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The Braided Path by Donna Glee Williams
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The Braided Path

by Donna Glee Williams

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a delightful, if low-key story of exploration and relationships. The inhabitants of the vertical world are to some degree unaware of the larger world around them. As one of them goes beyond the abilities and boundaries of his kind we experience his growth in the wider world, while at the same time we become ever more intimate with the smaller yet intricate culture of the walkers. The various myths and workings of the world are braided to create a lovely whole. There isn't much earthshaking drama, but enough to create a pleasant tension. I became fond of the characters and enjoyed their journeys very much. Some unique concepts and wonderful descriptions make this a highly recommended read.
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1 vote KAzevedo | Apr 13, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I didn't like this book. The author was so busy being "lyrical" that she forgot to make the characters more than paper dolls. I never cared what happened to any of the characters - the just seemed like placeholders.

The idea of a linear world was interesting and has potential, but again, never held any depth, and indeed proves to be only an illusion.

Only worth reading if you like the sort of writing that is like couture clothing - very artsy, but not something anyone can actually wear. ( )
  Helcura | Oct 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Len Rope-Maker, her son Cam and his sweetheart Fox, live in a land of terraced villages separated by an almost vertical path. Young people explore up and down the path from their home village until they reach the limits of how far they can climb. Cam and Fox, however, show signs of being far-walkers. Neither have found their limits long after their friends have settled down. Cam is drawn to climb higher and higher while Fox is called down to the sea at the bottom of the world. Eventually they each find their proper path.

This novel takes place in a different world than our own, but is not a fantasy novel in the strictest sense. There are no magical or supernatural beings in this world. It is a wonderfully constructed world and well worth exploring. I found the novel beautifully written. I enjoyed the descriptions of all the lands and peoples the far-walkers traveled through. How these people lived and traded in their vertical land was interesting. The novel unfolded gently and slowly, with few crisis or exciting events. I didn't mind this, nor the fact that the ending was not really a surprise. My only complaint is that the characters, I assume to reflect that they come from a rather primitive society, came across as rather simple and child-like. Even though Cam and Fox are supposed to be teens, they didn't seem to mature very much in the course of the novel. Even the adult characters seemed rather simple and child-like.

There is no content in the novel that would be inappropriate for a younger reader. Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fantasy. ( )
  carod | Oct 14, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an advanced reading copy of The Braided Path via a giveaway on Library Thing. The plot can be found elsewhere; I will only be providing some of my impressions of the book.

I'm not much of a reader of science fiction, but this is one book that only stretched my imagination a bit, rather than jarring me into something totally alien. I found the book to be more about love and loss, relationships, coming of age and community. It was interested to read the descriptions of the various crafts in the book. The author, Donna Glee Williams, describes the crafts in such a way that each and every one sounds fascinating. Before this book, I wouldn't have given any of them a second thought. I found this book, although a very easy and quick read, made me think about all the things we encounter every day in our world, but to which we rarely give a second thought.

The negatives: Kindle formatting needs work before the final version is released. The ending was a little more vague than I would have liked. Others may feel differently.

I am grateful for the opportunity to read this book, and would probably consider reading additional books by this author. ( )
  jak910717 | Oct 12, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Early Reviewers book - I received the book in return for a review. First, the author does a very good job of setting a world in which you can become completely absorbed (in a good way). For example:

"Cam was a Far-Walker; he was used to the language around
him changing as he walked. Since boyhood, he had delighted
in the different turns of phrase he noticed, the different words
for common things, the changes in rhythms and pitch, the way
certain sounds became flattened and clipped as he walked
high or became rounded and drawn out when he went low."

In this fantasy world, the setting is important but more important are relationships. And the interaction/relationships that Cam experiences along the way are developed well. When the path broke, the village peoples had to work together to forge a new way. For example:

“But, you know, Fox, I’m not so sure any more about that
business of limits. I’m beginning to wonder if a person can,
maybe, get used to almost anything. When springtime first
began to warm this place, I thought I’d perish from the heat
and the damp. But it’s not so bad now. I wear clothes that
would get me talked about up in First Home Village, and I
don’t think I used to smell like this…”

I was perfectly fine allowing my own imagination to fill in the "world" in which this story is set. I would recommend it to others who appreciate a well developed story line with characters that you come to understand & can relate to. Predictable ending, but nice nonetheless. ( )
  pmfloyd1 | Sep 29, 2014 |
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