Johanna has only ever known the performing life; her whole family is involved as acrobats, storytellers and singers in carnivals. When her father dies on the tightrope, though, they are cast out of the Performers’ Camp and must figure out ways to make a living for themselves.
Jacaré ignores direct orders from the Mage Council, whom he’s sworn to defend, and crosses the wall to enter the country of Santarem because he knows whatever has gone wrong there must be addressed immediately. He takes three trusted Keepers with him and sets off to find the heir to the throne of Santarem, whom only a very few people know is alive, to restore balance and keep Santarem safe from others like him who would use their magical powers to take control.
Johanna and the other citizens of Santarem only know the Keepers as legends, as godlike characters in old stories. The danger they fear is not from anyone who can wield magic, but just swords. One powerful duke killed the king 16 years earlier and still seeks to become king himself, but for some time a tenuous peace has held.
While out hunting for food Johanna is thrown into the world of Rafael, young duke of the province of Santiago, and life becomes much more complicated, and survival much more challenging.
In The Storyspinner, newcomer Becky Wallace spins an engaging tale of danger, cunning, political intrigue, magic and a few touches of romance. The plot and writing are excellent, seeming to have come from a more seasoned writer, and once I got into the story, I could hardly put it down. Now I must wait until a second book arrives. Curses.
Rated: Mild. There are a couple of uses of mild language and a few references to characters with sexual escapades but no details. There are a couple of kissing scenes. Most to watch out for in the book are a number of scenes of violence, with intensity and some mild to moderate detail. For younger readers (tweens, perhaps), it might read in a few places more like a Moderate.