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 finally read Becky Wallace’s debut The Storyspinner and it was one of the most fantastical reads I’ve read so far! It has magic, mystery, mayhem, and secrets! Lots of secrets and there’s still so much more to uncover!
I have heard that this is in some ways based off of Sleeping Beauty, like a very loosely based version. And I can see that, for our princess is hidden from her kingdom and doesn’t realize who she is herself! Of course, we pretty much figure out who it is from the beginning, because it’s seems obvious once you’re already reading the story.
This story is told through seven points of view, which is by far one of the most character points of views books that I’ve read. Granted, two points were only used once, but still, that’s seven! The Storyspinner focuses on Joanna, who is in fact a storyspinner herself. She comes from a family of performers and like her father, she enjoys telling tales with a flourish! But her life get severely alter when her father dies in a tragic accident. Now she and her family are outcasted from their performer’s guild and have to fend for themselves.
Joanna is quite the strong willed character. I quite enjoyed her, she’s strong and fierce, yet she still has a bit of vulnerability to her. She cares deeply for her family, despite her mother taking a turn for the worse after her father’s passing. One day she’s hunting a stag to help feed her family when she’s attacked by a duke and his brother, for they believed she was poaching and thus begins the story of how Joanna and Rafi meet.
It’s not a love story, to start with. They pretty much loathe one another. Rafi is a duke with a stiffy attitude and after receiving punishment for attacking Joanna, he owes her a debt and promises to fulfill it whether she likes it or not. So the two are sort of stuck with one another.
Another cast of characters involves a mystery group of people who are searching for the lost princess. They are racing as fast as they can before enemies get wind that the princess is still alive. And they all have their own drama and thoughts and life going on as well! Which makes this book so widespread, it’s hard to touch on everything! And yet, with all these points of view, it never got confusing or overwhelming, for your either reading about one of these “mystery” people or you’re with Joanna or Rafi. So it’s one place or the other, setting wise as usually this group sticks together and Joanna and Rafi are usually together or near one another.
Needless to say, there is a lot of backstory to this one. And yet, I felt like Wallace tells us the story in just the right manner. While it may seem slow from a distance, it’s really not in some ways. We get to know the characters very well through the multiple points of view and there’s always some kind of action or development going on. It was very much a nonstop entertaining read!
I loved the slow burn romance between Joanna and Rafi. It was definitely the hate to love variety as the two couldn’t really stand the other in the beginning. Then a sort of friendship develops between them where they don’t quite hate each other, but can stand to have a conversation for a time. Then you know, there’s more bickering and whatnot! And by the time the romance takes effect, the story is at its end!
And what an ending that was! It was a sort of confirmation type ending, where things are just confirmed on one topic or another. You know that there’s big changes on the horizon in the books to come, because Joanna’s story is just getting started!
The Storyspinner was a remarkable tale filled with adventure and suspense! There was a lot of mystery to it as well, and there still is by its end. We don’t really know what’s in store for Joanna in the future, but I for one cannot wait to see how this story unfolds!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars