Series: The Keepers' Chronicles, #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 432 pages
Sexual Content: none
Reviewed by: Kristina
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.
I tend to shy away from many YA books unless I find the premise interesting enough that I must at least give it a try or until the shear popularity of it forces me to take a peek. With THE STORYSPINNER it was the former reason. While there are certainly common elements that are ever present in YA fiction and historical fiction this story takes those elements and twists them deftly into a compelling and unique story. What really kept me going was the fact that every chapter kept giving you a peek at this world from different characters' perspectives. Granted I could have done with two or three less narrators as I lost track of who was where and doing what at times.
The plot has an even amount of quiet reflection and high energy action with intense fights and nightmarish creatures haunting the forest. Along with the page turning plot, the characters are pretty interesting. One of the main characters, Johanna, is a performer in a circus act of sorts. The performers' lifestyle and work was a really fun part of the book to read about and I wished we got to spend more time with Johanna there. Johanna is a classic YA heroine, whose tough, determined, fighting to keep her family together, and has a lot to learn over the course of this story. Aside from Johanna there is a whole cast of characters who are very well rounded and compelling in their own right. There are also some sweet romances and flirtations between a few of the characters which thankfully didn't overpower the plot.
THE STORYSPINNER weaves a magically beautiful tapestry of high adventure and discovery with l with a strong vein of magic running through its core. There is a bit of a cliffhanger so I am very interested to see where this story goes in book two.Series Titles: