The Weavers of Alamaxa (The Alamaxa Duology #2), by Hadeer Elsbai

The Book

The Weavers of Alamaxa
Series: The Alamaxa Duology
Pages: 480
Age Group: Adult
Published on 3/26/2024
Publisher: Orbit Books
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


  The Daughters of Izdihar have finally made strides in having their voices heard. . . only to find them drowned out by the cannons of the fundamentalist Ziranis. As long as Alamaxa continues to allow for the elemental magic of the Weavers - and insist on allowing an academy to teach such things - the Zirani will stop at nothing to end what they perceive is a threat to not only their way of life, but the entire world.Two such weavers, Nehal and Giorgina--come from very different backgrounds, but had come together to grow both their political and Weaving power. But after the attack, Nehal finds herself waking up in a Zirani prison and Giorgina finds herself on the run in her besieged city.If they can come together, they can rally Alamaxa to fight off the Zirani, because their abilities only continue to grow. Yet with so much in their way--not the least of which is needing to spend their energy protecting the ones they love--this will be no easy task.And the last time a Weaver fought back, the whole world was shattered.Two incredible women are all that stands before an entire army. But they've stood up to power before, and they won then. This time, though, it's no longer about rhetoric.This time it's about magic and blood.  

My Review

The Weavers of Alamaxa is the second book in the Egyptian inspired fantasy series The Alamaxa Duology, written by Hadeer Elsbai and published by Orbit Books. After the daughters of Izdihar managed to make their voices being heard in the patriarchal society of Alamaxa, a new threat has risen: the city is rounded by the Zirani cannons, fundamentalists that demand weaving to be stopped and to go back to the old customs.

Our two weavers will find themselves in different situations: Nehal has woken in a Zirani prison, against her will, and under the effects of a drug that causes great pain if weaving is tried; and Giorgina is on the run, trying to escape on Alamaxa. If they don't manage to work together and fight against the situation, Alamaxa will be under the control of the fundamentalists.
There's another group whose targets align with theirs, Zirani insurgents that want to get rid of the fundamentalists; however, soon it gets clear that their methods might not be in pair with those Giorgina and Nehal might be comfortable, creating an interesting question about if a goal might justify all the mediums used to achieve it.

On the other hand, we see how the Zirani delegation proposes a solution for leaving Alamaxa: injecting all the weavers with the drug that would cause them pain at weaving; and it's interesting how for some of the members of the Parliament, partly due to fear and partly due to the low consideration they have about weavers, consider accepting this, creating an effective second-class citizenship, a sacrifice in the name of keeping the nation.

Elsbai has written a powerful story that is not afraid to delve into themes that open many questions, all while portraying the fight of two powerful women who are rebelling against the established order for the sake of creating a more equalitarian society; all with an excellent pacing that allows us to enjoy this Arab inspired worldbuilding, which remembers to how certain countries are under the threat of falling prey of totalitarian powers, sending them many years back in questions of human rights.

The Weavers of Alamaxa is the cherry on the top of this excellent Alamaxa Duology; if you want a story about empowered women fighting for society rights, while enjoying the Egyptian inspired worldbuilding, give this series a try.

The Author/s

Hadeer Elsbai

Hadeer Elsbai

Hadeer Elsbai is an Egyptian-American writer and librarian. Born in New York City, she grew up being shuffled between Queens and Cairo. Hadeer studied history at Hunter College and later earned her Master’s degree in library science from Queens College, making her a CUNY alum twice over. Aside from writing, Hadeer enjoys cats, iced drinks, live theater, and studying the 19th century. THE DAUGHTERS OF IZDIHAR is her first novel.

Hadeer is represented by DongWon Song of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.