I received an ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on blurred red, orange and blue background
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: first book of duology


Book cover for THIS DAUGHTERS OF IZDIHAR: title in white on orange blob in the middle of blue

As a waterweaver, Nehal can move and shape any water to her will, but she’s limited by her lack of formal education. She desires nothing more than to attend the newly opened Weaving Academy, take complete control of her powers, and pursue a glorious future on the battlefield with the first all-female military regiment. But her family cannot afford to let her go—crushed under her father’s gambling debt, Nehal is forcibly married into a wealthy merchant family. Her new spouse, Nico, is indifferent and distant and in love with another woman, a bookseller named Giorgina.

Giorgina has her own secret, however: she is an earthweaver with dangerously uncontrollable powers. She has no money and no prospects. Her only solace comes from her activities with the Daughters of Izdihar, a radical women’s rights group at the forefront of a movement with a simple goal: to attain recognition for women to have a say in their own lives. They live very different lives and come from very different means, yet Nehal and Giorgina have more in common than they think. The cause—and Nico—brings them into each other’s orbit, drawn in by the group’s enigmatic leader, Malak Mamdouh, and the urge to do what is right.

But their problems may seem small in the broader context of their world, as tensions are rising with a neighbouring nation that desires an end to weaving and weavers. As Nehal and Giorgina fight for their rights, the threat of war looms in the background, and the two women find themselves struggling to earn—and keep—a lasting freedom.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


My first 5-star read of the year! And also my first political fantasy in a long while. I absolutely loved reading this book, thoroughly enjoying every minute spent in its company, and the fierce, powerful, and determined women in its pages.

This is the sort of the book that makes you so furious at injustices, the way systems are set up to “keep people in their place”, the lengths people will go to avoid rocking the boat even if they agree with the person doing the rocking, and the corruption that allows injustices to continue. It’s also a book that gives you hope that things can change, and that the women narrating the story will burn down the patriarchy and all the other issues around them – and do it literally.

It is also a call to action, to stand up for what you believe in as you journey alongside the women and their frustrations with society and their colleagues. The book shows the many different ways people have tried and are trying to effect political change around the world.

The characters were great, seeing their fears and hopes and courage. The book is told from Nehal and Giorgiana’s perspectives, not quite alternating but almost. They comes from such different places in life but are united in a shared hope for the future. While they don’t get much time together (though their stories are interlinked), I really enjoyed the times they did share the page and the starts of what I hope will be a strong friendship in the next book.

It is a book that needed a fair bit of time to read and chew over as there’s a lot in the pages and to think through. I quite enjoyed having to slow down for once, take the book in small chunks to digest it properly.

It is quite the cliff-hanger of an ending, and I really need the sequel now, find out how it all ends up. I will be devouring the next book as soon as it comes into my hands!

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