Selling stories is a deadly business
Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.
During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.
About the Author
Lindsay A. Franklin is a bestselling author, award-winning editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. She lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder of a husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following.
Read an Excerpt
Colored ribbons of light poured from my fingers. One strand broke free and soared above the crowd's head, glowing golden in the afternoon sun.
A child in the crowd gasped. "Look, Mam!"
I swallowed my smile and pushed all my focus back to my words — practiced over and over until I could say each phrase in fancy, schooled Tirian. Couldn't let any common village speak bleed into the stories all Tirians know so well. My storytelling mentor, Riwor, loomed near the edge of the crowd, eyes narrowed and watching my every breath. She'd make me pay for it if my practiced peddler words slipped into my usual lowborn drawl.
But when I opened my mouth, my best storytelling voice carried on the breeze through the village square, just like it was supposed to. "The orphan princess, Cariad the Stone, now forced to rule Tir in the wake of her parents' untimely deaths, vowed ever to be strong and noble for her people."
The swirling story strand hardened from glowing light into a swathe of matte gray fabric, then wove itself into a braid. It cinched tighter as I told the old tale.
"Cariad, though she was so very young, held fast to her vow."
I circled my fingers, and the braided fabric followed my command. It coiled around itself like a snake in the garden, until it looked less like fabric and more like a tiny stone tower from a fairy-story castle.
"Countless suitors from the best families of the realm courted her hand to no avail. She did not wish a husband's ambitions to direct the course of her people, whom she had sworn to protect."
The tiny tower stacked higher.
"But when the Stone Princess grew older, she fell deeply in love with her most trusted friend — her cupbearer, poor and unhandsome, but wise and loyal."
From one finger on my right hand, a grass-green story strand unraveled and wove through the stones of Cariad's tower.
"Cariad tried to convince herself that an alliance with her cupbearer would be disastrous, but as the years ticked by, her love for him only grew."
I glanced up. Every gaze was fixed on the story I was building. Perfect. With a flick of my fingers, the grassy vine that was meant to show Cariad's cup-bearing lover burst into bloom. Tiny red velvet-- petals sprang forth all over. The children squealed, and several women gasped.
Good. I'd likely sell this one. Riwor would be pleased as a pickle.
"Cariad found herself unable to displace the loyal cupbearer from her heart, but she saw no reason to break her vow to the Tirian kingdom. So she bestowed the rule of her people and the title of king to her chief advisor, an honest and brave man whose line would rule Tir for two centuries."
I made a swirling bit of yellow light in one palm, then lifted my hand so it looked rather like the sun rising behind my stone tower — it was supposed to be the dawn of a new life for Cariad.
"And so Cariad and her cupbearer left the palace and lived simply and happily in the country for the rest of their days."
This was it. The end of the story. Time to change those fluid strands of idea into something solid — something to sell.
"The lesson of Cariad's story is ..." I peeked sideways at Riwor.
She stared at me, face darkening by the heartbeat. It was always as if her disapproval chiseled out the creases around her mouth so they were deeper each day. She placed a gnarled old hand on one hip and glared her worst at me.
My voice wavered. "The lesson is ..."
But I hated this ending. Giving up the palace? Trading fine gowns for peasant rags? That was addlebrained, if a body wanted my opinion.
Which no one did.
My story quivered before me, seemingly waiting for my next words.
But maybe I didn't have to shovel out the old, tired ending I hated. Maybe I could tell an ending all my own.
"Cariad and the cupbearer were happy — until they realized what she'd given up."
A smooth, black strand ribboned from my hand. It danced around the tower in a slow circle. A strand to represent Cariad's ambitions — a strand I could actually relate to.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Riwor's arms waving away.
Guess she doesn't like my new ending.
A couple villagers around the edge of the crowd stared at her, flapping like an old blackbird caught in a snare. But most of the crowd stuck fast to me and the new strands oozing from my hands.
"So Cariad unscrambled her brains long enough to raise an army." The rolling hum of my storyteller voice flitted away, and words that proved my peasanthood gushed out instead. "A big army, with swords and bows and arrows and suchlike!" I hopped off my wooden stool and shot a strand of glowing red light into the air.
"Tanwen!" Riwor's hiss reached my ears, but my new ideas had carried my mind too far away to care.
"It was an army full of peasants wanting to live in the palace, too!"
Story strands volleyed everywhere. Different colors, materials, textures — they wheeled every which direction, all over the blooming place.
"And they took the palace back so Cariad could be princess again — no, queen! No, empress!"
Then the strands froze like time had stopped. The tower with the red velvet-petals and my rogue, made-up strands stayed fixed in midair, gaping at me, if such a thing were possible.
Then, like a dropped glass, it all shattered to pieces. Before the story shards could fly into the crowd of wee ones, I swept my hand over the bits and they dissolved into light. I blinked, and the entire mess vanished.
I was left staring at an empty space where this week's supper money had been sitting.
Hovering around the back of the throng, the men of the village erupted into laughter.
"Nice try there, lassie." One man tipped his floppy farmer's hat in my direction. "Had us going for a moment, you did."
"Waste of time, this is," said another, grabbing a woman by the arm and leading her away.
Three older women brushed the dirt from their skirts as they stood.
One stared down at me and flashed a frosty smile. "We'd best be off. Some of us have real work to do, eh?"
They all chuckled and turned to leave. I made a face at their backs.
A young farmer grinned at me. "It wasn't all bad. I liked when you made the flowers come out, and I liked that the ending was different than I've heard before." He shuffled his feet in the dirt. "Say, what's your name?"
I forced a smile so as to be friendly to the customers, even if I felt like sinking into the dust. "Tanwen."
He smiled. "Have a drink with me at the tavern, will you, Tanwen?"
It took me a heartbeat to eye his shabby clothes and calloused hands. "I don't think so. But stop by next time we're in town. I'll sell you a story."
His smile collapsed. He nodded once, then trudged off.
I grabbed my stool and muttered to myself. "Sorry, but if I had a drink with every smitten farm boy in every village's scummy tavern, I'd never see the light of day again."
Still. He didn't seem like a bad fellow. A bit of guilt pricked me. Didn't help that the lad looked forcibly like Brac.
I sighed and turned to help Riwor load up the donkey cart. Figured I might as well face her wrath sooner than later. Except it found me first.
Sound and pressure exploded over my ear as she boxed me on the side of the head.
"Foolish girl!" Fire blazed in her eyes. "You were right at the end! What's the matter with you? Can't you just stick to the stories, like I've taught you?"
I rubbed my ear and stole a look around. The crowd was gone, except a few stragglers.
Good. I didn't need the whole village of Lewir watching me get torn to bits by a toothless crone — master story peddler or not.
"I'm sorry, Riwor. I just wanted to try something new."
"Something new?" She boxed my ear again. "There's something new for you to try, eh?"
Except Riwor boxing my ears wasn't anything new.
"Aye. Thanks," I grumbled, mostly to myself.
She snatched the wooden stool from me and shoved it onto the wagon with force. The lazy donkey picked up his hooves and brayed a mournful note. "And anyway, I told you to ask me before you tried to sell the Cariad story again. It wasn't on the latest list of crowned stories, and the last thing we need is one of the king's guardsmen taking offense."
My shoulders drooped. "I forgot."
She tossed a tarp over the donkey cart. "Fool thing to forget, Tanwen, unless you're looking to land in the dungeon. Stick to the crown-approved stories, or that's where you'll end up. And I don't mean to follow you there."
I sighed out my breath in a long huff that sounded like defeat. "Suppose it's just as well the blasted thing blew up. I don't get that Cariad story anyway. It's hard to tell it and sell it if I don't get it."
"Get it?" Riwor looked at me like I'd sprouted another head.
"I mean, I don't understand it. Why would anybody give up being a princess in the castle? It don't make sense."
"Doesn't make sense." Riwor grunted. "You ignorant child."
Ignorant? My speech was getting better all the time, and I was one of the few peasants I knew who could actually read. Just because I'd never had a tutor. ... But I bit down hard on my annoyance and didn't backtalk Riwor. Never helped anyway.
"It doesn't make sense," I corrected myself. "Why would Cariad leave the palace?"
Riwor pressed her palm to her forehead like I was too dumb to breathe. "That's the whole point of the story, Tanwen. The lesson is that no price is too high to pay for true love." She yanked on the donkey's reins. "Standard romance thread, fool girl. Think you can sell it?"
She didn't give me a chance to answer. Didn't really want me to, of course. Always had to have the last word, the hairy old monster. She busied herself about the donkey, and I contented myself with feeling miserable while I waited.
"I thought it was nice 'fore it blew up."
I turned to the sound of a small voice. A wee lass, no more than six years old, stood behind me. A gap showed where she was missing two teeth in front.
I knelt down and smiled at her. "Thank you, lassie. Want me to tell you a story?"
Her eyes lit up, and she plopped down cross-legged in the dirt.
I scooted next to her. "Once, there was a little girl."
A strand of blue light curled from two of my fingers. It glittered as it swirled before us.
The child giggled. "It's same as your eyes."
"Shh." I winked at her. "This little girl was very poor. Her mother was dead and her father ..." I frowned, and my story strand almost disappeared while I tried to rope in the right words. "Her father was gone too." I smiled at the lass again. "So it was up to her to find a way to take care of herself."
"Did she?" The lass's eyes brightened with the question.
"She did. She took care of herself when she was just a wee lass, like you. But she kept her dearest dream safe inside, where no one could touch it."
A pale golden light unfurled from my palm and swallowed up the blue ribbon. "She would have liked nothing so much as to live in the palace like Cariad once did."
I directed the light strands until they swirled into a circle and three points formed along the front of the ring. "And that's exactly what she aimed to do."
At my last words, the ring of light turned solid — into a golden crown, just the proper size for the lass. Sunlight glittered through the crown, delicate and clear, like crystallized stories were supposed to be. It dropped into my lap with a soft plink.
I picked it up and handed it to the lass. "There. That's for you."
Her smile dimmed. "Oh. I ain't got money."
"Don't worry about that. You can have —"
"Fenir!" A man's voice cut into my words. "What are you doing with that story peddler?"
"Papa, I —"
"It's all right, sir." I flashed a smile at the red-faced man. Smiles never hurt in trying to soothe men, at least in my experience. "I was just telling her a story."
"And trying to filch a few coins from her pocket, doubtless." He dragged the girl to her feet by her arm.
She cringed at his tug, and I leaned away from his breath. Smelled like he'd spent the last of their coins at the tavern. "No, it was a gift. No charge."
He snorted. "Oh, sure. A free gift. Ain't no such thing in Tir, everybody knows." He wrenched his daughter's arm again. "You can't trust these people, Fenir. Give me that." He snatched the crystallized story from her hands and chucked it to the ground. It splintered to bits against the hard-packed dirt road.
"Hey!" I jumped to my feet. "That was for her!"
His eyes lit up like the drunks' eyes back home did when there was about to be a brawl. "Aye? So's this!" He slapped the little girl full across her face. She cried out and crumpled to the ground.
I lunged for her out of instinct, but she held up her hand. "It ain't no trouble, miss. I'm all right."
Like blazes she was.
The man waved me away. "Get out of here, you. I told my lass you people was dangerous. Take your storytelling rubbish and leave our village be." He took a few lurching steps away. "Come on, Fenir."
Fenir scrambled to her feet. She watched her father go for a moment, then spoke quickly to me. "He don't mean it. Harvest was bad this year, so he can't pay the king's taxes. Mam says he's turned to the ale because he don't know what else to do."
"We all have it hard under the taxes." I brushed my hand across her red-streaked cheek. "It doesn't mean he should hit you."
She nodded to Riwor. "She hits you."
I paused. Clever little lass had a point. "Still. He's your daddy and it's not right."
"I gotta go." She smiled sadly. "Thank you, Peddler."
"Bye, Fenir." I watched the little lass disappear down the road after her father.
Maybe she was right. I scoffed to think of my early hopes when Riwor had first sought me out as her apprentice. I'd thought she could fill that empty, echoing space in my heart — that place the love of family was supposed to fill. I'd hoped maybe she would be like a granny to me. Fool idea that had lasted all of an hour, until the first time she struck me. A full six moons ago that was. Yet here I was, still standing beside her.
I tried to remind myself why I put up with Riwor. Was it because she taught me how to peddle and not just tell stories? Because she was the one to show me how to sharpen my gift and kept me using it in a way that wouldn't land me in the king's dungeon? Or maybe because she was my pathway into the unknown villages of the Eastern Peninsula?
Truly, it was because I had no other choice.
"Tanwen!" Riwor's voice ripped me from my thoughts. "Unless you'd like to relieve the donkey of his duties and pull the cart yourself, I suggest you get over here. Now!"
I sighed. "Coming."CHAPTER 2
I wiped the sweat from my forehead with the back of my arm and looked up at my mentor, seated on the wagon and holding the donkey's reins. "Riwor, you said it was to be two silver bits."
Riwor pressed a single silver piece into my palm and sneered at me. "That was assuming you'd do something worthwhile."
I fought to keep my voice even. "I sold one today."
"And flubbed another in front of the whole village. We'll need to wait weeks before we return to Lewir, and you're lucky there wasn't a guardsman about."
I adjusted the pack on my shoulder and stroked the donkey's nose, stalling for a minute. Was the extra piece of silver worth the fight with Riwor?
Yes, I decided. It was. If I wanted to eat anyhow.
"It won't matter if we can't go back to Lewir for a while. We're headed across the river for two weeks anyway."
A scowl deepened the creases in her face. She seemed to be scouring her mind for some sort of argument. Finally, she grunted and flicked another piece of silver down to me. "Here, take it, selfish brat. If I don't have my supper tonight, it's your fault."
My gaze wandered to her bulging coin purse, tied to a belt I could barely see beneath her overhanging gut.
Aye, sure, she'd be skipping a meal.
I plastered on a grateful smile. "Thanks, Riwor. I'll meet you here tomorrow morning, just after sunrise."
"And don't be late." She adjusted the reins in her hands, and the donkey picked up his feet and plodded down the king's road. "If you can manage it," she called back to me.
I watched her continue on the road to Drefden, where she kept a small cottage. I tried my hardest not to despise her. I was lucky she'd agreed to take me under her wing as a peddler, even though I hadn't technically come of age yet. I'd be in big trouble without her help.
Leastways, that was what I kept telling myself. When she was out of sight, I spun around and faced the road to Pembrone. The road home — dusty, poky, ordinary, just like the town itself.
Excerpted from "The Story Peddler"
Copyright © 2018 Lindsay A. Franklin.
Excerpted by permission of Gilead Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin Stories that are woven with words and colors that crystallize into sculptures? What an amazing concept! Author Lindsay Franklin has written an intriguing fantasy tale that entices you to read and torments you if you try to put it down. The characters are endearing – you really care about what happens to Tanwen and the others. Told by Tanwen, Princess Braith and “The One in the Dark”, the reader gets a view of happenings all over the kingdom. The rebel weavers include a dreamy pirate, the lady in exile, the farmer, and former guardsmen. There are also some unsavory characters, including the king who controls not only the stories and songs that can be told (Tanwen was stunned to find out that there are more than two songs), the high priest, and the advisor (ew! Was he slimy!). Everything was in constant motion. There are sword fights, secret passages, and bold escapes. I would love to see this made into a movie! My only regret is that this is the first book of the trilogy. It did have a clear ending, though it is certain there is more is to come as Tanwen goes off to. . . Sorry! No spoilers allowed, so you’ll just have to read this book and wait with me for the next one to be released. (Sigh) Though I have not indicated the genre to be Young Adult, it is certainly appropriate for them. I just don’t want to scare any adults away by listing it that way. This review was originally posted on AmongTheReads.net I would like to thank Just Read Publicity Tours for giving me this item. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
This is probably the best fiction book I have read in the last 2-3 years. The characters are skillfully created with depth and vibrancy, so that even the minor players feel real instead of the equivalent of NPCs in a video game. The plot turns common tropes on their head, and you won't be left disappointed in the end with a cheap cliffhanger. But you will be left wanting more, so it's a good thing this is a trilogy.
I love this book! One of the best I have read this year, and I do a LOT of reading. Story Peddler instantly drew me in with its vibrant characters and engaging, fast-paced plot. This story is constantly turning tropes on their heads and the idea of creating crystallized stories is so unique. The theme of innate or God-given creativity and the dangers faced when stifling it really stuck with me. I can't wait to see what happens next!
The Story Peddler Is a great fantasy story. It is about a big hearted Tanwen. It is also about determination, gifting, genuiness, jam packed, lasting and hidden Christian messaging. Courage because Tanwen gave a dire story to the king. Demanding because a mentor demands she does certain story peddling. Determination because she wanted to get away from him and be a story teller to the king. Gifting because she was gifted with story telling - so were others. Genuineness because that is what she is - genuine. Jam packed - the story is jam packed with new mystery action stories. Lasting and hidden Christian messaging - that is what it says. I can't wait for book to. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
I can so picture this. This would make a spectacular movie or series. Animators would have a blast! From farmland to palace, simple clothes to gowns, secrets and an orphan looking for guidance. Set in a syfy world, this author is a master weaver. In this story some characters have a talent to tell a story and make it visual, with swirls of colors and objects flowing from their hands as they speak. Tanwen aspires to a life telling stories for the king, not realizing at first the tyrant he is. She did know that he has outlawed stories not sanctioned by him and found it hard to comply, which put her and those around her in great danger. His kingdom is full of goddess worship by force, but some still only worship the Creator. This story is very well written and is a place I am looking forward to seeing more of. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Lindsay A Franklin combines an interesting and detailed medieval dystopian world with good character building, fluid and down-to-earth writing, a hint of mystery, and a fascinating plot line. This book is the first in a trilogy and the next installment promises more adventure and deeper insight into the battle between good versus evil in this kingdom of Tir. Anyone who enjoys a well-written YA dystopian novel will absolutely love this book. Tanwen is a funny, big-mouth, impulsive storyteller who has a tender heart. She has a way of bumbling and fumbling that is almost embarrassing but endearing to the reader at the same time. Her childhood and parentage are a mystery to her and she gets into trouble with the king of the land which prompts her fleeing and hiding. The way that she can crystallize a story into something solid is quite fascinating and adds that dose of magic to this novel. As the story unfolds, we meet the supporting cast of characters who hold up the plot line. The switch from first person limited point of view from Tanwen's eyes to third person limited point of view of Princess Braith and a mystery character is fluid and well-executed. The first half of the story moves a bit slowly due to the world-building, but half-way through the story, the plot picks up speed and gains momentum. Several mysteries are unraveled but the ending..... it leaves us with a cliffhanger much in line with some of the Star Wars or Marvel Avengers movies and leaves us with more questions than answers! I can't wait for book 2 and 3 so that I can figure out who really is behind such evil plaguing the land of Tir. And what will happen to Tanwen and her friends?!?! Augh, the agony of waiting..... I received a copy of the book from author/publisher through JustRead Publicity Tours and was under no obligation to post a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own and subjective.
I'm not gonna lie, it was initially the gorgeous cover that first grabbed my attention. When I read the synopsis, I was completely intrigued. And then, when I finally delved into story, I was utterly enchanted. What a breathtakingly amazing adventure it was! Tanwen is a great character. She's full of spunk and is instantly likable. Though she's the main character, this story also shares the point of view of a couple of other characters - Braith the princess and the mysterious One in the Dark. Usually when there's multiple POVs, I tend to enjoy one more than the other, but not here. All the characters were interesting and even the most minor among them were multifaceted and fully fleshed out. This book has garnered a lot of praise and, I've gotta say, it lived up to the hype and exceeded my expectations. It's one of those stories that I became completely absorbed in. Real life faded away and I was right in the middle of it all with these characters and visiting this new and wondrous land of Tir. The Story Peddler is utterly unique. I've read quite a few fantasy novels, but none quite like this. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone that loves fantasy. I'm very eager for book two! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.
This book was fast paced, immersive, beautifully written and just so very imaginative. I can’t gush enough about it, if you haven’t read it I highly recommend you give this baby a try! Rating: 5 Stars!! Recommendation: Ages 12 and up FTC DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review
Since other reviewers have already outlined the excellent storyline, interesting characters, and magical storytelling/peddling/weaving, I would like to just state a few bullet point reasons this book appealed to me and why I believe it will appeal to a varied audience. - Right off the bat, from the very first chapter, strong moral codes are established. - The concept of storytelling, which is magical and produces beautiful crystallized objects, is fantastically original. - Almost every page explodes with imagery and color. - The characters are well defined (I have one question about Mor). - The story moves along at a steady pace for several chapters when all of a sudden one is hooked and reeled in only to be set free to await book two of the trilogy (this fish will return for the bait). - I agree with another reviewer that this book could easily be made into a movie with spellbinding visual effects. [I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own, and I was not required to be positive.]
I received an advanced copy of this book. What follows is my honest review: I had so much fun reading The Story Peddler! Tanwen is a Storyteller, gifted with the ability to weave beautiful glass ornaments from the stories she tells. She dreams of two things: the family she does not remember, and the fame and fortune she one day hopes to obtain through her storytelling. She is a hoot! I enjoyed reading her quirky observations of the people and world around her. She's a bit awkward, sometimes painfully so, but she knows that about herself and doesn't seem to worry about it too much. She is a very honest person, both with others and with herself. Though her goals in life are a bit misguided at first, she knows who she is, what she wants, and what her failings are. She recognizes her feelings even when she acknowledges they are unfair. I think my favorite part was being able to experience her transformation as a character through her eyes. Braithe is the daughter of a corrupt king, desperately trying to use her position to save as many subjects as possible from the wrath of her father. She is strong and holds fast to her convictions even when it means putting herself at risk to stand up to the king. I really look forward to watching her develop more in the coming books. Speaking of honesty, I love how the author portrayed the truth, almost as its own character. "Art has a way of revealing the truth," one character says, and sometimes in spite of the intentions of the artist. For instance, Tanwen finds herself at odds with the king when one of her stories begins to tell a different tale than she had intended and reveals truths he would rather stay hidden. Later, one of her tales speaks the truth about the one who they call The Creator, another being the king would like everyone to forget. There is a strong message that truth will always come out no matter what, which reminded me of two passages of scripture: "As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:37-40 "For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." Luke 8:17 If you enjoy quirky fantasies, with creative magic, fun characters, and thought-provoking dilemmas, this is the book for you!
I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way altered my opinion of the story. In a world where it is terribly dangerous to be creative, Tanwen tries to push down her artistic tendencies in order to keep her life and hopefully some day make something of it. But when her art escapes her hold and threatens those she loves, she has to make a difficult choice. I love the message this book delivers in between the lines: be creative. Your creativity is a gift, art is a gift, and you should use it. It is not something to be ignored or ashamed of. It is something meant to bring joy to you and to those you share it with. I highly recommend this book for lovers of creativity.
It’s a book like The Story Peddler that has me save 5 star reviews for only the best books I read. I enjoy many books, but ones like this don’t come around all the time. Lindsay has crafted a fun, beautiful, touching read about a young girl who is trying to make a life selling stories. But she has the story weaving gift, so her tales make beautiful little glass tokens people will buy. One day when a treasonous thread slips into the story, the king is alerted and her life is endangered. Will she be able to avoid being a pawn in the politics of the realm? First of all, this is such a unique magic system. It is so interesting to see the different ways weaving is used in the book. The characters make the book for me. From the young and hopeful Tanwen who weaves stories to the Princess Braith and her attempts at reining in the king’s excesses, they are so fleshed out. They come alive on the pages. The plot is also twisty and full of surprises. There’s fun and levity, along with heart-wrenching scenes that took a lot of bravery to write. Finally, the hopeful and beautiful message brought everything together. I am not an emotional guy but I teared up at the end. If you love YA, fantasy, or a well-spun tale, then make sure you read The Story Peddler. It is one of the best books I’ve read in years and I can’t wait for book 2.
The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin is the new fantasy series you’ve been waiting for. Imagine your stories coming to life. Oh, to be a storyteller like that would be amazing. This makes the story unique, original, and fun! Tannie is one of those characters tossed into the unknown. She is independent, having grown up by herself, and isn’t afraid to ask questions about anything that she isn’t familiar with. She is also kind and compassionate. She genuinely cares about everyone around her. The writing was beautifully written for a young adult novel. There weren’t any short choppy sentences which I enjoyed. The story is filled with adventure, excitement, and non-stop action. This is one of those books that kept me reading late at night because it was impossible to put down. Sometimes when an author introduces a bunch of different characters at once, it can be confusing. So not the case with this one. Each character is memorable and creates a special place in your heart. Parents, do keep in mind that although it isn’t glorified and doesn’t actually show anything, there are mentions of a character who drinks ale and flirts with women in the brothel above the tavern. Other than that, it is clean. While it isn’t touched on much, we see characters who believe in “The Creator” and have repented of things they have done in their pasts. I can’t wait to see how the author incorporates this into her next book! While this a young adult novel, I think anyone of any age would enjoy this. In fact, I can totally picture this as a movie on the big screen. Highly recommended! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Obsessed with this new fantasy! Absolutely adored this debut novel from Lindsay A. Franklin. Stunning world-building and engrossing characters make it easy to slip into the pages of this fantasy and forget about the world. Rather than the epic fantasies like A Game of Thrones, Franklin's storytelling steps along the path of a realistic, whimsical reverie. I've put it on the shelf alongside my favorite books like Dodger by Terry Pratchett, Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon, and Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I read this book in less than 24 hours because I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the rest of the trilogy to come out!
This one that you'll want to reread! The Story Peddler The Weaver Trilogy #1 By Lindsay A. Franklin Tanwen En-Yestin dreams of becoming the Royal Storyteller to the King. The city of Urian seems to Tanwen the perfect place to live, a place where she'd not have to work for a cruel mentor or take works of drudgery just to survive on a day's wages. Tanwen loves telling stories as the various ribbon threads weave together creating a work of crystalline art. Telling stories is her passion but when her stories start going wrong Tanwen finds herself in more trouble than she ever imagined possible. And she is now one of the most wanted people in the kingdom for her accidental act of treason. Has Tanwen revealed a truth the king wants to be silenced or has she woven a lie that she can never take back? Suddenly the life she wanted to leave behind seems so much better than it had just days before. But can she give up her gift - suppress it and the truths she must share just to stay safe? With a reward for her capture nowhere will ever truly be safe. Meanwhile in Urian Princess Braith is in a precarious position as she questions her father's motives and cruelty. Following the dictates of her conscience, she tries to speak for the people who suffer under the heavy burden of taxes and poor conditions. But King Gareth Bo-Kelwyd is a hard ruler with equally hard advisors who only wish to elevate their own positions within the ever-expanding realm. And there are whispers and rumors of secrets long hidden away that Braith seeks to learn for in her heart and mind both tell her that this is the only way to learn what she seeks to know. The Story Peddler is the first book in a new series and I for one can't wait for the second book to come out. This story is as intriguing as the cover portrays and one is quickly whisked away to this world of story weaving where truth is suppressed and lies grow steadily. This book has an allegorical quality to it that is at the heart of the lies that are being perpetuated as truth seeks to be released. I highly recommend this book to those who love a well-presented story that dwells in the speculative fiction realm. Though targeted to the Young Adult audience this book will appeal to any fan of fantasy aged 12+. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through JustRead Publicity Tours with no expectation of a positive review ~ All opinions expressed are my own.
4.5 Stars Book lovers, imagine what it would be like to see the spoken words of a gifted storyteller crystallizing into tangible objects right before your eyes! This idea is what initially lured me to Lindsay A. Franklin’s debut fiction novel, The Story Peddler. What kept me tethered to the story was her imaginative world-building, valiant characters, and the thrill of discovery. Every person will read a story through the lens of their own personal worldview and experiences. I came at this story as a Christian, a mom, and a lukewarm fan of the fantasy genre so I will review it from all three perspectives. I would tell Christians to seek the breadcrumbs. Much of what Franklin writes echoes the greatest story ever told—including a good Creator, a usurper who suppress the Truth by perpetuating lies, and the promise of redemption. I believe this story was written for young adults and yet I’m a 40-year-old mother of two who found it to be thoroughly entertaining. Even more, I am allowing my middle-graders to read it. The author touches on the concept of doing what is right, even when it’s not popular or safe to do. She also extols the positive aspects of community and how our unique gifts, imparted by our Creator, contribute to the welfare of others. For parents considering this story for their own children, I’ll mention there is an element of spiritual warfare, a stolen kiss, and a tavern that serves both food and ale. My advice would be to read the story yourself and to discuss the deeper elements with your child. Did I say I was a lukewarm fan of the fantasy genre? While this still holds true, authors like Mary Weber and Lindsay A. Franklin are turning up the heat. When the next installment of The Story Weaver Trilogy comes out, it will be mine! Christian Shelf-Esteem received a book to facilitate this review. The views and opinions expressed here are 100% honest and my own. I am disclosing this in Accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, part 255 Guidelines, concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in advertising.
I loved every word of The Story Peddler, it is everything I appreciate about a good story: fun, new ideas and strong female characters. The author writes such relatable and witty characters whether their the main or supporting character. The women are fierce, brave and wise; this book is great for young readers needing fiction characters to inspire them. Adults are sure to like this unique story by an awesome story peddler herself!
There are many things I like about The Story Peddler. The entire book works so well, and the author's own story weaving drew me in without any trouble at all. This book has found its place in my favourite YA fantasies of all time, and for good reason. Tanwen's story is engaging. Her personality, skills, and life draw one in right away, enticing the reader page by page with questions that must be answered. The Story Peddler, more so than many other YA fantasies, is a complete narrative. It is both satisfying in its conclusion, rewarding the reader's investment, and promising in its final pages, reminding the reader that these characters have more adventure ahead. I was personally invested in Tanwen as a character because I could strongly identify with one of her notable struggles. That helped me connect with her in a unique way, as I rarely find myself identifying with characters in the books I read. I thoroughly enjoyed Tanwen, and many of the other characters captured my affections as well. I cannot wait for the sequel, and this is a story I'll be recommending to everyone! I was provided with a free copy of this book. My review is honest and my thoughts are my own.
Review Wow! Fantasy, adventure, romance, humor . . . this book has it all. My 12 year old grandson and I took turns reading aloud the first chapter, and we were both hooked. How could we not be? The beautifully hand drawn map of the Kingdom of Tir captured our imagination before one word of the story was read. The story peddler is named Tanwen, nicknamed Tannie by her friends. She's funny, spunky, a little snarky, and yearns for more than the lonely life she's been handed. When her state approved, and well memorized and rehearsed stories start to take on a life of their own, Tanwen's world turns upside down and inside out. It's a dizzying joyride of a book. The characters are so intriguing, some endearing and some abhorrent, but each well defined and unique. The names alone are worth the read; Tanwen, Cariad, Riwor, Brac, Gryfelle, Karlith, Warmil, Aeron, Mor, and more. My only complaint is that this is the first book of The Weaver Trilogy and I have no idea how I can possibly wait another year for Book Two to appear. (I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review)
This book is ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL. It’s an incredible literary nod to the art of story, be it in song, art, or simply in the telling. I could not put this book down! As a writer and a reader, I want more stories like this one. I can’t wait to find out what happens next! I received an advance copy for honest review.
If that gorgeous cover hasn’t caught your eye, the description of the book should. Lindsay A. Franklin takes the printed-black-and-white pages of this story and infuses them with heart and color. Adventure, treason, rebellion, and art await readers. Tanwen’s life has mostly consisted of the small farming town she’s lived in as long as she can remember. Her longing for memories of her parents, for a family, is achingly haunting while her closest held dream of storytelling for the king is one she is passionate about. She is a combination of naivety and drive. Of a young woman who grew up too fast out of necessity. Tanwen’s journey is full of unanswered questions, intense moments of danger, and lots of introspection. Can she make a difference from the inside without erasing all she holds dear? Franklin’s land of Tir is magical, mysterious, and the world building is top notch. The characters are given individual expressions that keep the supporting cast from running together. Franklin’s expert storytelling reveals secrets at just the right point as she weaves her own magic throughout the pages. I’m looking forward to spending more time Tanwen and the others in book two. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
4.5 stars This was an extremely interesting read! The storytelling was amazing, and I mean that literally. Making stories and then crystallizing them? So cool! (Can I please be a storyteller like that?) As things progress near the end, it was even cooler to see her create stories. :o :o :o I really related to Tannie. She made a great heroine and loved her bold nature. She wasn't afraid to speak up and share something on her mind that's for sure! Ha! Yet she could also be kind and compassionate too. Confession: I thought with their being so many characters, it would be really hard to remember everyone. However, it was far from that. The author did an amazing job of really bringing each character to life and making them very distinct where I knew each person. I honestly thought I wouldn't like War the most, but I really really liked him. Overall, this was a great story! Never a boring spot and plenty of action to keep me on my toes. The author even threw a little twist in there with a certain young male character that left me sad in that it wasn't your "typical" outcome. (I'll just leave that vague so there will be no spoiling.) I'm very curious to see where things will go from here! (I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed were my own and was not required to write a positive review.)
"The Story Peddler" is treasure!!!!!!! There is a wealth of win in this story--- including (but by no means limited to): an unforgettable story-weaving heroine, a dashing Pirate, fluff-hopppers, the king of all villains, intrigue adventure, awe-inspiring magic, and heart-healing wisdom! I adore the book and recommend it with all my heart! * I was gifted an Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review. *