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 year old. Malavika is an Indian-American novelist, feminist writer, and political activist raised in the suburbs of Central Florida and currently a freshman at Stanford University.
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.
Malavika Kannan is from Central Florida, but she is currently a freshman at Stanford Univeristy. Her writing about race, culture, politics, and identity has been published in HuffPost, TheWashington Post, Teen Vogue, NYLON, Vice, Refinery29, Harper’s Bazaar, and The Stanford Daily.
Beyond the page, Malavika is a nationally-recognized activist for women’s rights and youth empowerment. She has organized historic political campaigns for Women’s March, Giffords, and March For Our Lives, including #NationalSchoolWalkout, the largest single-day youth-led protest in American history. She is the founder of Homegirl Project, a girl-led organization that empowers female youth of color to become political leaders. Homegirl Project has served thousands of girls nationwide through its storytelling, mentorship, and political training programs.
“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
“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.“
– Kirkus Reviews
“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)
“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