The Storyteller – Book Review
YA Romantic Thriller
Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?
In the most thought provoking of ways, this book is very different to anything I have read before. The writing style is unique, with a smooth and old-worldly rhythm that makes the prose just beautiful to read, and the plot itself is simply captivating. ‘The storyteller’ is just such an imaginatively, heartbreaking story, that I don’t have the words to do justice to just how brilliant a book it is.
Set in Germany, the main character Anna is a good girl from a nice family, whose view of the world is limited to the perfect, happy bubble her parents have encased her in. Then she meets Abel and her bubble is burst, as one by one, she discovers the harsh and cruel reality of his life as he struggles to protect his little sister, Micha, from the people who would see them parted.
Yet even as Anna and Abel begin to fall in love, new dangers await them as people around them begin to die. Each murdered by a single gunshot in the back of the neck. And each of them somehow connected to Abel and Micha. And all Anna can wonder is, will she be the next to die?
In this romance turned thriller, Antonia Michaeli weaves a dark and haunting tale of trust, loyalty and love. Yet I’ll warn you now, this book is extremely sad and will take you on a real emotional rollercoaster. I’ll even admit that, especially towards the end, I had to keep putting the book down as I couldn’t see for the tears. However I believe that any book that can bring about such a physical reaction is really worth the read.
It is for that reason that I would whole heartedly recommend this book to everyone – although it is probably more for adults and older teens, as at times the story explores some very sensitive issues. Also I think a sense of maturity is needed to fully appreciate the depth and emotion intricately woven within the Book.
However I cannot praise it enough. I don’t rate books, but if I did this one would get full marks. Simply breathtaking, ‘The Storyteller’ is book you will remember forever.