The Bookweaver’s Daughter is an #OwnVoices YA fantasy—a tale of magic, Indian lore, and radical female friendship, written by debut author Malavika Kannan when she was 17 years old.
In the ancient Indian kingdom of Kasmira, stories don’t begin with “once upon a time.”
Instead, Kasmiris start a woman’s story with those who came before her: her parents, grandparents, ancestors. For fourteen-year-old Reya Kandhari, her story always starts the same: with the fabled line of Bookweavers, tracing centuries back to the lost Yogis—the mythical guardians of Kasmiri culture who created the world itself. As a result, Reya’s entire life has been shaped by words. Words of mystique and mythology. Words of magic that allow her father, the Bookweaver, to bring his stories to life. Words of power that make him the target of tyrants who will stop at nothing to destroy magic in Kasmira.
Living in disguise as a peasant in the fields, Reya’s sole focus is protecting the Bookweaver’s secret. But when her father is taken, Reya must flee deep into the jungle, alone with her best friend Nina and one ancient book. Grappling with Reya’s newfound magic, the two girls find themselves in the center of a war of liberation where magic reigns unchecked, and destiny takes a dark turn. As the stakes get higher, Reya realizes that her father’s legacy contains more power than she ever imagined. For Reya Kandhari is more than just a fugitive—she is a symbol of revolution. And that makes her a threat.
In a tale of magic, Indian lore, and radical female friendship, Reya must pass the final test: the Bookweaver’s daughter must weave her own destiny. The fate of Kasmira depends on it.
The Bookweaver's Daughter
out September 8, 2020
praise for the book
"Kannan's language is as magical as the story she weaves. This book, with its vibrant world and infectious heroine, is sure to enchant its readers."
—Amanda Gorman, Poet Laureate of the United States
“In this captivating debut, the author deftly creates a fantasy world with poetic precision. The story is fast paced, and the character development is quite robust for both primary and secondary characters. Reya has a strong character arc that will leave readers rooting for her and her best friend. The fantasy world combines various Indian cultural elements such as food and the grandeur of royalty with magic-weaving. Enchanting.“
“A celebration of storytelling by a sparkling new voice who is bound to be a star.”
—Roshani Chokshi, NYT bestselling author of The Gilded Wolves
“The Bookweaver’s Daughter is a captivating, page-turner of a debut with an endearing crew of female characters that embody the eternal magic and sheer badassery of #girlsquads, past and present. “
—Joan Morgan, She Begat This: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down
“A vivid story of friendship, family, and resistance, The Bookweaver’s Daughter is an impressive debut from a young author that is sure to entrance anyone who picks it up.”
—Camryn Garrett, author of Full Disclosure (BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year)
"Rich mythology, inspired by Indian culture, complements vivid worldbuilding, and Reya’s relationship with Nina showcases a strong female friendship that propels the plot forward."
“The Bookweaver’s Daughter is a magical story, encompassing Indian myths and destiny, dynamic girl-power, and the power of words by debut author Malavika Kannan, a fresh, young #ownvoices writer in YA/teen fantasy.”
—Savita Kalhan, author of That Asian Kid, The Girl in the Broken Mirror, and The Long Weekend
“A roller coaster of suspense and excitement. Kannan has crafted a stunning debut. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!”
—Saira Rao, Co-Founder Race2Dinner and QUILT
All the Yellow Suns
forthcoming July 2023 from Little & Brown Books for Young Readers
For her entire life, sixteen-year-old Maya Krishnan, an aspiring artist, has held her tongue against injustice. While she’s fiercely protective of her friends, immigrant community, and single mother, she knows better than to rock the boat in her conservative Florida suburb, Citrus Grove. Her classmate, Juneau Zale, is Maya’s polar opposite: she’s a wealthy white heartbreaker who won’t think twice before capsizing that boat. And yet, as tension mounts at their racist high school, the girls become unlikely allies in activism and art.
Juneau invites Maya to join the Pugilists: a secret society of artists, vandals, and mischief-makers who fight for justice at their school. Maya descends deeper into the Pugilists’ world of change-making and resistance. She and Juneau forge a friendship over trips to the Orlando Museum of Art, crusades for social justice, and life-or-death escapades in Citrus Grove. Ignited by Juneau, Maya confronts challenges in her own life -- changing friendships, long-lost fathers, first loves, and budding sexuality -- with newfound fire, accidentally torching a few things along the way.
But as their relationship grows romantic, painful, and twisted, Maya begins to suspect that there’s a whole different person beneath Juneau’s painted-on facade. The longer she stays with Juneau, the farther they stray from the girls they used to be. Now, Maya will never be the same.