Lindsay Franklin debuts a new young adult fantasy series where storytelling is a gift, one that a wicked king wants to control.
In The Story Peddler, an orphaned peasant girl Tanwen tells stories and weaves crystalized sculptures that she sells to her audience under the tutelage of a cruel mentor. Her dream is to become a Royal Storyteller someday. Tanwen travels around the countryside, selling “crowned” stories (official versions of the stories the way the king wants them told). One day she is telling a story and feels compelled to speak different words, words that tell the truth, but not the “crowned” version. That brings her to the attention of the king, and not in a good way. As the king’s guardsmen hunt her down, she is “rescued” by a band of rebels — story weavers with various gifts who teach her more about her gift. Tanwen discovers secrets about her gift and her family. On the run, she is finally captured and taken to the palace, to become the new Royal Storyteller.
Franklin does an excellent job of creating a world where spoken words have magic as they take on new meaning. The cover shows colorful threads that the storyteller weaves together in telling the story. Her word pictures capture the imagination of the reader and the action builds with each turning page. Tanwen, Brac, Mor, and the other weavers are engaging characters. The dialogue is witty, the plot has several twists and turns, and the faith element is light but still inspirational (Creator vs. goddesses). This is a good vs. evil battle fantasy that will be enjoyed for its colorful imagery, rebels, traitors, unlikely heroes, a princess, a king, and more.
Recommended for young adults, older teens, and fantasy fans, especially fans of Mary Weber, Nadine Brandes, and Sara Ella. Watch for book 2, The Story Mage coming in 2019.
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.