- 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,292,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Storyteller Paperback – January 1, 2007
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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. I can't find anything to criticize about the author's style or voice. The first paragraph will snag you and you will be engaged throughout. Then you will be dropped off at the last paragraph wanting more. Luckily, she has provided us with a sequel, which I will be reviewing soon.
I have been given no choice but to give "Storyteller" a full five medallions (stars). It is not run-of-the-mill work by any means. It isn't what I normally read, but it has me looking forward to the next installment. I recommend this book to anyone who just loves a good story; for there are plenty of those to be had in "Storyteller."
G. R. Grove is a self published author. I generally hesitate to pick up self-published books because of the lack of quality control. But no worries here. Grove is a competent writer who can take simple tale and make a colorful story out of it.
Storyteller is a tour of Wales in the time of Athurian legends. The Romans have left, Anglo-Saxons are advancing and King Arthur has been dead 20 years when the sixteen-year-old orphan Gwernin Kyuarwyd sets out on his first summer circuit of the Briton towns in modern Wales. He pays his way telling stories. Early in the book Gwernin and his traveling partner Ieuen wake up from midday nap in the middle of nowhere to find themselves in an opaque fog. Disaster. Slowly they try to find their way. Gwernin later, having gotten lost, makes his way to "a tall figure standing silent in the moon-silvered mist ahead of me." It turns out to be a massive black standing stone. Perched at the bottom he imagines he hears a legendary king of the Celtic "Other-world" on a hunt with his hounds.
"Distantly I saw the hunt come and pass, the wraith-like deer
and the white hounds gleaming in the darkness. Dimly I saw
the rider, gray-cloaked and gray-mounted, pass by, with his
followers streaming behind him and the moon striking sparks
of silver from their fittings and their horns. They came, and
passed like thunder, and dwindled into silence, and I was
alone with the moon, and the mist, and the coming dawn"
Instead of filling us with the blood and gore and passion we might expect with Athurian legends, Grove takes a more literary approach. She takes her time, keeping us entertained with Gwernin's travels; each chapter is another story out of Gwernin's travels. In the end she has created her version of 6th century Wales, infused with history and clashes of cultures, and a place where legends and stories mix with reality. This is the first of a trilogy. I look forward to the next book.
Note: On her LibraryThing.com profile Grove advertised that she was willing to provide a PDF copy of a book for a review. I took her up on the offer.