Friday, 16 December 2011

REVIEW: Martin C. Sharlow – Storytellers (3/5)

Series: Storytellers Saga #1

Couple of Covers:

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

This is the book for you if you like:

- Books about books
- Friendship stories

How did I get it: Free via Smashwords

Summary: Thousands of years ago, the great Sage Montok Waynew signed the Book Accords, in which it was declared that all books must edify and instruct for the good of all mankind. Created in the hope to end the tyranny that had come into existence in their time, it was widely received and ratified by all living Sages as a good thing in the wake of the last great Story wars. So it went, that those books that were not found desirable were burned or destroyed, to protect all future generations.
Gailen, Alena and Targ find this peace is about to end. In a world where Sages can summon stories to life to do their bidding, these three apprentices must find where they belong, when the laws of the past seem to no longer exist.

(from Goodreads)

Favourite cover: The covers are, in order: Kindle cover, paperback cover, which apparently had a different title and another cover (I always use goodreads for these covers, and I can’t find the edition that used this cover).

I really loathe the Kindle cover; I don’t get why it was necessary to put an almost naked woman on the cover of this book. It has no connection to the story at all. The paperback cover is really sinister, which fits a bit more, because parts of the book were pretty creepy. I, however, much prefer the unknown edition cover, because I think it uses the most important part of the book: how stories can come out of their books.

Title: Storytellers fits the book perfectly, especially because it is the name of their specific talent/ability. I don’t get why the paperback version used Storyweavers, because that’s just at odds with the story itself.

Characters: I love Targ. He finds himself in a world where he doesn’t understand anything and he’s so desperate to find his way and to find out who he is. It’s easy to get into his mindset, because as a reader you don’t know anything about the world either. Alena was at times annoying, and at times I really liked her. Gailen got really annoying towards the end of the book, but I believe that was kind of the point.

Maybe Darrius is the most intriguing character of all. One of the last sages left, he has to try and do what he can to save what can be saved of the Storytellers Council. He is really young and has always been a bit controversial in his ideas how stories should be used; now he doesn’t have any elders left to turn to. I especially want to know how his story progresses in the next part of the series.

Setting: The world this story is set in, doesn’t have a name, but we get to see quite a lot of it. It’s a huge world, with lots of rough nature. All the villages in this world have their own Storyteller, who makes sure the village is defended and that the villagers have enough food. They do this by bringing stories they know to life.

General story: I really like the world-building; I love the idea of people who are able to bring stories to life and my favourite parts of the book were the parts where it was described how the Storytellers thought of the right story to use and how to use it. I also really like the idea that people were so scared of how sad stories with violence could affect their world, that all non-happy books were banned and outlawed; this went so far, that Gailen and Elena don’t believe Targ when he talks about a book that doesn’t end well.

Because the book alternates between the story of Targ, Gailen and Elena and Darrius’ story, at times I found it a bit hard to follow. Especially in the beginning of the book, when there is no sense of connection at all between the stories, it was hard to be equally invested in each of them. This, however, got a lot better towards the end of the book.

Will I read other books from this author? Yes.

Will I read the next instalment in this series? I might.

Overall rating: 3 stars

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