Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Toren The Teller's Tale

Title: Toren The Teller’s Tale
Author: Shevi Arnold

Book Summary:

“Have you ever been swept away by a story?  If you have, you know the magic of the storyteller--and you know that magic is real.  This is seventeen-year-old Toren's magic … but is she brave enough to accept the power she holds?  When Toren returns home, her little sister, Noa, is full of questions.  Why does Toren awake only at night?  What causes her almost constant pain?  And above all, why, after completing her apprenticeship, has she has decided not to become a wizard?  To answer, Toren weaves a tale about a journey that leads her to discover the greatest source of magic in her world--herself.  It is a revelation that comes at a high price.  Through her darkest years, Toren finds solace and strength in the stories she tells.  But her greatest tale is not yet finished.  Together with Noa, she sets out on a new adventure.  And in the end, she must choose.  Will she continue to cling to her dream of an ordinary life, or will she dare to let her own magic shine?”

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom has read and told me stories.  Through my experiences with her, I completely understand the magic a storyteller wields.  They are responsible for holding our interest and keeping us entertained, a hard task at times!  Toren is a storyteller, and when she returns home unexpectedly after a long absence, the only story her little sister, Noa, wants to hear is Toren’s.  Over the span of the next several days, Toren spins a tale that stuns and captivates Noa.  At the end of each day, Noa has new questions waiting to be answered.  Only time will unravel all of Toren’s mysteries…

Toren has been through a LOT.  With a brother in charge who cares little for the family, she is forced to grow up fast.  Toren’s strength is evident from the beginning; her little bits of struggling and defiance are really HUGE leaps of inappropriate behavior where she comes from.  She is obviously a very special person, and I am enthralled repeatedly by Toren’s stories.  I even find myself believing that she makes them up on the spot just for me.  I catch myself wondering, “How does she do that in MINUTES?  I would not be able to rhyme that quickly.”

Her fantastic storytelling abilities aside, Toren has vast amounts of other talent.  She is apprenticed to a wizard, despite the fact that this is illegal, and her training is very thorough.  I definitely feel a stubborn streak in Toren, and this makes me like her that much more.  Noa also exhibits stubbornness but, for whatever reason, in her I find it rude and insensitive.  I connect strongly with Toren, so whenever anyone tries to harm or cajole, her I don’t like them very much.

Overall, Toren The Teller’s Tale is a FABULOUS book that I Highly Recommend to any Fantasy lover.  This book has magic, love, fighting, dragons, and lots of mysteries!  It is well written from a unique angle … the main character is actually TELLING a story.  Toren The Teller’s Tale also has illustrations at the beginning of each chapter-- a pattern I really enjoy.  I accidentally started reading the forward instead of chapter one, so “the story” initially was really confusing… especially when I began reading who it wanted to thank… but, I figured it out!  Then, once started, I could NOT put it down.

The Cover:

This cover is unusual.  It has a more cartoon-like face instead of a realistic one.  I think the picture is VERY unique, and I really like how the girl (Toren) is surrounded by little images.  I believe these are some of the same illustrations that are shown before each chapter.  This is a very unique cover for a very unique story! 

I give Toren The Teller's Tale 4.5 out of 5 hearts: Very Highly Recommended!

Visit Shevi Arnold on her website here: 

Or buy the book here:

paperback                ebook


  1. Sounds like an awesome book! Thank you for reviewing it!

    1. I'm glad you think so!! And it was my pleasure =)

  2. Neat! I love how you start your reviews with a personal story. :)

    1. Thanks Christina!! I'm glad you like it!!

  3. +JMJ+

    I'm reminded of a quote from a Diana Wynne-Jones novel that also features wizard characters: "A spell is the right words delivered in the right way."

    I love it when those who write stories about wizards are sensitive to the power and the intricacies of language. =)