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Storyteller Paperback – January 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A unique blend of history, myth and fantasy ... magical ... an unusually wonderful experience ... unexpectedly moving." -- PODler Book Review, May 4, 2007

"Excellence personified! ... unfolds like a blossoming rose in time-lapse. Grove is a consummate storyteller ... one of the best." -- POD Critic Review, April 9, 2007

"Smooth, well crafted, and entertaining... It's like a rich chocolate dessert, savor it and enjoy." -- Pub-ioneer Book Review, March 27, 2007

From the Publisher

The year is 550 AD. In the east Justinian the Great rules over the remains of the Roman Empire; in Italy the Goths still hold Rome itself. In northern Europe tribes are on the march, and boundaries and alliances are changing with the seasons. In Britain King Arthur is dead, and he and his brief peace are passing into legend. And in the land which will one day be called Wales, a young man named Gwernin sets out on his summer circuit as a traveling storyteller, little knowing the adventures that lie ahead of him. Told in the true voice of a medieval storyteller, this novel is the first book in an exciting new series. The second volume, The Flight of the Hawk, is scheduled for publication in October 2007.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143030524X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430305248
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,600,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

G. R. Grove is a storyteller and poet specializing in medieval Welsh material. Her "Storyteller" series of novels grew out of her visits to Wales and her own experiences as a teller of tales. Her newest book "The Druid's Son" is a (currently) stand-alone prequel to the "Storyteller" series. She has also published two volumes of poetry. She blogs in English and (sometimes) Welsh at http://tregwernin.com/.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Odyssey Reviews on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
G.R. Grove's book "Storyteller" is sort of difficult to categorize. It's historical fiction, but a sort of whimsical fiction which is told in the tradition of the Canterbury tales. The book is a collection of individual tales, wound by the bard Gwernin. As he travels about telling his stories chapter by chapter, the wider story is revealed of his travels around Wales during the middle ages. You are introduced to an evolving, colourful cast of characters that Gwernin meets along the way, as well as those who accompany him on various adventures. As they travel, the reader hears stories of legendary England, including tales of King Arthur. You follow Gwernin through various life-experiences, and even as he falls in love.

I sort of expected this book to be much like the required reading of my High School AP English class; a chore to read and hard to retain. However it was not. It was a pleasure to read this book. Storyteller is an extremely friendly read, with a well-researched foundation, and a light-hearted tone. There is no doubt of the author's knowledge and expertise on the historical material in this book; however it is not presented in a burdensome or pretentious manner.

I confess that this style of book would not normally attract me as a reader. I tend to shy away from historical fiction. I find that more often than not, this genre is simply written as a means for an erudite author to show off his/her knowledge of historical subject matter, and the story, no matter how good, can be completely obliterated by the profusion of archaic terms and facts. Storyteller has shown me that this isn't always the case, and that sometimes a good book is just a good book. G. R. Grove is clearly an excellent writer.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Carole Shieber on March 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I immensely enjoyed this book because of its excellent historical content and the blend of tale and fantasy which makes it so much fun to read. The life of the bard portrayed in the stories is well based on historical research and the tales he tells and experiences have the right blend of myth and life that I think a person living in that time period would have believed. I am looking forward eagerly to the next instalment. Gwernin is a very realistic character and I believed in him absolutely. As for the brushed with faery he experiences, he would have believed their reality even if they were dreams for the early Welsh lived much closer to the land of myth than we do today. I think fans of both fantasy and historical novels will find this book to be a wonderful read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Joseph on March 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I grew up reading Mary Stewart's Merlin novels. Comparisons are inevitable, but "Storyteller" stands on its own sturdy legs. Set in 6th century Britain, it is the reminicences of a young man with a penchant for spinning tales who aspires to be a bard. Ms. Groves captures the sights, sounds and smells of another time and puts us in the very shoes of one who stands small and alone before an audience, hoping for the reward of intent hush, that stunned silence ultimately followed by a storm of applause.

The episodic structure of the chapters was admirably suited to my habit of reading on my lunch hour, that, several hearty bites of narrative, ended inevitably and satisfyingly with the words, "But O my children, that is a story for another time."

More! More! cries this greedy child, knowing she gulped it down too fast. You sent him north to gather news of unrest and I want to know what happens next!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Russell Weisfield on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
The thing that will most stick with the reader is the Welsh Flourish with which Grove writes. In fact, to add to that flourish, a pronuciation key is provided at the end (and is in fact integral to enjoying the book).

Storyteller follows the travels of a young 6th century Welsh bard named Gwernin. Gwernin starts from his home with a companion and proceeds to wander the country getting room and board where possible in exchange for his storytelling prowess. Along the way he encounters a variety of noble people, renowned bards, and charlatans.

Although one may wonder about the integrity of the interactions between Gwernin and the people he encounters, the integrity of the setting is not impeached. In fact, it is clear that Grove has spent many loving hours investigating 6th century Wales and wishes to convey that to her readers. Additionally, it is clear that Grove has a penchant for the bardic arts and likewise wishes to bestow that upon her readers.

Storyteller will give readers an excellent insight into Wales of the sixth century. Furthermore, they can garnish some fun and easy to re-tell stories by reading this work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Mizrahi on August 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Storyteller is a series of tales chronicalling the adventures of Gwernin in his journy to become a bard in 6th century Wales. The reader will get a sense of both Gwernin the young man experiencing these wonders and dangers for the first time, and also of Gwernin the old man, looking back on his life, telling us of his triumphs, and of his youthful stubornness and folly. One delights in Gwernin's successes, but also can enjoy cringing with his embarassment. With true understanding of human nature, Ms.Grove has created a character anyone who has been through adolescence can relate to, yet firmly rooted in his own time. Throughout one gets lost in the mindset of that early century. The country itself becomes a character as it comes to life through Ms. Groves lyric prose, rich in well-researched detail. Each chapter gives a tasty mouthful, the perfect treat to devour before bed-time. I eagerly await the next instalment.
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