“That which is imagined can never be lost.”
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Weaveworld is an epic tale of terrifying magic, beauty, and adventure. Interwoven into the story are values of love, friendships, and the importance of imagination. The story begins with Cal Mooney stumbling, or rather, falling upon the most intricately woven carpet he has ever seen, and with one glance he realizes that a whole world lies within. The carpet does, in fact, contain a world, The Fugue. The carpets protector is dying and her granddaughter Suzanna must fulfill the duty she so suddenly inherits. Suzanna and Cal’s worlds collide as evil forces strive to destroy the Weaveworld. After glimpsing the Wonderland that is contained in the carpet, they will stop at nothing to protect it.
This was my first time reading Barker and I am BLOWN AWAY. Dark Fantasy is my favorite sub-genre and he hit the nail on the head with Weaveworld. It captured every aspect he went for, creating a fantastical world while combining it with gruesome villains, monsters, and ancient evil. Barker’s success with horror shines throughout this fantasy story he has created, and it’s the secret ingredient that makes this novel so outstanding. His descriptiveness and attention to detail help create a beautiful visualization of this world, and terrifying images of its inhabitants and creatures.
Barker kills it with his world building and brings so much depth not only to the world but to the politics and culture of its people, the Seerkind. We learn so much about their world, the carpet, how it was made. I don’t think there was one question that I had that was left unanswered. It was definitely a journey but I didn’t feel any drag, and everything felt quite necessary. I have to give mad love to Barker for the inspiration from Alice in Wonderland. Not only does Cal refer to The Fugue as Wonderland many times. But upon first arrival into the Fugue the similarities to the characters in Alice in Wonderland are quite obvious. As a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, I was giddy with excitement and only made my love for this book deeper!
This was such a fun journey into some quintessential dark fantasy and I can’t recommend it enough. It was beautiful, trippy, powerful and gruesome! Between bizarre magical forces, infinite evil, and ‘worlds within worlds’ I can’t decide what I like best about this one. The ending was perfect; I had a general feeling of how things would end but I couldn’t have guessed it exactly. Everything was tied together so beautifully and the symbolism in the ending is inspiring. I think this was a great introduction to Barker for me and I only regret not reading his work sooner.
“To dream in isolation can be properly splendid to be sure; but to dream in company seems to me infinitely preferable.”