Wednesday, 8 February 2012
The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley
Title: The Folk Keeper
Author: Franny Billingsley
Date Read: January 20th
On TBR for: a few hours
Format: Physical book - Paperback
Source: Bought - New
Challenges: 2012 Outdo Yourself
The Folk Keeper is a small book, the story Corinna, a young girl that disguises herself as a boy, Corin, to be able to be a Folk Keeper. Being a Folk Keeper is all she ever wanted to do. But when she is summoned by Lord Merton to be the Folk Keeper of the huge estate in Cliffsend she starts to see that maybe being a Folk Keeper is not all that it's cracked to be. There the Folk are vicious, and her own powers seem to lose strength.
Of course there are some good things to her new life in Cliffsend, Corinna lives with more comfort, and gains a friend, Finian, who is the reluctant heir to Merton Hall – he would much rather be a fisherman or a sailor. And then there are bad things that happen, of course, otherwise there would be no story.
I liked Corinna because she is not the sweet little girl one would expect of a children's book. She is angry and vindictive at times, and always makes sure she comes out on top. As I read the book, which is in diary form, I started to realize why she is the way she is. She is an orphan, and a girl, which would mean a life of being a servant. But she decides to pose as a boy, gathering the knowledge of Folk Keepers apprentices in exchange of doing chores, and making sure that wherever she is Folk Keeper, she is essential.
This may seem cold, and in a way, Corinna is cold. But it left an opening for a great duo, between her and Finian, who is the sweetest and most cheerful of people. He has a deeper intelligence, and see things that others don't – not through any special power, but because he cares enough to look.
The action, though, has very little to do with their interaction, and more with Corinna discovering herself. And I also liked that part – there was a bit of darkness in it, with stories of crazy maidens and forays into graveyards in the middle of the night and murder attempts! And all in such a tiny book!
The feeling at the end was of a pleasant book. Not stellar, but it will leave your heart a little bit warmer.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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