley and have given an honest and unbiased review *
Elves are real and living in a near-future Atlanta in this Urban Fantasy/Cyberpunk mash up. Filled with both tech and magic, this one will keep you guessing. The third act is a maze of great twists that will keep you turning the pages.
An elf who earns a living as a cat burglar. Wonderful premise and a highly entertaining read! Like vampires in True Blood, elves are "out" in a futuristic America, trying to navigate identity politics and magic that clashes with technology. Alissa's got to pull off a high-stakes theft...but magical creatures keep trying to off her. Can she earn her biggest payout yet without getting caught or killed?
I also highly enjoyed the Tolkien allusions sprinkled throughout. Maybe the world of Weaver's Folly is real and Tolkien knew (;
Spoiler alert??: Alissa the elf is bi-sexual, which I thought was very refreshing in a fantasy world. The romantic elements added to the twisty plot in a very satisfying way!
Oh man this was such a blast of a heist book! Totally gave me a Kate Daniels meets Shadowrun vibe with awesome tech details and magical touches all weaved (hah pun not intended but totally going with it LOL) together seamlessly.
Added bonus for this little bi reader is the very bi protagonist (though her labels aren't explicitly on the page) dealing with her "couldn't keep it in his pants while they were together" man ho ex and a gorgeous mysterious lady love interest keeping her on her toes. It's always a blast getting to see a bi protagonist in SFF and I definitely look forward to seeing more of Alyssa!
Finally, I enjoyed the hell out of both Rose and Jeremiah as our side characters. I could easily read a book about either of them too!
The book grabbed me from the start with rich writing, fantastic characters, and a well developed world. I rearranged my day to keep reading and finished it before bed. Give yourself a treat and pick this up.
Blending the mystical and technological without either losing their distinction or creating an arbitrary division, Madsen creates a world part way between urban high-fantasy and cyberpunk thriller.
When elves revealed themselves to the world, they kept the existence of magic a secret. Living among humans, they seem to enjoy the same pursuits, use the same technologies, and face the same tedious challenges. Alyssa D’Yaragen is just trying to make a living: by day, she sells ancient trinkets to retropunks; by night she works as a runner, stealing items and information to order. But, unlike many elves, she hasn’t integrated; instead of the specialist technology and implants other runners use, she wields subtle sorceries. However, when a routine job falls apart and mystical assassins start targeting her in public, she must abandon her attempt at a quiet life, or see it destroyed and her friends with it.
A world where cybernetics and mega-corps exist alongside elves and magic cannot but evoke thoughts of the setting forShadowrun. And Madsen’s world does include the classic opposition of magic and technology. However, the differences are significant: while elves live alongside humans, they are a separate species from another realm rather than evolved from humans and much of their true society and ability is displayed only in that realm; and the opposition of magic is due not to any inherent metaphysical rule but to magical energy interfering with delicate technology.
This combination of the majority of elves who live among humans being those who cling less to tradition and only elves who use magic being unable to use cutting-edge technology creates a more plausible interaction of fantasy and cyberpunk than those worlds where there’s an arbitrary line between the magical and mundane.
The ability of elves to have the latest implants also makes the ongoing concealment of magic and other realms seem less unfeasible. The same ‘magic or technology’ trope that Madsen tweaks also inclines people in-world away from the otherwise most likely assumption that creatures of fantasy tales are magical. And the capabilities of current technology means any sightings of magic are likely to be seen as merely bleeding-edge prototypes or covert proprietary equipment.
Ironically, this skilled integration of fantasy and cyberpunk in human society leaves the elven realm and society feeling more stereotypical by comparison: while Madsen puts her own spin on it, the magical hippy trope common to straight fantasy is prominent. However, with a protagonist who’s chosen to not live there, this lack of complexity suits the narration so is only likely to disappoint readers who love to know a world in depth.
The narrative similarly skilfully interweaves technological and mystical plots, along with pleasingly nuanced social challenges stemming from Alyssa’s choice to live as a shopkeeper and thief.
Alyssa herself is an engaging protagonist. Her personality is modern rather than traditional, making her decision to live in the human realm entirely plausible. But, possessed of powerful magic, she is denied the casual access to modern technology and the opportunities it brings that even most elves enjoy. While this does not justify her working as a thief-for-hire, the soft exclusion it creates does excuse her using less than legal means to survive. Her life outside the demands of her job is also both sympathetic and complex: she has friends and acquaintances that she trust to different amounts, and struggles with the appearance of possible lovers old and new.
The supporting cast are similarly detailed: most people are casually decent but also self-interested, and has both prejudices and drives that are important enough to weaken—if not always overcome—them. This complexity of character makes them an ideal combination of (sometimes loving) obstacles, suspects, and allies for a plot based around unseen technological and magical threats.
The different culture of the elves makes Alyssa and other characters more open to choosing partners on personality rather than rigid sex lines, creating a greater sense of diversity.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel greatly. I recommend it to all readers of cyberpunk or urban fantasy who don’t object to a slight overlap.
I received a free copy from the publisher with a request for a fair review.
Weaver’s Folly is the first of a new paranormal series by Sarah Madsen and introduces elf Alyssa D’Yaragen who works as a freelance thief. She is an elf weaver and can perform magic, though she can’t handle technology without shorting out her brain. There are potential love triangles in the making: Alyssa and her hot new lover, Seraphina, plus another thief, Logan Turner; the second is Alyssa, Turner and Alyssa’s old beau, Tristan.
When mystical beings (trolls, etc) begin hunting Alyssa, she knows something is up. Her feelings are confirmed by a seer, Jeremiah, who sees doors opening, some of which should remain closed.
Set in the near-future in Atlanta, magic and technology exist side-by-side. Weaver’s Folly is exciting and full of twists and turns. This is an innovative blend of worlds with a strong original heroine.
As part of a series, the original plot is completed, but there’s enough of a cliff-hanger to urge readers to buy the next book.
Terrific urban fantasy with lots of action and magic and a sense of humor. I picked this book up on a whim, and am glad I did so. The main character is a badass — smart and savvy, loyal to her friends, but not without her weaknesses. The rest of the cast is well-drawn with an excellent story. Alyssa, the main character, is an elf living in Atlanta, but an Atlanta in a cyberpunk, slightly dystopian future (can anyone really tell if it’s a dystopia anymore?) She’s a runner — someone who takes jobs that aren’t really legal — and runs a thrift shop on the side, which mostly doesn’t pay any of her bills. When she takes a job that involves one of the most secure buildings she’s ever attempted to run, with a stranger who she needs to learn to trust (even though she has major trust issues already), it sets in motion a series of events that is mostly wrapped up by the end of the book, but definitely leaves room for more story. Which I’m looking forward to. For fans of urban fantasy, a definite recommend.
A big thank you to NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. First time reading this author. I am rating this a 3.5, mainly due to lack of information. I felt at a disadvantage the entire book. Would have liked more information on the elf world. Alyssa was duped from lack of information. Loved Logan and Jeremiah! Liked Alyssa. Left room for future stories so not everything gets resolved. Overall, I would say it was pretty fun and I read it fairly quickly. I say try it!! Let me know what u think.
A run gone bad leaves elven thief Alyssa D’Yaragen, Lysistrata when she’s on a run, with a fantastic opportunity. All she has to do is work with the guy who made the last run go bad for her and steal some data from a company. A super high profile mega corporation , Americorp, whose security is guaranteed to give both of them more than a run for their money, but still. The pay and challenge are way too good to pass up. Complicating things somewhat her ex, Tristan, shows up begging forgiveness and offering a too good to be true opportunity for information gathering. More complicated even than a cheating ex are the sparks that fly when she meets gorgeous Seraphina Dubhan, feelings and all that. When she becomes the target of magical attacks any other concerns have to take a back seat to keeping her friends out of the cross fire and surviving. Surviving and, of course, getting the Americorp job done.
I initially found myself comparing Sarah Madsen’s Weaver’s Folly to a number of things, mostly Shadowrun. The whole protagonist is a highly specialized thief in a world with both magic and cyber punk style tech is what does it I think. Magic and technology not working together is also a similarity, but I feel like that is a sort of ground rule thing. You don’t want to give a character supercharged magic powers and a cybernetic body to keep them from getting worn out using them, so it’s a functional limiter in the world of the story.
I like that a lot actually. It separates the main character from a near necessary set of tools and forces her to rely on other characters, particularly Logan. It also gives her an edge that most other characters simply can’t access while forcing her to keep it a secret. I feel like more weight could be given to the secrecy aspect later in the series, but it does make a degree of sense. I feel like this would go hand in hand with more focus being brought in on the elven aspect of the magic, or the elven aspect of Alyssa.
The characters interest me more than the magic though. There are a few places where the interactions are a bit stiff, but most of those feel like they’re meant to be a little awkward. I like most of the characters and enjoyed seeing Alyssa and Logan working together. I wanted to see more of Alyssa’s roommate and more of Seraphina, the mysterious woman Alyssa winds up crushing on. Alyssa herself has an interesting thing going on with regard to where she belongs between Arcadia and Atlanta. She has people she cares about in both places and both places are part of her. It was interesting to see her think on that some.
Weaver’s Folly feels like a first book in a couple of ways. This is largely due to some clunky exposition early on, a couple of things get explained in a block immediately upon being brought up rather than later where they would have flowed better. The bit with light elves, like Alyssa, and dark elves historically hating each other was a particularly jarring example. I would have liked to have seen more on that throughout, since it seems like it should be important in later books.
That kind of ties into my other issue, there’s this prophecy early on that comes back up a couple of times and it feels like it should tie really heavily into one of the antagonists. It feels like it should but the support for that connection isn’t there, just boom here’s an antagonist. This was really frustrating for me for a lot of reasons, but a lot of it boils down to looking back and seeing places where foreshadowing might have been attempted but wasn’t done well enough or consistently enough to add up to anything. It wound up feeling like it had been shoved in at the end to lead into the next book.
The thing at the end affected my reading of the book more than anything else. Stumbles are an expected thing in the first book in a series. But I flat don’t like it when the end of a book feels like the prologue to the next. That said, there’s enough that Madsen did well in Weaver’s Folly that I was already planning on reading the next one when it comes out. I liked her characters and would have liked to have seen more of them. The separation between cyber punk Atlanta and deeply magical Arcadia is fascinating to me. I’m curious about the specifics of how magic works here. The whole of the book leaves me wanting more and for that, Weaver’s Folly gets a four out of five.
I was sent a copy of this by Curiosity Quills Press for honest review.
This was a nice start to a new urban crossworlds fantasy series with a fair bit of shadowrunner technomancy. It's well written and entertaining. I am not really the target audience (in that I am not in any way young/new, and most would dispute the 'adult'), but I found it well plotted and (for a fantasy) believable.
There are fae and other magical humanoids with their own desires and agendas. Their interactions with 'normal' humans are interwoven around a sort of 'mission impossible' framework; break into the most secure target imaginable, steal prints, acquire the target, etc etc.
At the end of the day, it's a techno-magic shadowrunner thriller with a hiiiiint of romance thrown in. The female lead is strong and relatively normal and I liked her relationship with her roommate/bestie Rose.
There is some mildly strong language as well as some (f/f) sexual content, and implied sex. There really isn't anything that would upset most readers of urban fantasy.
The author is a capable writer and has produced a well fleshed out world and enjoyable magic system. It did occasionally feel like everything that the main character Alyssa did was more or less guaranteed to go right in the end. I never felt much tension or threat and the denouement was well written, but not a surprise.
I liked this one a lot and will seek out the next book in the series. There's potential here.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
WEAVER'S FOLLY is an entertaining read with a pretty fresh premise. Aside from the brilliant futuristic setting and elves being "out of the closet" so to speak, I loved the slight allusions to Tolkien and his writings interspersed in the plot. The mix of tech and magic and how they don't work too well together reminded me of the Kate Daniels series. I loved the explanation of how elf magic works and the history of how elves came to be living with humans out in the open. The plot revolving around a cat burgling elf is basically a heist action story with tons of magic thrown in for that extra element of danger and fun. While some of the twists were sort of obvious, the story was fast paced and kept my interest enough that I read this in one sitting.
Alyssa, is your typical tough, self-sufficient urban fantasy heroine. I really enjoyed getting to know her and was pleasantly surprised to have a bi heroine in a story. I was also happy that Logan Turner and Alyssa's ex, Tristan were not forced into a love triangle. Logan works as Alyssa's partner and is a pretty fun character who I hope stays as just Alyssa's work partner.
WEAVER'S FOLLY is a great beginning to an urban fantasy series with a touch of sci-fi genre added to it. I loved that mix and there is plenty of interesting concepts in this world and questions to answer to make for a fun, compelling series.
This book is an absolute blast to read. I read a LOT of urban fantasy because it’s a great genre, and I’ve never read anything that blends Elves and magic with future world technology. It’s refreshing, interesting, and fun.
As the first book in the series, Sarah Madsen does an excellent job of introducing the worlds, presenting primary characters, and creating both immediate plot and story arc plot. I like that the immediate plot was tied up by the end of the book, and I appreciate the lack of cliffhanger ending. Considering the book is only a couple hundred pages, there’s a lot going on in here: mystery, romance, monsters, heist planning and plotting, and some other stuff I can’t talk about since I’m not revealing spoilers.
The book flows well, the action keeps the plot moving, but there’s definitely room for this series to be character driven rather than plot driven. The main character has a lot of depth to her. The others have room to grow.
There’s certain plot points that need to get tied up in future books, but I’m loving the cat burglar aspect of the book and would love to see more of that. Both worlds are interesting too. And Jeremiah is fascinating.
I’m giving this book a 4 star rating bc the concept is new and different, and because this book made me want to stay up past my bedtime so I could read it. Given how exhausted I am (working 45+ hours a week while single parenting the 1 year old while hubby is deployed) sleep is a precious commodity!
I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Please visit me at Shh, I am Reading for more reviews!
This was a wonderful blend of fantasy, myth and future. I love anything Fae, even though Alyssa is actually an elf. Close enough. The elves have made themselves known to the human world and live side by side with them. Some favour the human world and have embraced the tech.
I loved that Alyssa lived double lives. First life was owning a storefront selling relics of the past and her second job is as a cat burglar. With her elf abilities, she was on a fast track to becoming one of the best. At least until she is put up against Logan who teaches her a few things.
When Logan was introduced, I was worried this was going to become one of those stereotypical new adult novel insta-love but the fact that Alyssa had no interest in Logan beyond working with him, that completely derailed all of that. There was romance and I enjoyed that Alyssa toyed with the idea of either giving her ex another try or go for this sensual lady, Seraphina. She ended up picking Seraphina and the romance was quite evident without it taking over the whole story. I appreciate when authors do not turn their female leads into gooey pots of melted marshmallows when there is love involved.
This is a fun story full of twists, turns, elves and fantastical assassins. I definitely recommend this to any urban fantasy readers.
This was a fun romp - a little bit sci-fi/dystopia, a little bit fantasy/faerie tale, a little bit adventure/espionage. Unfortunately, I called the bad guy from first introduction (even though it's supposed to be a surprise). I also appreciated the normalcy of queer/same-sex relationships, particularly when the protagonist is directly involved.
Madsen's strength seems to be in action sequences and movement. The breaking-and-entering (using both magic and technology) was intense and believable within universe. It also had a really nice rhythm and solid pacing.
I could have used more character background for everyone but Alyssa. The people she surrounds herself with -even the primary supporting character Logan - didn't have a whole lot of depth or any real definition outside of a relationship with Alyssa.
The ending was also a little hard to believe. A stubborn protagonist just kind of... lets her antagonist get away? Without even trying outside of the climactic confrontation? I understand this is the first in a series, so I'm hoping for more of our antagonist in the future.
**This book was gifted to me by a relative of the author. All opinions are my own**
Just started using Scribd and wanted to check out a "Scribd Original" audiobook.
As a whole, "Weaver's Folly" was good. I don't have any complaints about the writing, characters, or pace. The ultimate antagonist was a little obvious from the start, which was a somewhat tedious, and the romance was not something that I particularly cared for, but I could see why people have reviewed the book relatively highly.
I'm surprised that there wasn't more interest in a novel like this; I would have expected there to be a sequel. Maybe Scribd releasing an audio version will get more people interested because I feel like there are a lot of people who would get into this.
I'm not normally a huge fan of elves, but this novel gives you elves like you haven't seen them before. Really, I adore our main character Alyssa--and all of the side characters! They are fresh and fun!
Plus, the world that Madsen crafts is almost familiar (near future, cyberpunk) Atlanta, but also there is Arcadia (the elf homeland). This book is such a treat. Well-written and fun and freshen's up the urban fantasy genre.
I'd love to read more books in this world from Madsen--but this book taught me that I'll read anything Madsen writes.
An absolute edge of your seat read from beginning to end. Lys is such a fun character to follow along, her perceptions of the situations in which she finds herself are relatable and intriguing. Madsen weaves a plot that only gets thicker as you go along like a wise dealer leaves you satisfied and clamoring for more.
Looking for a quick entertaining read and this hit the spot. The world building is a little light, but the characters are fairly interesting and there is plenty of action and adventure. Some things were left unresolved at the end of the story, but it is acknowledged by the main character and should make for entertaining sequels.
I read this in one day because it was that compelling. I truly couldn't put it down. I got very attached to the characters immediately. It has all the sci-fi/fantasy elements I love, along with really cool world-building and a thrilling heist storyline.
The title says it all, and I mean that in the best way. Engaging characters, excellent plot and pacing, and a world you can sink your teeth into. You can see why the author makes a living building fantasy worlds; it’s evident in every page.
A fun, futuristic, fantasy from debut author Sarah Madsen. Madsen's creative world full of engaging characters sets the stage for both a satisfying first novel but also the rest of the series. Sometimes you just want to read a fun book, and this hits the spot.