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 (The Keepers' Chronicles #1)Featured
The book itself is focused on two storylines. First storyline is of Johanna Von Arlo's journey, whose father recently passed away. She is currently trying to avoid being killed by her enemies. The other is of the powerful and mysterious group called the Keepers who are willing to protect their own kind. Their mission is to find the hidden princess and use her lineage/blood/ancestry to renew a magical barrier that keeps out monsters. The fascinating story is simple to keep up with. The plot itself falters slows in some parts, but the action makes up for the awkward moments.
Johanna Von Arlo is a great character. Though she is thrust into a terrible problem and tight spot where she ends up as the damsel in distress, she can remain brave and smart. She shares a remarkable spark with the young Rafael DeSilva (Rafe). Rafe and Johanna have a slow burn romance, that starts off with a "I hate you, you hate me" vibe. It slowly soothes into "something more" territory, which is very amusing and dramatic to watch. That is a couple I ship (hard) from the very beginning of the book.
The world building is easy to get the gist of. Just imagine a world of knights, magic, a princess, arranged marriages, kingdoms, wars, and even more magic. The world of The Storyspinner will be familiar to most readers who are well-versed with fantasy novels.
The story goes by quickly, even though the book is four hundred pages or so long. But the most jolting part of the novel is the ending. It goes by too fast, over too quickly. I have to reread it, because the ending simply cuts off at the most awful place possible. I'm left with all of these questions and an uncomfortable stomach. By the end (minor spoiler alert here), all of these heroes and heroines are left in a tight spot. The sequel can't come out soon enough, and I'm eager to see what will happen next.
Overall, THE STORYSPINNER has left me with mixed feelings. I adore most of its main characters and its hate-turn-into-love romance. The world building isn't original, but it is easy to pick up and remember. The story is fun and entertaining, taking readers to another place and time. I would recommend this to those that love a princess, magic, and kingdoms. Best for 13+ and those who really need a book to read.
Rating: Three out of Five
I loved this book. LOVED IT. I already want to reread it and I just put it down a week ago.
I loved the world-building so much. There are so many different forces at play in this world and the way they all connect and interact is fascinating. My heart was racing as all the pieces came together. The reader isn’t left in the dark; it was obvious early on who Johanna was. What kept the pages turning was seeing all of the characters come to the realization in different ways.
The story is told from multiple points of view and this works so well. There are so many important characters and I loved having their different voices and thoughts. Every point of view is unique because they all come from different places. Seriously, I loved every single character, even the ones who didn’t get POV chapters.
You know how I was talking about things I like in romances and I forgot about love-hate relationships. This book has the BEST love-hate relationship. I was so into it from the moment Johanna met Rafi. So much banter! So much hatred! So much tension!
What Left Me Wanting More:
The ending! I can't wait for the next book!
The Final Verdict:
The Storyspinner is a must-read fantasy debut. You’ll be dying for the next book.
Once again, I picked up a book for the cover. All that drew me to this book was the word “story” in the title and the fact that it looks like it might be about a lady Robin Hood. Spoiler: it is not about a lady Robin Hood. However, despite that, I’m glad that I cheated a bit and read The Storyspinner, because I really liked it. The Storyspinner starts off a new fantasy series with a cool setting, delightful cast of characters, and some truly awesome magic.
In the first pages, I was enraptured by the concept of storyspinning. It’s storytelling, only more vibrant, adding in the use of illustrations drawn in dust thrown into the air. How do they manage to draw pictures in floating dust? I can’t tell you, but come on it’s a fantasy and that’s so cool. Basically, I picture it like this, only drawn vertically and accompanied by words.
The book opens with Johanna’s happy family. They’re all performers. Her father’s best known as an acrobat, her mother for singing, Johanna for storysinging, and her three brothers are heading for careers as acrobats too. Setting the tone for the coming story, the novel opens with pain. A happy family in fantasy basically necessitates death. Womp womp. The Storyspinner starts out as pretty badass fantasy and continues on in that vein. If you like your fantasy dark, get excited.
There are five POV characters in The Storyspinners: Johanna, Jacaré, Rafi, Leão, and Pira. I will warn you that the narrative jumps around a lot. The individual chapters don’t tend to last too long and a number are just two pages. Since the narrative is in third person limited, though, there’s no issue keeping the characters straight. I actually really liked all the different POV characters and found them pretty close to equally interesting, so this worked really well for me. Not only that, but there are a lot of very strong female characters in The Storyspinners, which is something I keep an eye out for in fantasy.
The plot follows relatively familiar lines in this first volume. There’s a missing princess, whose identity probably will not surprise you, and an incredibly evil bad guy. There wasn’t too much that really caught me off guard. That said, I think it’s all done well and I was really into the story at all points. I’ll definitely hope for increased complexities in motivations and such as the series continues, but I think The Storyspinners is a great start.
Plus, the ships are off to glorious starts. There are two and I ship them both very hard. You know me. I’m basically sold at this point. One of them is hate to love and the other one is definitely against the will of the two people having serious lustful feelings for one another. There are a couple of great kiss scenes too. I NEED MORE OF THIS.
What Left Me Wanting More:
What I’m really torn on is the world building. I love the concept of the Keepers’ essencia and their elemental powers. I’m pretty much always on board for that. The setting appears to be in some fantasy version of South America; it’s either mostly or entirely set in Brazil. I can’t say for sure, though, because I find some of the world building really confusing. The best example is in the character names. They’re mostly Portuguese, but then there are a handful of English names thrown in, like Johanna’s family. I just don't get the logic of this.
The Final Verdict:
The Storyspinners is a captivating fantasy debut and I can tell you right now that I will be reading book two when it comes out in eight million years. Maybe reading it so early wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all.