"Warped" by Maurissa Guibord (Debut Author)

1. The set of yarns placed in a loom that forms the lengthwise threads of a woven fabric.
2. A hypothetical eccentricity or discontinuity in the space-time continuum.

Webster’s Dictionary [And reproduced at the beginning of Warped by Maurissa Guibord

It's hard to believe that Warped is Maurissa Guibord's debut novel. The story is so intricate and well-put-together that it pulls on your emotions. Action, adventure, romance, heartbreak, intrigue, suspense: It's all here, bookworms. This is the strongest teen fantasy debut I've seen since Kristin Cashore broke into the market with Graceling in 2008. (Amazing book. Read it if you haven't. NOW.) Also like Graceling, Warped is a stand-alone novel, though there's potential for companion titles. I love Cashore's sophomore release, Fire, a sort-of prequel to Graceling, and look forward to the upcoming release of Bitterblue, which will take place six years after the first book. I look forward to any other books Guibord may write in this world--or others. Publisher's Marketplace recently announced the sale of the author's next publication, a two-book series starting with Revel, "about a girl who becomes a pawn in a dangerous and paranormal love triangle." Guibord remarked on the sale recently on her blog. Sign me up already!

If you're a fan of teen fantasy authors such as Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce, you'll definitely want to check out Warped. It's not quite the same genre (it takes place in "our" world, for one thing), but the writing has the same texture/flavor to it. I read the novel in one sitting and forced myself to stay awake and finish because I had to know what happened. The story was that good! It was one of those books where I couldn't read anything else for a few days after I finished it because the characters were still with me and I knew nothing I picked up would be half as unique or interesting.

Warped begins with a girl named Tess, who is attending an auction with her father. They buy a bunch of old books for their used bookshop and receive a mysterious addition to their lot--a crate containing an ancient-looking book and a dusty tapestry that Tess feels drawn to. She loves the intricately-woven unicorn, who looks so life-like, it's almost scary. She hangs it in her room, where the tapestry feels warm to the touch, as though it truly is alive. She starts having strange dreams at night about a girl living during the 1500s and an Earl's son who is bewitched and transformed into a unicorn. One day, she pulls at a loose thread in the tapestry and the unicorn unravels as a strange young man appears in her room. He claims to be William de Chaucy, son of the Earl of Umbric, and she realizes that her dreams are grounded in truth. A witch named Gray Lily transformed Will into a unicorn, then wove the mythical beast into her tapestry in order to gain immortality and eternal youth. On top of a haughty Earl's son flummoxed with the 21st Century, Tess now has to deal with an irate witch who wants to regain her unicorn--and her youth, as well as the Norn (the Three Fates), who think she's the one who stole seven threads from their Wyrd 500 years ago and want them back--and are willing to destroy everything Tess holds dear if she won't return them...

If a thread of mythology, a touch of time-travel, a dash of romance rolled into an intriguing plotline in a way that feels realistic (hey, it could happen!) is your thing, then Warped is absolutely the book for you. My only complaint? I wish it had been twice as long!

[This entry is part of The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge of 2011. See how I've done so far here.]


  1. Oh my, this is the first review I've read which had the power to convince me I should read this book.

    You see, I'm not a big fan of romance, I don't like historical fiction and I really not into books about ancient times. I kinda thought this book held a lot of those ideas.

    However, your review changed my mind - nice write up! I just now how to hope that Amazon has it in Kindle format! :-)

  2. @ Gina:

    I'm glad I convinced you to read this with my review! Kindle should have an e-copy; I know nook does. So it should :)

    I don't know if you'll check back and see this, but I'd love to know what you think!

  3. OMG! 'This is the strongest teen fantasy debut I've seen...'? That was enough to convince me to read this book! And Graceling wtf? It's my most favorite fantasy YA ever! Thank you for the review. It's fantastic!

  4. @ Chel: Glad the review helped you!!! Graceling is perhaps my favorite teen fantasy as well :)


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!