Author: Becky Wallace
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly Books
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
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 (goodreads).
The Storyspinner surpassed my expectations and has me eagerly waiting for the next installment.
Plot: It shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that Johana is the long lost princess in question. It's not the mystery that makes The Storyspinner remarkable, but its mix of realistic characters, intriguing political alliances, and world that makes this an instant favorite.political tensions and betrayal always make for a thrilling novel, so why not throw in a long-lost princess to sweeten the deal?
Pacing is often difficult to figure out with fantasy novels, either the author hits you with everything immediately, or the author waits it out and you're spending pages waiting for something to happen. Wallace's pacing is surprisingly perfect. She would feed a little background about the region, then quickly explores political unrest in other parts of the world.
Characters: Johana von Arlo is a girl after my own heart. She reminds me a bit of Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses, because of her family situation. After the unexpected death of her father, her family is banned from their beloved travelling troupe and have a difficult time making ends meet. Her fiery personality made me fall in love with her, and I loved her love-hate relationship with the lordling, Rafael. All of the characters managed to touch me in a way that I could have sworn that they were real flesh-and-bone human beings.
The Storyspinner is told from a plethora of perspectives, like a million. The perspectives helped move the story along as well as get to know the individuals - and their motives - a bit better.
Worldbuilding: I love everything about the kingdoms and complexities of the religions in The Storyspinner. What I really enjoyed about The Storyspinner is that Wallace strongly believes in the idea of there being two sides to every story.
Short and Sweet: The Storyspinner is a strong fantasy debut that will definitely please anyone who dabbles in high fantasy. I can't wait to see how all of this wraps up!