ARC Review ~ The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

Series: The Keepers' Chronicles #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length:  432 Pages
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: eARC via publisher (thanks Simon & Schuster!)
Goodreads

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 love fantasy novels, and I had a certain idea about how this book was going to play out. I was completely wrong, and I absolutely loved the way Becky told her story much better than the version I created in my mind. Have you ever done something similar to that before? Imagine how you think the story is going to go before even opening up the book and then it being completely different?

Let's start with the synopsis because that's what really made me obsess and theorize over this book. The premise of this book is interesting and well developed. Keepers have magically ability who live on one side of the magical boundary while humans live on the other side. The magical boundary is kept strong by the human monarchy. After the slaughter of the royal family with whispers of the heir having escaped, supporters and enemies alike go to find her, some to kill her, others to have her take back her throne and strengthen the boundary again.

This book is told from alternating points of view. Becky did an amazing job with it, and her decision to do that seemed crucial and made perfect sense. It wasn't frivolous as it seems to be in some other books. Each point of view brings necessary information to the plot and really rounds out the story. It was fascinating seeing all the different seams come together. I loved peering into various characters' heads.

I loved the characters so much. Johanna's loyalty to her family and how she perseveres are both admirable qualities. She's extremely stubborn too. Rafi's the dutiful and honorable lord who is compassionate and full-heartedly cares for his people. He's the sweetest. The romance between Johanna and Rafi was absolutely perfect. It progressed slowly, and built over time. Nothing was rushed or forced, it was amazingly wonderful. Dom is Rafi's hilarious younger brother. I love the family values and bonds in this book. Especially those between Rafi's family and the bonds between Johanna and her siblings. The Keepers in this story were quite endearing as well. The Storyspinner contains lots of strong characters that I love!

In terms of world-building this book was fascinating and fantastic. Everything was described simply and well. There was no information dump nor was there any confusion. Although this book lacked a lot of action, there was something completely beguiling about it. There's something that keeps your eyes glued to the page, something that urges you to turn the pages and go on.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for book #2!

20 comments:

  1. I'm really glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel. I loved this book so much, especially the characters like you said. They were very endearing. And yes, the author did a fantastic job with the multiple POVs! It had such a nice flow to it. And OMG, she sure did slay me with the feels towards the end.
    I can't wait for the next book.
    Lovely review, Rachel!

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  2. I'm so glad you loved this one. It's been one that I am excited about for awhile now. I'm not usually a fan of the alternating point of views thing but you've sold me on it a little more. I have this reserved from the library so I can't wait to pick it up now. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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  3. I'm glad you liked this book. I'm looking forward to reading it since it came out today, and the romance you described sounds so different compared to the usual YA romance. I don't usually root for the nice guy, but I believe I'll love Rafi too haha. Love your review!

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  4. The world building plot does sound amazing .. I'm not a huge fan of that cover though so it'll be a maybe for me If I pick up this read Feminist Reflections

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  6. I love when books surprise you and go in a different way than the one you would have expected, so very glad that this one does exactly that!
    I always worry a bit about multiple POVs, but I'm glad to hear this one worked it well!
    Great review, Rachel!

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  7. Ooooh, I've heard some great things about this book recently. It does sound intriguing! But the fact that it took you by surprise is what really makes me want to read it! That could either mean really good or really bad things, and I'm willing to gamble a little on the really good! :D

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  8. Ooooh! You mean to tell me that this is a fantasy with strong elements of family?! You just said the magic words, my friends :) I am SO going to read this one. I'm very happy to know that this is out today, so I can buy my copy from TBD!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  9. I'm so excited to get my hands on this book! I've heard a lot of great things.

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  10. This sounds great! I'm always happy when family relationships are focused on in books, especially between siblings. And the worldbuilding sounds like it was done just right! I will have to try this book; great review Rachel!

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  11. Lovely review! This book was not at all what I was expecting either, and I loved it. The many POVs were the most surprising but also so effective. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, tho J & R were my favorites too. :)

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  12. That premise sounds so interesting. Love the review!

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  13. I kept seeing this book around but never really paid attention to it. Until I read your review yesterday!!! I loved it so much that I went out and bought it. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for a great review Rachel xoxo

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  14. YES to this: "This book is told from alternating points of view. Becky did an amazing job with it, and her decision to do that seemed crucial and made perfect sense." I love third rotating perspective, but it worked particularly well in this book. One of my favorite aspects was watching these groups of people work towards each other. I liked how it raised the tension. And both ships were swoony. I was totally taken by surprise when this book ended. I want MORE ASAP! Great review.

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  15. This sounds like a pretty decent read but I am not sure if I can read it. I am someone who gets motion sick and looking at the cover alone already makes me feel a bit sick. I know, this is a completely strange reason xD But maybe I will be able to if I cover the cover or something.

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  16. Oh yay, I'm starting this one this week. I'm excited because I keep hearing really great things! I'm so glad to hear it didn't have info dump or bad world building. I always get a little apprehensive about fantasy novels. And the romance! I'm excited to see how it plays out between Johanna and Rafi. :D

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  17. I cannot wait to meet Johanna! This book sounds like everything I will love and its at the top of my TBR! I love that it surprised you too (I totally run away with plots in my head so I get it!)

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  18. I absolutely, 100% cannot wait to read this book! I wanted to read it when I first heard about it, but after reading so many reviews, yours included, I SERIOUSLY cannot wait to read this book! And see that amazing cover in person! Thank you for your awesome review, and forgive me for all of the exclamation points! I am too excited!!!!

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  19. I'm really excited about this book! I love fantasy, even more so when the book can surprise you and turn out to be completely different from what you first thought it would be. The world in The Storyspinner sounds fantastic, and I enjoy books told from multiple points of view!

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  20. Never heard about this book before but I definitely want to read it ! added it to my tbr list :)

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