Thursday, June 18, 2015

My pet peevs: The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

A lost princess, a breach in a magical barrier, Keepers with an affinity one of the four elements and a handsome Lord. This is The Storyteller, more or less.

Click the Goodreads button to read more about The Storyspinner.

The Storyteller is a high/historical fantasy novel with all of the classical ingredients. Team good vs. team bad, ordinary people vs. people with magical abilities. Nothing new there really, but I still enjoyed the story. I have to underline my liking of the novel before I start listing my pet peeves, because I did enjoy the story and I want to read the sequel. Alas there are things to be said about the story and the use of language that is not positive.

The Edward Cullen complex

Why did the heroine of the story have to fall for the guy who throw punches before using his vocabulary? He beat you up girl, there is no excuse for that even if he thought you were a thieving boy. His brother is so much nicer! I cannot forgive the author for this, and I feel it sends out all the wrong signals to young girls. Never forgive a guy that punches you in the face.

A smile curled the corner of his mouth. “But if you can think of a way to sneak me out, I’d love to go slumming with you.” “I’ll think on it.” She didn’t mention that she had a mother and older brother who kept her far from the pubs and inns, fairly trapping her at their wagon. “Although,” Dom said, his face suddenly serious. “We couldn’t really call it slumming. I bring the quality of everyone up a few notches.” Johanna laughed and caught a glimpse of Brynn’s grim face as she added scented oil to the lanterns bracketed around the room.

Words belonging to another era

Also I found some words that I reacted to, like the use of the word cupcake(did you know the word cupcake was first used in 1826? It is so according to Wikipedia). It felt totally misplaced in this kind of fantasy setting:

Other young ladies and at least one lady’s maid speckled the ground around her like cupcakes fallen from a tray.

An exotic girl 

Why does a woman of color have to be described as exotic just because she isn't white? Or? Don't use the word exotic to describe people and I think you'll be alright, Wallace. Lots of bloggers and authors have written about the use of the word exotic before - here is useful advice.
Maribelle shook the maid away and ran her fingers through her hair, letting it cascade down her back. She was beautiful. And exotic. And noble.

Seeing the paragraph above in combination with this sentence makes it even worse:
The girl was attractive in an obvious way, petite and fair-skinned, with small hands and delicate features. Pira wanted to hate her, but she had to give Johanna credit for a toughness that belied her size.

I am sure that the author has just been a bit thoughtless here and meant no harm, but it is best just to avoid setting people against each other like this based on skin tone. The tone of ones skin is not what makes a person more or less beautiful, kind. mean or any other personal trait.

Cliches and body perfection focus:

I am just fed up with perfection, nothing wrong with being perfect but the world isn't like that. Please spread body positive vibes instead please, for both boys and girls alike.

Her bare legs were pale and well shaped against the dark gray river rocks.

The evening stars crowned his dark head with pinpoints of light, casting a shadow over his eyes. The effect was stunning, highlighting his straight nose and full mouth.

The sun glinted off the planes of his high cheekbones, kissing his face with morning light.

All the negatives aside, Wallace did a good job with her story. I was hooked from the beginning and when I felt my interest starting to fall it was always a new hook there to keep me reading. It is not just the main character of this story that is a storyspinner. I am looking forward to more books from Becky Wallace and I hope my advice will be taken into consideration so there is no pet peeves to be seen in the sequel ;)

Have you read The Storyspinner?
What did you like/dislike about it?
Do you agree with my pet peeves or do you think I am overreacting?


  1. The cupcake thing still annoys me after I read it on GR.

    Also the way to describe peeps...hmmm

    1. Haha, I know! Say no to cupcakes in fantasy novels, that is the name of my latest Facebook group ;) ;P

      I am happy that reading has brought my attention to why it is problematic to use the word exotic. I remember author Melinda Lo writing about this several years ago. I do not think I have ever really used the word before and after I started blogging I will most certainly never use it to describe people.

    2. So as we all know reading broadens one perspective in so many ways also when it comes to vocabulary, definitions and usage of words.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)