Betrayal by one you love is the cruelest cut of all. And when the Lord of Crisfell betrays it is done on a grand scale.
Ashi’mei Candre feels her life is destroyed in that instant, but her love’s betrayal goes far further- he is sacrificing his own people.
Amongst the islands of Crisfell, honour and clan is everything, but that may also be their undoing. A dark secret from the past will now come back with a vengeance, and Ashi’mei must put her own troubles aside to face this greater danger. For over the dark sea is a menace of flesh and hunger, which having been turned back once, is only more determined to remake Crisfell in its image.
When the danger comes from within as well as without, Ashi’mei’s world is doomed. And yet there are two from beyond the island who may help, one a passionate young man from their traditional enemy, and the other a compelling creature with mastery of the flesh to rival the menace beyond the sea.
With friends and clan her only hope, the time to stand and fight has come. Ashi’mei must search within herself for salvation for her people, face her darkest fears, and risk everything she loves.
Free short story
The story before Weaver’s Web, and where it all began. In a world of clan and honour, there is one place that still holds fear- the Deep. The wide ocean is all the protects the clanspeople from the horror beyond, but how long can that fragile safety last?
Read the short story Gift of the Waves [pdf] And if you like the story, buy the book.
Brenda Ramsbacher, Scribblers
Geran, the Duke of Crisfell, needed a reason for an uprising so determined a death would be the perfect cause. Although he was saddened to lose his best messenger, Ashi’mei Candre had to die. He needed to create sympathy within his ranks and she was the one they loved. She would unite the clans. She was their hero. She would be the one they would fight for in an attempt to bring home justice against the long-standing hatred against Sitcairn. Never mind the fact that Ashi’mei was only a disposable pawn in Geran’s plan for utter destruction.
Ashi’mei Candre had been double-crossed. She was the Duke’s messenger. No one had harmed her before. Until now. But she wasn’t about to let anyone kill her outright. So she skimmed the rail to land in the water below. Luckily someone came to her aid or her injuries would have been her death as Geran originally planned. Now injured Ashi’mei was forced to rely on another for help. But she was going to make someone pay for her fall from grace. Just as soon as she was back on her feet.
Meanwhile, old friends of Ashi’mei are down on their luck. Spinning tales and missing Ashi’mei, the four men known as Rose, Gusten, Chrinis, and Myreck speak ill of the Duke of Crisfell. They are angry. The Scarlet Wolves were disbanded in favor of the Duke’s elite guard years ago. Rather than be a part of their elite as Ashi’mei promised, the four men set off on their own. But now, during their diversion, a Duke’s man tacks a sign on the post not far from where they gathered. Chrinis, the only reader of the group, tell them of Ashi’mei’s death. Yet Myreck says the opposite. She is in massive pain but Ashi’mei lives. And they must find her before she goes back to the castle.
Along the path Ashi’mei is told the truth about the man she loves. Now she’s confused about her love for she feels kinship with her healer, Jerris, who is also a Weaver. However, she cannot just ignore her friend’s warning. So Ashi’mei sets off to confront Geran. But he is away. With the place in an uproar, Ashi’mei takes command leading them into battle where all clans must unite to defeat the foe threatening to overtake the land.
Then she finds out that Weavers don’t fight fair.
Ballantine tells an intriguing story focusing on Ashi’mei’s life and her beginnings. Her history alone makes her formidable and much bigger than life itself. Yet readers will fall in love with her for she is not quite human so her emotions run stronger than normal. This emotion is felt as Ashi’mei feels her way into power and also upon the deaths of people she leads into battle.
The major downfall relates to the point of view. Many readers will not notice sporadic shifts within scenes. However, some readers may find the rapid point of view changes difficult to navigate. Get past this and WEAVER’S WEB is a cozy tale to read on those lonely nights
Christina Lewis for Book Reviews Weekly
An intriguing story with unforgettable characters! Ms. Ballantine has created an amazing world of excitement, adventure and danger that any reader of fantasy will enjoy. You’ll find yourself feeling pain, anger and hope right along with Ashi’mei while getting lost in the tale of her life and the battles of love and danger she faces.
Seed of an idea
Begun in the summer of 1998, when I was just beginning to question a whole lot of things in my world, Weaver’s Web was a way to find my way back to writing. I can still remember being a teenager, and being absolutely heart sick at the sudden realisation that there was no magic in my life.
Writing is a way to bring it back. I wrote about the feelings I was having, and those friends who helped me understand that I wasn’t alone. But I also wrote about betrayal, and lies, and how to find a way beyond them, and live a life that is still full of love and hope.
At times the writing was easy, at others almost excruciating. I had given up on other books before, and been devastated at the failure, but Weaver’s Web would not lie still in my head, and Ashi’mei would not let me forget her or her story.
So where did she come from? The strong heroine who despite everything thrown against her still manages to fight for what she loves; I guess she’s always been inside my head. She started off as a role-playing character- in fact she became my only one, a fact I was mercilessly teased about by my friends, as she appeared in every system we ever played. She disappeared for a few years, dissolved in mundanity, but came back in a moment of crisis to remind me of who I really was. That moment was when I was lying asleep- I had a dream, or rather a nightmare; a woman falling through the air, cut adrift by someone she loved, betrayed. But even in all that Ashi’mei was strong, and when I woke I just had to get to some paper and start writing.
We struggled on through rough drafts, edits, and finally we’re here, at publishing.
Ashi’mei Candre – A woman warrior with a secret, not expecting betrayal
Geran, Duke of Crisfell – ruler of the island kingdom. A man who hides his lies behind a smile. He has much in store for his trusting people.
Jerris – a stranger to the islands from across the wide sea. Jerris has many powers and many burdens as well.
Connor nes Faille – sent to offer help, his people are none the less the traditional enemies of the clans.
The Boys – a group of stout hearted friends, who will always stick by Ash
The world is water, made up of vast unbreachable tracts. Island kingdoms dot the sea, and struggle for supremacy over each other. The Deep lies all around, and beyond is whispered danger.