Book Reviews

Book Review: The Story Hunter

by Lindsay A. Franklin

publisher’s synopsis

Redeeming the past is a fatal quest.

In the wake of a deadly coup, the capital city of Urian has descended into chaos. Heartbreak and bloodshed await Tanwen and her friends as they discover the unlikeliest leader now rules Tir.

If they want to save the realm, Tannie and the Corsyth weavers must rescue Queen Braith and unmask the Master, ending the strife once and for all. But the success of their hunt depends upon an ally no one trusts.

The Master has a new target in sight: fragile, trauma-scarred Digwyn, whose unique weaving ability could turn the tide of any war. When the desire for vengeance proves too powerful for Digwyn to resist, Tanwen must face a terrifying truth: the fate of Tir rests in the hands of a volatile, shattered girl.

This review contains semi-spoilers for The Story Raider

After globetrotting with Tannie and co. in The Story Raider, we return to Tir. But this isn’t the Tir we left–this Tir has been torn apart by a coup. It’s reeling in the aftermath.

Like The Story Raider, The Story Hunter has a little bit of a quest feel since the characters are hunting for hidden story stands (but these are different than last time 😉). At the same time, they’re tracking down Braith to rescue her. But Tannie and the weavers aren’t the only plot line The Story Hunter follows–we also get Brac’s POV and a little bit of a political intrigue storyline. In the end, all of the plot threads come together for a finale. Lindsay does a nice job of balancing everything.

I enjoyed getting to know Diggy better in The Story Hunter and her character dynamics with Tannie and Mor. Lindsay also did a great job concluding the character arcs. Some things were brought full circle from the very first book, and you could see how the characters had grown. She handled Brac’s character arc and the consequences of his actions well.

As in The Story Raider, Lindsay writes about some hard topics, since Diggy deals with the trauma and impact of abuse. Your heart breaks for this shattered, fragile girl as you read her story. Lindsay writes everything very sensitively, and weaves hope and healing into this plot thread.

As I did in my review for The Story Raider, I want to quote something Lindsay shared about writing the tough topics in The Story Hunter:

The arc that began for Diggy in The Story Raider is continued in The Story Hunter. She is one of my new POV characters in Hunter, so we get to witness her thoughts and her inner life firsthand. Themes of trauma impact and recovery are examined, including some of the unhealthier coping mechanisms common to trauma survivors. Diggy is a character near to my heart, and I wanted to give her character and her story the space to be real–even if that looked a little less sparkly and optimistic than I wanted it to. When I sat down to plot out The Story Hunter, the number one question rolling through my mind was, “Is there a way back?”

. . . In that attack and its aftermath, I’m again exploring the impact of trauma and the question of finding one’s way home when the world has turned dark.

There’s a lot of personal pain poured into this book, but I hope readers will see the other parts of me in these pages too–a soul who made it home through faith in Jesus when my world was darkest.

from Lindsay’s author note on Goodreads

Because of the heavier topics that Lindsay tackles and the uptick in violence (see Cautions), I’d recommend The Story Hunter for older, more mature readers.

The Weaver Trilogy is a beautiful story of the power of art and stories, redemption and healing, and just regular fantasy fun.

Cautions: several kisses; moderate romance; brief, non-detailed references to a character having been sexually abused in the past; non-detailed attempted sexual assault; semi-graphic heavy violence

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