Friday, February 20, 2015

Early Review: The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

The Storyspinner
by Becky Wallace
Read: January 26 - 28, 2015
March 3, 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Edelweiss (TY S&S!)
Category: YA, Fantasy, missing princesses, magic, circus performers

Series: The Keeper's Chronicles #1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

The Storyspinner is a great beginning to a new fantasy series that features magic, acrobats, a missing princess and a delicious South American flavor. In fact I was so into the story that the ending completely snuck up on me. This is partly because it stops when quite a lot is happening. Despite that, the end didn't feel like a scary cliffhanger. More like the first part of something exciting that I can't wait to dive back into again.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is the third person rotating perspective, featuring two groups of people working towards each other (though they don't all realize it). The Keepers, holders of magic, are desperate to find a princess who's been in hiding since she was an infant. They need her to help keep peace and restore balance in their world. Along their journey, the Keepers, led by Jacaré, discover that girls fitting the princess's description have started to disappear. An unknown entity is also hunting the princess, but for more frightening reasons. 

The other perspectives we see are of Johanna, the daughter of Performers, who also bears a striking resemblance to the lost princess, her family and that of Lord Rafael DeSilva. The young Duke and Johanna's paths - they would both say unfortunately - cross and then can't seem to escape each other. 

I am a fan of multiple narrators, even though that usually slows down the pacing of a book for me. However, that didn't happen for me with The Storyspinner. Although I felt like I got to know Johanna the best - the action definitely centers around her - I enjoyed all of the perspectives we got and the way the author builds both the world and the tension through their different perspectives.

As I mentioned, this book features a South American, Brazilian flavor. The Keepers even  have descriptive Portuguese names meaning alligator, viper, lion, fire,  all of which capture a little bit of the individual who possesses them. I also like how their names group them together and set them apart from the second set of narrators. As I followed the characters, I enjoyed getting to know the landscape with its heat and mango orchards, the Performer's camp featuring acrobats, Storytellers and singers, and the magic of the Keepers in the north. However, I really want a map (I'm unsure whether the final version will contain one)! I was a bit confused about the locations of everything - I'm such a visual person. I'd also like more information about the history of the Keepers. Their past war and what happened 16 years ago. 

Of course, I am always up for a good love story and two sweet and slow building romances are featured in this book, both of which are somewhat forbidden. No love triangles. I enjoyed both of them very much. One is more settled in the end than the other, but the more tentative one has the potential to be really great going forward. 

Basically, I'm counting down the days until I can jump back into this world again. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium - story just feels like it cuts off. I want more! 


  1. I loved this one too and I'm so glad you did as well. Usually the multiple POVs don't work for me, but this was just so perfectly well-written. And of course, the romances are too sweet and I was pleasantly surprised that I had two ships to ship!
    Lovely review, Lauren!

  2. I, like you and Nick, loved this one as well! I loved the third person POV rotation too, I felt it really fleshed out all the characters and gave a well-rounded plot. I loved the storyspinning aspects and the characters and the romance. It was a great start to the series! Lovely review :)

  3. So excited to read this one! I love multiple POVs in third person, it's a way for you to get so much more of an expansive, epic story. Great review! ~Pam

  4. Happy to hear you enjoyed this! The story does sound amazing and I do love a good fantasy novel. I didn't know that it has South American flavour to it, that's very cool. Thanks for the review!

  5. Yay :D Gorgeous review Lauren. <3 I'm so glad you loved this book. I have heard great things about it. Sigh. I want it a whole lot :D Just waiting for my copy to arrive. <3 I'm wondering if I will like all the different point of views.. hmm.. but I think so :D Hopefully. And yay for awesome romances, hih. <3 And no triangle :) I hope you'll love book two too sweetie. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)

  6. I keep expecting new titles to feature old tropes that I'm genuinely surprised when they turn out to be engaging reads. You're the second reader who has enjoyed this novel so I'm officially excited to get my hands on it. You know how I love a solid fantasy read, not to mention a romance or two, so this is right up my alley. Wonderful review, Lauren! :)

  7. Oh, thanks. Now you've made me want to read this book, like, now! I love when a story catches you and you're reading-reading-reading and don't even realize it's almost done (of course, I kind of hate that, too, because then I want more!).

  8. Great review, lady! I, too, loved the use of multiple narrators. It worked really well for the story and kept it moving at a swift pace. Can't wait to see what's next! And yay, no triangles!


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