The intense, complicated, intriguing, journal of a noble lady.
Apr 13, 2013: I remember reading the first few entries of this story mainly out of curiosity, to see what it was all about. Very quickly, however, I found myself compulsively clicking on the ‘next’ button, until I had to physically shut off and go away from the computer because evening had disappeared into night, it had gotten far too late, and I needed to get at least a few hours of sleep before work the next day.
It’s not often that I find a story that compels me to read it enough that I miss out on my sleep, but there’s just something about this one that keeps me addictively reading and turning to the next chapter. On the face of it, I would think there’s nothing really to draw me to it; the story of a noble woman (Suki) and her two children (and occasionally her husband, home from military campaigns) and the various things they go through on a day-to-day basis isn’t the type of thing that usually interests me. However, I think the thing that began interesting me and finally kept me compulsively reading and turning pages was the way the author skillfully unwraps Suki’s world. On the face of it, the story is that of a noble woman as written in her daily journal. In reality, as we read on, we get to see the intimate details of the things that are initially presented to us in broad strokes. We find out that Suki’s daughter, who as she nears thirteen is getting close to the time when a husband will be selected for her, really wants to devote her life to painting instead. We get to read about her son, who becomes best friends with a loyal slave. As Suki gets into her journaling, she goes from describing the world around her in very formal terms to almost using her journal as one would a confidant, revealing her secret thoughts and the underlying meanings of things around her in ways she would never do in real life, not even to her husband or close friends.
In short, it’s a fascinating portrait of life in her time and place, as well as the type of life story of a person in which you can see her changing before your very eyes. Attitudes she used to keep sometimes melt away in the face of new information or close contact with people she previously never knew, and new knowledge and actions take their place. At any rate, even though the updates for this story are listed as sporadic (to my sorrow), I definitely recommend this story to anyone who likes alternate universe historical fiction or stories written in a diary format. Even if the premise doesn’t sound like something you’d like on the face of it, I recommend you check it out anyway; I’m certainly glad I did.
Aug 12, 2008: The thing is, I can’t figure out why. Not that that’s a bad thing but for a fantasy this story’s lacking the blatant fantastical elements that would make it so. This one breaks some rules when it comes to what I like and what I don’t. I definitely like this story despite that within the first month of postings is doesn’t live up to its fantasy tags, it’s character driven and, really, not all that much out of the ordinary (any ordinary) is going on. I’d think I wouldn’t like [more . . .]
Jul 23, 2008: When you read a fantasy story set in an empire, you can generally expect certain things.
If the empire is evil, that it will fall due to the actions of the hero of the story.
The hero of the story stands outside of the culture of the empire and has values more like your own.
A massive plot, propelled by epic battles.
Jul 19, 2008: I loved reading Tapestry when it was being regularly updated. It was skillfully written—intense, complicated, intriguing, all written by a noble lady in her journal.
The glimpse of her life and culture was beautiful and imaginative, even if it was hard to keep everybody’s name straight sometimes.
I do think that this is a story worth reading and I hope it will be finished some day.
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Jul 8, 2010: This is the first piece of webfiction that really wowed me. Wysteria handles all elements of the story incredibly deftly. I love the everyday but uncluttered pace, the realistic character portrayals and interactions, and the touch of physical description that gives the surroundings life without pointing to any one Asian (perhaps my own assumption) culture. I love all the rare, delicious cultural tidbits that pop up (especially around festivals), and how I have to make my own connections and be content being left somewhat in the dark. After all, Suki [more . . .]
Feb 25, 2011: Let it be known from the start, I am a sucker for an epistolary story. And the attraction only gets better when the voice of the narrator is so well written.
I came into Tapestry a bit late, but enjoyed every moment of catching up. I found myself clicking to the next piece without hesitation. Pretty soon my afternoon is gone, and I am jonesing for the next update.
I think my [more . . .]
Aug 12, 2008: "Tapestry" is, plain and simple, one of the best pieces of web writing out there. It uses the medium better than almost anyone—in fact, I can’t think of anyone who uses the episodic nature of the web serial as well—and Wysteria’s dedication to tone and character in this diary of Suki—Lady Uru— is flawless.
What happens in this serial? Nothing. Everything.
Wysteria paints a thorough portrait from the inside out of a [more . . .]