cover image The Storyteller’s Death

The Storyteller’s Death

Ann Davila Cardinal. Sourcebooks Landmark, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-7282-5077-9

Cardinal (Category Five) delivers a stunning, magic-infused tale of family ties and secrets. In the 1970s, eight-year-old Isla Larsen Sanchez is sent from New Jersey to Puerto Rico by her mother to live with relatives while Isla’s father is terminally ill. Isla returns to New Jersey after her father’s death, where her mother pulls her out of Catholic school. She struggles to fit in at the public school and continues to spend summers in Puerto Rico. When Isla is 18, she begins to see stories in her head and experience visions of significant events in the lives of long-deceased relatives, such as a story her grandmother told her about monkeys escaping from the zoo. Eventually, Isla learns that she comes from generations of cuentistas, or storytellers, including her recently deceased grandmother. But when the tenor of her visions turns violent (a later iteration of the monkey story ends with a gunshot), Isla has to uncover the secrets her family has been hiding for generations—before they harm or possibly kill her. Cardinal’s storytelling prowess shines in this beautifully imagined and multilayered story, as do her fully developed characters. Fans of sweeping family sagas will enjoy every page. Agent: Linda Camacho, Gallt & Zacker. (Oct.)