Woven In Moonlight Readalong: Day 1

Gorgeous Photo by @nelthewhichcraftsbooks

Hello Friends!

Today is day one of our Readalong of Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez and I am so excited to dive on in, it sounds magical!

I hope everyone is doing well and had a fabulous weekend. Let me know what you have been up to and let’s chat together in the comments!

Grab a blanket and some snacks and let’s get cosy! Today we will be reading and discussing up to page 66 🙂

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez! Read only if you’ve finished those pages!


The opening scene is pretty bleak as we meet our main character, the Condesa of a starving people-the Illustrians. Her people now queue in lines to receive rations but their stores are almost empty! We find out things are even worse because their general who usually provides the food left four days ago on a mission and she should have been back by now!

Ana left to chase a rumour about Atoc, the false Llacsan King-a rumour that, if true, guarantees their victory. Ooooh colour me intrigued!

Even more intriguing is a mention of a masked vigilante who goes by El Lobo. The Condesa thinks he is a scoundrel who plays pranks on the false king and that kind of behaviour could get them all killed. How big of a role will they play in this story?

So the Illustrian people had to flee to a stronghold where they now live when their city fell to the false King Atoc. We have ourselves a villain folks!

We have the mention of magic, yes! We find out that the bridge leading to their stronghold was enchanted by Ana. King Atoc’s preist has been trying to get past the enchantments. Does that mean if Ana doesn’t come back the magic will fail? How long can they survive without her also providing food for the Illustrians?

Ooooh she’s about to weave using moonlight! This sounds beautiful with the moonlight weaving into the thread and turning to moondust on the floor. That tapestry sounds stunning quite honestly, where can I get me one of those?

Are you loving the inclusion of the Spanish terms and words as much as I am? I really appreciate the opportunity to learn a little from a new language and get a glimpse into a culture different from my own!

Now we have the grand reveal friends! Catalina is the real Condesa making our main character Ximena a decoy! Okay not a huge shock as it’s in the synopsis but I do love this trope! Do you love it too?

Ximena isn’t too happy at giving up her whole identity but she loves Catalina, “as a sister, as my future queen” Friendship goals!

It turns out Ana left to find out about King Atoc’s greatest weapon the “Estrella” as it’s rumoured to be missing. It also turns out Catalina has magic too but of a different kind, she can “read the stars”.

I really like the idea of the Illustrian magic deriving from the heavens and the night sky. I think I’d prefer having Catalina’s magic, seeing the future in the stars could be the most useful no? Which would you choose? Ana’s shadow magic sounds pretty cool too!

Ok so it turns out Catalina’s predictions rarely come true, maybe not so useful after all?

We’ve learnt so much already! I’m really enjoying how fast paced this is and I like the flow of the writing a lot, what are your thoughts? Are you able to take it all in?

Oh things are getting more intriguing. The enemy has arrived, the Llacsans are on the other side of the bridge! Wait, Atoc’s badass weapon can cause earthquakes and summon an army of ghosts – sounds both fascinating and also pretty scary. Will this book give me nightmares? *hides under blanket*

They have arrived with a message from King Atoc, he has Ana and a few more of her people held captive! If the Condesa wants to ever see the captured Ana and the other Illustrians she must marry the King?! Oh wow she literally kills the messengers. Maybe that wasn’t the best of ideas?

I like how Ximena sees this as an opportunity to spy from inside the Castillo and see what she can learn about the missing weapon’s whereabouts. Making the best out of a bad situation? I’m not sure how I feel about this plan, thoughts?

At least Ana’s daughter Sofia will be accompanying her, she seems like a badass.

On the journey Ximena discovers that Atoc has been using the farmland to grow an addictive and deadly drug and the effects are clear when she sees the people in the place she once called home, how awful! We also meet the infamous Priest Sajra who seems like a real creepy dude! Is he giving anyone else Voldermort vibes?

Oh no! Scratch what I said about Ximena being okay if Sofia is with her because nope…they just killed her! That totally took me by surprise and was way more brutal than I was expecting plus now she is all alone. I just hope she can save Ana and the rest of the captives and get the heck outta there!

Ximena’s immediate reaction to Sofia’s death is pure rage (understandably) and she takes down some soldiers, this girl can fight! But woah the Priest magically sucks the air from her lungs? That’s just a bit terrifying.

You just blew your chances of appearing “docile and subservient” Ximena.

New character alert!! A snarky teenage boy with a smug smile has been charged with getting Ximena ready for court but not before he takes her hidden weapon. He really seems to hate her, let’s see if he changes his mind shall we? I have a feeling he might!

We finally meet King Atoc who sits on a boujee gold throne, surely that’s uncomfortable? Someone get this man a cushion. No wait, we hate him, let him be uncomfortable!! Wait… the Estrella is a silver bracelet but he’s not wearing it? Hmm… maybe the rumours are true? Has his weapon been lost?

The snarky boy is related to Atoc but there’s no sight of the king’s younger sister. Where is she? I feel like she will be an important part of this story.

So the King is just as hideous as I expected and he wants the wedding to be on Carnaval which is only 6 weeks away. Will that be enough time to find the Estrella and sneak her tapestries out of the Castillo?

And what is Rumi’s deal? He seems mean and snarky yet comes across as snivelling in front of the king. Is this all an act, what are your thoughts?

Side note- anyone else gag a little when Atoc says he “owns” Ximena?

Ximena decides she’s going to try and get Rumi to talk which leads to some good ol’ fashioned banter. We love to see it! I have a feeling about these two! He does reluctantly smile/ smirk at her after all…

Well she may be stuck here but at least her room is nice although her door is guarded by a man named Juan Carlos so that makes exploring the Castilo is unlikely.

So it turns out Carnaval was a three day festival honouring the moon and stars. But the Llacsans have now claimed it as their own and the grand finale is a human sacrifice of someone around Ximena’s age, oh oh…

Her first night in enemy territory isn’t ideal to say the least! Surely things will get better for her from here?

What a start that was! So many things have happened already, what are we thinking of it so far? Do you enjoy the magic and the characters we’ve been introduced to in today’s pages? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to chat with you!

I’ll be back tomorrow and hope to see you then!



45 thoughts on “Woven In Moonlight Readalong: Day 1

  1. Atoc is as hateful as he can be! However something Rumi said makes me wonder if maybe Illustrians are not as good as Ximena thinks? Maybe Llacsans felt oppressed in the past and it resulted in them revolting against the queen?
    Anyway this doesn’t justify Atoc killing a lot of people and seizing the land to produce drugs (!), so he is definitely the bad guy, but maybe in the end with him out of the picture Illustrians and Llacsans will sign a truce and live as one?
    I also have the feeling that Atoc’s missing sister is an important piece of the puzzle.

    1. Isn’t Atoc the worst?! Ooh yes I like that idea, that could be an interesting turn for Ximena! Yes, me too! Excited to find out more about her 🙂

    2. I agree about Rumi’s words and I look forward to finding out what he meant by them.

  2. I’m liking how fast paced this is, I’ve had a bit of book hangover but this is definitely gripping me!

    I wonder why the king now all of a sudden decides to call for a marriage between them? He’s definitely up to something!

    I’m loving Rumi and Ximena interaction so far! I’m already routing for them ? and just putting it out there but I have a bit of a feeling that Rumi or the kings missing sister might be the famous vigilante ?

    1. I love the idea that his sister is the vigilante! I got a vibe that Juan Carlos is more important than we think he is, I think he could also be El Lobo.

    2. Yes! Totally routing for Ximena & Rumi too! 🙂
      I love that theory! The Princesa being El Lobo would be so cool!

  3. The world seems very beautiful and I agree with the chance to learn more about different cultures – I love the glossary at the back of the book.
    The story is certainly picking up quickly but my gripe – Ximena acts rashly and then is surprised when there are consequences for her actions!

    1. Yes loving the glossary too!
      I completely agree that Ximena acts rashly too, think of the consequences girl! 🙂

  4. Loving the novel so far!! It’s so rich in detail and I’m so invested in the story!
    Part of me is intrigued about Juan Carlos and the way Ximena describes him (I wasn’t impressed in Rumi’s description so I’ve locked into another guy!) However, I feel like I’m looking into detail about everyone because of the fact that Ximena is pretending to be someone else so everyone else must be doing the same!
    I totally think the sister is the vigilante! She wasn’t there when Ximena met Atoc. And he’s just awful too! I feel so sorry for Ximena!

    1. Hahah I love that! I’m also suspecting everyone of having a secret identity/motive too, I trust no one! 🙂

  5. So far have enjoyed it. I started yesterday so I’m ahead. I like how the books started strong right away. I believe Juan Carlos is El Lobo for reasons further in the book. Ximena’s first encounter with El Lobo solidified that. I do question if the story is set in some type of alternate dimension from our current world due to the author’s use of some words and situations.

    1. oooh interesting, I definitely am suspecting Juan Carlos too!

  6. At first I wasn’t really interested in this book but I picked it up so I could join the readalong. And so far I enjoyed it. For me it feels like Ximena is kind of reckless and not making smart decisions. Let’s see if she can get out of this mess. And what’s with the smell of Rumi? He doesn’t sound appealing as a love interest. I guess he’s doing something with the drugs like selling it in secret.

    1. Oeh that’s such an interesting theory! It sounds good. And I agree with you on Ximena. I hope she will evolve and start to make better decisions ?

    2. So glad you’re enjoying it so far! I completely agree that Ximena needs to consider the consequences of her actions and that would be such an interesting twist for Rumi! I hadn’t even considered that 🙂

  7. Hi!
    So a lot has happened! I really liked Sofia so I was very sad when she was killed. I thought she would have been a great character in this book. I dont know what I think of Ximena just yet. Or the cousin of Atoc. I felt there was some tension there, a hint to a future romance maybe…
    So far a lot has happened and I am really interested to see how the story evolves. Although I feel the lamguage is sometimes a bit awkward still, I think this is the start to a great story!

  8. I’m absolutely living for this book so far! I have a few ideas about things that are sending off red flags for me for plot devices– the first is moon dust (because a powerful sleeping agent as a biproduct seems like it’d be pretty freaking useful given Ximena’s situation) and the second is Rumi’s smell. HMMMM. I. Am. Suspicious.

    I was also super surprised by Sofia’s death and how brutal it was… I’m guessing this will have a loooot of plot twists!

    – Mikayla (madamepincers)

    1. oh my god yesss what’s up with Rumi’s smell? Very suspicious!!

  9. I think that i am going to like this book! Already in love with ximenas identity crisis, one of my favourite tropes! Can’t wait to learn more about king atoc in the next paiges, please let him be a villain with personality

    1. yesss love an identity crisis haha 🙂

  10. I’m totally loving this book. First, as a native Spanish speaker I’m in love with the Spanglish Isabel uses. Second, what a horrible person is Atoc, hating the false king from the start, that’s always a good sign. And hmm, El Lobo :Q__ (that’s drooling) I’m super intrigued.

  11. There’s definitely more that went down between the Llacsan and the Illustrians than we’ve been told and I hope we get to find out what. Something tells that El Lobo is someone close to Atoc. I’m all for the witty banter between Ximena and Rumi. I really wasn’t expecting Sofia to die, maybe be captured, but wow that was intense. Great read so far ?

    1. Yes there definitely has to be more to their history. Ximena was young when the revolt happened so other than experiencing and seeing that horror through a child’s eyes, she would only know what her people have told her. But there are two sides to every story and who knows what actually went down between them to spark a revolt in the first place.

  12. I am loving the fast pace and the plot so far, Ximena is an interesting character but she is gonna need to handle that temper from now on, Catalina is a character I am honestly not sure about, I get that not all wars are won with fights and swords but when that king kills your family, your people in such a way, should there be an alternative for him? for any of them??

    1. I see her as a responsable leader. She wants her people to survive. Her family is dead, so many have been killed. And I kind of doubt that a lot of the survivors are soldiers and fighters as those would have been the protectors of the city and most likely teh first to die during the attack. So another bloody fight might just lead to more casualties and Catalina wants to avoid that.
      You can tell by the scene with the food that she can’t bear to see suffering. And giving away her own ration shows that she cares a lot.

  13. At this point I’m basically suspicious of everything and everyone! I know we’ve got Atoc and his priest up there as obvious villains but I think there’s something more going on under the surface and I want to know what it is!

    I was so shocked by poor Sofia being killed like that, so soon into the book as well. Revenge for the messenger? Or was that always going to happen – the priest did say she was supposed to come alone. WHY? It wouldn’t be unexpected for a noblewoman to bring a maid.

    Oh, and I already like Rumi!

  14. So quite a lot happened in these first few chapters. I am intrigued, so really looking forward to Tuesdays reading 🙂

  15. This is the first time I join a readalong. I was in a reading slump and I thought this might help me!
    It took me all the first chapter to interest me. But I have to say that it is intriguing me!
    In my opinion Ximena is acting too imuplsively and selfishly until now. I totally didn’t expect Sofia’s death: she could been a good character with an interesting role as guard in disguise.

  16. Killing the massenger was sooo dumb. As if there were no consequences. I like her temper most of the times, but this move, oof. I also really hate the kind (well, it’s hard not to). But I’m also excited for the rest of the book, really enjoying it so far!

  17. I’m really liking this one so far. I’m a huge Star Wars fan so when the synopsis of this said the word decoy I was in. I’m also pretty excited to see Ximena whip dude bros butt. Although she is a bit too impulsive at the moment. Side note loved the aesthetic of this box.

  18. This author writes characters so well!
    *It seems like Ximena and Catalina complement each other– Catalina is serene and diplomatic where Ximena is impulsive and heartstrong.
    *Even though we only knew Sofia for a short amount of time, we keenly feel her death and certainly sets a tone for what Ximena’s stay at the Castillo might be like. The loss of Ana’s sword was heartbreaking.
    *I think the Priest Sajra may be a puppetmaster with Atoc as the puppet. So far he definitely seems to be the more conniving of the two. His blood magic makes him the more formidable enemy, especially if Atoc really has lost the Estrella,

    Did anyone else get a creepy sense of foreboding when Atoc said Ana and the other Illustrian prisoners could LEAVE the Castillo? Like he was going to keep his word exactly to the letter and the second they stepped out of the bounds, he’d give the order for them to be killed any way?

    1. I agree with all of this! Sofia’s death made me genuinely sad and we didn’t even come to know her character all that well. I definitely think that Sajra is the mastermind here, 100%. He’s too powerful not to be and I get a slight feeling that Atoc just loves power but may not be smart enough to keep it on his own.

      I also did NOT like the way he phrased their release as well. Something bad is going to happen and I’m afraid to find out what it is.

      I’m curious to know what the deal is with the missing sister, and what role Juan plays in all of this.

  19. My thoughts so far:
    *I feel as if there are always going to be two sides in a war and you fight on your side with the understanding that you are in the right, the opposition clearly doesn’t agree, that’s why they oppose the current rule. So I feel our main character had been sheltered for great deal of her life prior to the revolution and is going to learn a heck of a lot about the way life really was for the Llacsans and what caused them to revolt in the first place.
    *Sofia’s death was completely heartbreaking.
    *Our MC is pretty brave to have agreed to the proposal but making enemies with Juan is so pretty and short sighted.
    Intrigued for part two.

  20. This book has me so hooked already! So much is happening and I’m loving how fast paced it is.

    Reading most of the responses I also believe Juan Carlos could be El Lobo. He so far is the only one that hasn’t been hostile towards Ximena and it’s most likely someone who lives in La Ciudad or even in the Castillo.

    Not super impressed with Rumi’s description of “not handsome” and smelly, but I did enjoy their witty banter.

    I also agree that Ximena’s anger and impulsiveness is getting her into some trouble and I’m sad to see Sophia die however, I’m thinking this is all going to lead into some great character growth for her. She seems to constantly be fighting with who she is and who she is pretending to be.

  21. Ok, first my thoughts, then read the comments.
    I’m not a huge fan of first person present narrator, to be honest. And the synopsis sounds nice, but according to the author politics crept in? Not so enthusiastic to read that book, but I want to try the readalong and therefore it gets a chance. Usually I’m easily entertained.
    And so far the book is quite entertaining. I put it down and finished the first part only this morning, but that was just because there was something else to do. Can’t wait for the second part.
    Usually I don’t mind a little cultural flavour, it’s great to learn something new. But at the beginning I really had the impression I need to speak Spanish. I only know a few words and got the feeling, I have to look up some stuff to get the details. Like, what are the people shouting? Comida? Oh, it means food. Good, I think I knew this word before and forgot it. But it would have been nice to find that stuff in the glossary after they put one in. At least you learn some Spanish curses if you care to look the words up, that’s fun.
    But I don’t want to sound critical. After I got over those minor things I was really caught by the story. There is so much going on and it will be fun to find out, if the Inkasians are maybe kind of the bad guys, wronged the Llacsans in the past and Atoc is that entertaining type of villain who fights for the right (from his point of view) cause.
    Poor Sofía, though. She shouldn’t have been there. Let’s hope at least Ana makes it out alive. I kind of doubt it.
    Rumi has so much love interest foreshadowing, it would be funny if the author reverted that trope. But as this book was intended to be a love story, most likely she won’t. From the synopsis, though, I get the impression that he might be El Lobo. Wonder what his reasons would be.
    Oh, and btw, those names. Who names their child “evil”? And according to the glossary that’s what the priest’s name Sajra means. Maybe there parents were the evil ones. Atoc and Rumi make so much more sense. And even Tamaya, the sister’s name. We haven’t seen her yet, but after reading the synopsis, I have high expectations.

  22. first impressions

    i like how the book started, you have sympathy for the illustrians but i can’t help feel there’s more to the story here and i’m looking forward to digging in deeper about how they came about to be in such poverty, obviously i understand there was a war and the people have fled to safety but why was there a war? it’s going to be interesting to understand the politcs of this a bit more

    i’m not liking atoc, very anti women in his speech and obvious disdain or lack of respect for the ‘leader’ condesa of the illustrians. despite the war, dispite this ‘offer’ of marriage there is going to be some ulterior motives here, would he have been more respectful had she not given the order to kill his cousin/the messenger?

    loved the description of the moonbeam weaving, it sounded so beautiful, and the moon dust to help sleep, i need some of this!

  23. I’m very keen to meet El Lobo…my chief suspects are currently Rumi or Juan Carlos…or maybe both of them at different times? Several other comments have suggested Atoc’s sister & I could totally get behind a female masked crusader.

  24. Really loving this so far! I love that the Illustrians (not sure if I spelt that right xD) all have moon magic.
    And I dont trust the king at all. I think he has something very horrible planned!
    Also the food descriptions make me really hungry ?

  25. Thank you so much for putting this book in the box this month. I hadn’t heard of this book before but was intrigued right away.
    I love it so far and I even read a little more than the pages required for the first day. If it goes on, I am afraid I will finish this book soon!

    I am really intrigued by the world Ximena. She’s not perfect but that’s a good thing I think. I felt her anger towards the world around her, her fear and her pain. And am so curious to see who El Lobo is, although I have a few characters in mind.

  26. I’m liking how quickly the plot is progressing. I LOVE the magic so far and I am looking forward to learning more about it, especially if Ximena can do more with weaving moonlight. Ana’s is probably the power I’d want though!

    The characters seem really well developed and individual. Atoc is as unlikable as a baddy should be. I’m not a massive fan of characters that react with anger to every situation so Catalina is more interesting to me than Ximena so far as someone who has a bit more of a strategic mind.

    I’m interested to see where this one is going.

  27. I really liked the first section, think Rumi might be El Lobo? Gasped at work when they killed Sofia (got some really weird looks there)

    Can’t wait to start next section to see how Ximena gets on as I’m really feeling for her at the end of that

  28. My current theory is that Rumi is El Lobo
    But Ximena is gonna suspect Juan Carlos ?

    I’m loving this so far! I love the language and sprinkling of Spanish! And love Ximena and her temper!

  29. So much has already happened in the first few chapters. I was very shocked Sofia got instantley killed. I really enjoyed the friendship Ximena had with her.
    I do think there will be more to the wedding and the Carneval. I believe, Ximena might be the sacrifice, right after getting married to Atoc…
    Plus, I really want to find out the history between Illustrian and Llacsan.
    I am so intrigued in what might happen next!

  30. This book is sooo GOOD so far! I’m definitely intrigued. I find myself just laughing because I see my self in Ximena. I sometimes am talking in English and out of no where I would switch to Spanish. I’m excited to know who the Lobo is! Rumi is such a kiss a** I was rolling my eyes every time he referred to Atoc. The guard that’s at Ximena’s door might not be so bad… maybe? I was SUPER surprised they killed Sofia I kept expecting something to change that. I really thought she was going to be a character we saw through to the end. Honestly I’m extremely happy to be reading this book even though I’m a bit behind on the read along. College and health have been kicking me a bit but regardless I’m still making my way through this story. I can’t say it enough to anyone who listens to me talk about this book that I feel so represented by this story!

  31. I am totally shipping Ximena and Juan Carlos. For now – LOL!

    This is such a beautifully written book! I have to be honest – I probably wouldn’t have chosen this book for myself, so I am SO glad that it came in the FairyLoot crate!!! Thank you!!!

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