Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and to the author, Veronica del Salle for providing me with a copy of the book to review via her publisher SilverwoodBooks. My review is my own honest opinion of the book.
What would happen if words disappeared forever?
Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairy-tale like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words. The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books. Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words. She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language. As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?
The title of this story captured my interest from the start, and I was not disappointed. This is an absolutely delightful fantasy adventure story, with plenty of action, which completely entranced me. I adored the bookish messages scattered throughout and loved that the story was a celebration of the power and importance of language in all its forms.
It was just a book she was reading for the fun of it. The best kind of book in her opinion.
This was enough to make Florence Ibbot a new favourite! As a primary school teacher, my heart is very much in encouraging reading for pleasure , so this quote is just perfect and one I’m going to put up in my reading corner!
Eleven-year-old Florence is excited about her annual visit to Inkwell where her Grandpa and best friend live. She is self-assured and intelligent with a love for language and a real thirst for knowledge.
Her journey to Inkwell has a real surreal quality which was beautifully portrayed: time-changing fields, boasting plums and bongo-playing wombats: brilliant!
Once in Inkwell and settled with a book, Florence makes a bookmark, Ben, who comes to life. Ben has a real respect and care for words BUT he is taken over by an evil imp whose master, hates words and wants to see them removed from books with all the disastrous consequences that has for language in the world. This causes chaos in the quaint village of Inkwell as words become mixed up, lost and disappear. It is up to Florence, with the help of her friends, to save her beloved words from disappearing, but can she face her fears and self-doubt to overcome their nemesis?
I really enjoyed the fairy-tale quality to the sharing of the history of Inkwell which explains what is happening in the present, and thought the plot was very cleverly woven around this thread. I also enjoyed the warm relationship between Florence and her Grandpa who clearly adore each other.
The illustrations by Eleanor Hardiman are a gorgeous addition to the story. There are a series of wonderful full page illustrations interspersed within the narrative which really complement the magical quality of the story.
This story really felt like a celebration of the power of words and language, especially those captured in stories, and made me appreciate how lucky I am that I have a wealth of wonderful stories in my life!
Author Bio –
Veronica Del Valle grew up in Argentina, but life eventually led her to live in London, the city that was her home for many years. Veronica’s always had a fondness for words, language and the magic of storytelling. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. Veronica currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband, Ale, and her daughter, Tomiko. She teaches creative writing at Universidad de San Andres and is a contributing editor and writer for one of Argentina’s leading news organizations. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s either a) meditating or b) enjoying life with her family(which, in a way, is another beautiful way to meditate). The Word Keeper is the first novel she’s written.
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