Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Story Peddler, by Lindsay A. Franklin

 Over all, one of the best books I've read in the past year, I think!

 The Story Peddler is a sumptuously presented book, from its gorgeous, gorgeous cover, to it's detailed interior formatting, it is a visual delight.
The publishing house did a great job with packaging.

  The concept of stories that become colorful strands and then can be seen and stand apart from the teller, is a unique plot device.

  Unfortunately, the Main Character didn't click with me at all at first. I failed to relate to the (what seemed "wanderlust/star-struck") girl who preferred to be treated terribly by the miserly, 'master storyteller', while chronically failing to live up to the teacher's expectations; roaming about a kingdom where everyone is so poor because the taxes are oppressive.
  Contrast that life choice with the 'secure' option to be a farmer's wife, with a boy she's known forever and who loves her desperately... however, this too struck a wrong note with me. Her love interest is too poor to pay for ale he drinks on credit, but also avows that they'd be totally financially secure ("I'd take care of you!") if only the MC would give up the road and marry him.

   Again, those blighted taxes are to blame.

  As someone who has dabbled in brewing one's one refreshing beverages, (it is not that hard!) one wonders why this poverty stricken swain darkens the door of a tavern when he's so penny-pinched, and hard at work dreaming of a financially secure married life.

 I realize that this is "stock plot syndrome"... there must be a "odious farm" as an option; oppressive taxes are long since cliche; and there must be a tavern in which to "exposition", guzzle a pint, and order a stew, (in reality, if times are hard, and if one has local friends, one drops in on them for dinner and does not pay commercial prices!   )

    Since the MC longs for the palace, of course she'll turn out to be a long lost princess, or something, and marry the prince.
     So... as a long and embittered veteran of the fantasy genre (don't get me wrong, I love fantasy,   just sometimes "new" would be nice,)  I was feeling a bit jaded only a few chapters in.

   But that cover is really pretty!  

Once she got with the actual main side characters, things started heating up. I liked the novel twist on the requisite hiding place, and the ‘band if misfits’ were well drawn and likable.
Franklin did a good job with her artist’s ‘abilities’, and the dark side to their use was an unexpected twist. Kudos to the author on that... and the resulting ‘story thread’ (if you’ll pardon the pun!) which leads into book  2 is deeply compelling. I must say, I want to read book 2 now, more desperately than I felt about book 1 the whole time! If done right, I could see this series escalating nicely into a “must read” and a “can’t put it down” experience.

The ‘one in the dark’ was a good touch, and I heartily approve of those sort of plot devices. They are not used nearly enough in storytelling, I maintain, and they are very satisfactory threads to see weave back in once the reader has reached the ending.

What elements of “romance” woven here, were respectfully handled with a realistic measuring and lots of confusion, and relatable awkwardness. Nicely done! Real life love interests are about like that, and this can be really fresh and new as well as enjoyable when handled right.

The tension only grows as the story progresses, and I can see the suspense continuing throughout the series... while still avoiding the over-used cliché of triangles.
Congrats to the author on that, as well!!

   In short, this is a very unique, fun tale that while it got off to a rocky start with me, definitely grew on me and the characters and their world came alive as the book progressed. I would dearly love to know what happens to them next, and how they all react to it!!!
   Tanwen turned out to be a likable protagonist after all, and not as “trope-ish” as my ‘plot-convenience’ suspicions instantly suspected.

I hope the author will continue in the way that she has started, and hold the lives of her characters in high regard... while danger is one thing, and very necessary for suspense, there is one character (you’ll know who I’m talking about as soon as you finish the book) who life should 100% BETTER BE SPARED. Or Else.
  So there.

In all, if you’re looking for a fun, fresh take on fantasy literature, I’d highly recommend the Story Peddler.

Blog Tour Schedule
-        Book Spotlight – Tabitha Caplinger
-        Review – Jane Maree Author
-        Review – E. Kaiser Writes-A-Blog

Wednesday, April 25th
-        Interview – Quills and Inkblotts
-        Interview – H.L. Burke Author

Thursday, April 26th
-        Review & Interview – Reality Reflected
-        Review – Lands Uncharted
-        Review –Scriblerians

Friday, April 27th
-        Review – Ralene Burke
-        Book Spotlight – Morgan L. Busse, Author

Saturday, April 28th
-        Interview – Liv K. Fisher
-        Review – C O Bonham
-        Visual Post – Jebraun Clifford
-        Review – Pages and Pekoe

Monday, April 30th
-        Book Spotlight – New Authors Fellowship
-        Interview – Unicorn Quester
-        Interview – Singh with Books

Tuesday, May 1st
-        Review – i am not a bookworm!
-        Review –Worthy2Read
-        Review – Lori’s Book Loft

Wednesday, May 2nd
-        Blog Tour Wrap-Up –  Unicorn Quester

Purchase Links

About the Author

Lindsay A. Franklin is an award-winning author, award-winning freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. She spends a lot of time in made-up worlds, and she’s passionate about sparking imagination through stories of infinite possibility. Her debut fantasy novel, The Story Peddler, releases in 2018. When she’s not exploring the fantastical, she’s exploring the Bible and encouraging young women through her devotional books (click here for more information on Adored).
Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her husband (master of the dad joke), their awesomely nerdy kids, two thunder pillows (AKA cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following (@therealwombatman). You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at
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