by Lindsay A. Franklin
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.
This was my third or fourth time reading The Story Peddler, and I still love it.
First off, I adore Lindsay’s worldbuilding. Tir itself has the familiar, medieval feel of most fantasy novel settings, but it doesn’t feel cliche or boring. The magic system is where Lindsay’s creativity really shines. Before reading The Story Peddler, I don’t think I’d ever read an art-based magic system before, and I’ve read only one or two books with one since. I love how Lindsay wove the two together, and also tied her themes into the magic system.
The characters are fantastic. While there are a number of side characters, Lindsay did a nice job of balancing their page time and developing them. Tannie has a super fun, spunky character voice.
The plot is great. While it sets up the set of the series, it is its own distinct plot. And it will keep you curious about what’s going to happen next.
Plus, The Story Peddler won the 2019 Realm Awards Young Adult award, Readers Choice award, and Book of the Year award. So you don’t have to just take my word that it’s good. 😉
Cautions: three kisses; moderate romance; several brief instances of unwanted advances/attention; moderate violence