(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Simon and Schuster on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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 by Becky Wallace is the first in The Keepers’ Chronicles and I thought it was a wonderful start to what will be a promising series.
Johanna Von Arlo has grown up in a family of performers. She has learned how to be a Storyspinner from her father but on the night that the story opens, her father is performing his highwire act and something goes terribly wrong. After that dreadful night, things change drastically for Johanna as she and her family have to figure out a new way to survive.
Due to being kicked out of the troupe and their struggles to survive, Johanna is forced to hunt in the woods. When she comes across a deer that then happens to run onto Lord Rafael DeSilva’s land she is mistaken for a poacher and that’s when things take another turn as she is thrown into the DeSilva’s world and asked to work for them while they entertain other nobles.
There is quite a bit going on in this story and another piece that ties all of the characters back to Johanna includes a group called The Keepers. They are looking for the heir of King Wilhelm because they believe the heir is the one who will save their land. They aren’t the only ones looking for her either – there are girls being murdered all over the kingdom that match Johanna’s description and when Rafi and his mother figure things out, they start to worry about what this means.
I found that I liked all of the characters in this story. Johanna is smart and definitely not one to just sit by and let others take care of things. I liked that she was willing to do anything for her family and although she has had some tragedies in her life, she still stayed strong. Rafi feels unprepared to take on the level of leadership he knows he has to but he is willing to do what he needs to in order to protect his people as well as the people he cares most about, his mother, brother and now Johanna.
Jacare and his group of Keepers were interesting as well. I would love to know more about their story and I look forward to finding out what has become of them based on the last chapter we had from one of them.
I enjoyed how Wallace tied all of the different storylines together and with all of the action, the story was fast. I have to say, the one frustration I had was how quickly the points of views were transitioned. Just as I would get into one character’s perspective, the chapter would end and things would move to another character’s point of view. It made some of the story feel choppy.
Overall I thought this was a solid first book. Johanna’s story has some mystery and lots of action and Wallace has created an interesting world for them all to live in. I can’t wait to learn more about everyone and where Johanna and Rafi are headed. Based on how this one ended, I am looking forward to the next book as I am curious to see where Wallace goes with all of these characters. If you are looking for an action-filled fantasy, check this one out.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!