Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: The Storyspinner

Title: The Storyspinner
Author: Becky Wallace
Series: The Keeper Chronicles
Volume: 1
Genre: Fantasy

A Quick Introduction: Johanna is a Performer, born and bred- or so she thinks. Following her father's death and her family's subsequent exile from the Performer's camp, Johanna finds herself taking work at a ducal estate. Meanwhile, a group of magicians set off on a desperate quest to save a princess nobody has seen in years. Between the power struggles of the nobility, the reappearance of magic in the world, and girls matching her description turning up murdered, Johanna has her work cut out for her if she wants to make it out alive.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: Despite a scattered and slow start, this book proved to be an enjoyable opening to a fantasy duology.

Review: This book took a while to get going, but, once it did, it was a fairly quick read.

Johanna is a determined character- she wants to protect her family and to keep performing. After seeing her father's death on the high wire, she does everything she can to keep her family, especially her younger brothers fed, even if it means agreeing to perform on an estate. The lord who enlists her, Rafael came into his lordship unexpectedly, and is now struggling with responsibilities he doesn't want, but knows he is obligated to take. Overall, while I didn't really dislike either of them, I didn't connect to them either. The Keepers were never really felt like main characters, despite how frequently they were present.

Two romances both seemed to proceed in fits and starts- I could have done with more buildup for both of them. They both added a lot of extra to a story that already ricocheted from place to place. The romances combined with frequent action, told in a style that jumped from place to place caused the many plot threads to occasionally trip each other up.

Despite these faltering points, the book got more engaging as time went on, and I found myself invested in the story. Once it got moving, it didn't let up, with the action action carrying on to the very last page.

The story juggles multiple points of view, and in a way that initially slowed the story down- the constantly shifting viewpoints served to reduce investment in any given storyline and viewpoint as they were introduced. Eventually they got into more of a flow, though I did find myself more invested in some points of view than others.

All in all, I quite enjoyed reading this novel, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel when it comes out.

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