Myers, Edward. Storyteller. Clarion Books, 2008. ISBN 9780618695416. $16.00. 283 p.
Reviewer name: McMillan, Tessa
Reading level: Young adult
Genre: Adventure stories; Fantasy fiction; Fairy tales;
Subject: Storytelling--Juvenile fiction; Kings, queens, rulers, etc. --Juvenile fiction; Fairy tales--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
A grandfather tells his grandchild the tale of Jack Storyteller. In his story, the grandfather describes how Jack is a farm boy who loves telling stories. At the age of seventeen, Jack leaves his home to seek his fortune in the royal city, Callitti. His good luck aids him to becoming King Alphonse's royal storyteller. But his dreams take a terrible twist when the king suddenly dies and his bratty son, Prince Yoss, mysteriously takes the throne. King Yoss and his right-hand man, illusionist Zephyrio, try to brain-wash the kingdom into thinking that Yoss will make all his subjects' hardships disappear. Yoss and Zephyrio use Jack and Princess Stelinda, who was the rightful heir to the throne, to tell false stories and poems of Yoss's deeds. But when Jack's work for Yoss threatens his love for Princess Stelinda, Jack leaves Yoss's company to find the means to revolt against him. But Jack, Stelinda, and several rebels are captured by Yoss's guards. On Jack's execution day, Yoss and Zephyrio are trumped by Loquasto, Jack's friend and talking bird, who relieves Yoss's true intentions for the kingdom. Jack and Stelinda are freed, Zephyrio escapes, Celestina,a dethroned queen, takes over the throne, and order is brought back to the kingdom of Sundar. Myers weaves a beautiful tale for his readers in Storyteller. This is a complex story that took expert writing to maneuver through it successfully. Myers work is reminiscent of such authors as Avi, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, and Shannon Hale. Storyteller is a great read for young adults who are looking for a new adventure in reading.
Volume 29, no. 6 (July/August 2009)
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