Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review - The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley (4.5/5 stars)

The Folk Keeper (Jean Karl Books)Reading level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 176 pages

Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: September 1, 2001
ISBN-13:  978-0689844614
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I saw a review for this book on another blog and it sounded fantastic so I ordered a copy through paperbackswap(dot)com.  I am so happy I did it, was an absolutely fantastic read.  I wonderful story with a fairy tale feel to it that had some neat twists at the end and a feel good ending.

Fifteen year old Corinna Stonewall is masquerading as a boy and as a Folk Keeper in order to avoid a life as a servant.  Then a lord and lady come to disrupt her life by telling her she is the son of a nobleman and needs to claim her place.  She agrees but only if she can be their Folk Keeper.  Her new home of Cliffsend has Folk more viscous than those she has ever seen before and there are secrets here that run deep that Corinna must find the answers too.

This book is short, but has a very fantastic story in that short space.  The story has a traditional dark fairy tale feel to it.  Corinna has a very vengeful attitude early on in the book and is not a character that is easy to like.  As her story unfolds though so does she.  She learns about parts of herself she's been cut off from and grows into a character to be admired and enjoyed.

The writing style is descriptive and does a good job of making the environments come alive; the characters are engaging and likable.  This is a pretty dark story overall, but it ends in a way that makes the reader feel happy and uplifted.  The plot has some large twists towards the end that took me by surprise, but in hindsight made perfect sense.  It takes a skillful author to weave these subtle hints throughout the plot and still have the story be surprising.

I will say that in the beginning of the book there were some turns of phrase that were a bit confusing and the story was a bit slow.  This was quickly remedied as the book continued and by the end I was absolutely blown away by the skillfully told story.

Overall an excellent read and I am so glad that I read it.  Fans of stories with a fairy tale feel to them or stories about the fey folk cast in a darker light should really enjoy this story.  It is appropriate for middle grade and up reading levels.  I will definitely be checking out more stories by Billingsley.  Right now she has a new YA novel out called Chime, so if you enjoyed this book you may want to check that one out...I know I am going to!

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Fantasy Reading Challenge

The Folk Keeper (Jean Karl Books) 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! This sounds like a really cute novel. I haven't read Chime yet either, but I've been hearing lots of stuff about it so I may just check out Franny Billingsley's books.