Today I have the great privilege of sharing a review of The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin and an interview with the author herself. There’s also a giveaway, and a party invitation down below, so do read write to the end.
Please welcome Lindsay Franklin.
About the Book
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.
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The Story Peddler is (obviously) the first novel by Lindsay Franklin that I’ve read. I didn’t know much about when I signed up to review, the book, but it sounded interesting and had a pretty cover. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I had time to read it (Yes, cutting it fine), and I’m very glad I did choose to read it.
I loved this book. It’s the kind of book that makes me wish I was was to gush and squeal over books. But I’m still be, so I still continue to be subdued in my reviews. Still, I love it, it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I highly recommend it if you like any kind of fantasy books.
It’s the story of a girl caught in events beyond her control, a girl who had big dreams, a girl who was used to tell the truth. Tanwen was a delightful heroine. Kind, smart, brave, but not willing to be ordinary. Yet in others ways she is very ordinary. She’s relate-able, and fully believable.
Tanwen is a story peddler. She tells stories in public, then sells the crystallized sculptures they become. Which sounds like a wonderful ability to have, until you see the reality of her life. She can’t just tell any story in her head. There is a list of approved stories, and any other story can get you locked up in prison or worse. Yes, sensor ship.
Going on in the story, we meet a cast of wonderful characters, ranging from pirates to farmers and from ladies to maids. I don’t think I can pick a favourite, but Mor and Princess Braith are both up there. Even the villains are complex and fascinating. I look forward to seeing more them then.
In its writing, The Story Peddler is beautiful. Skillfully crafted at both the plot and words levels. One of my favourite things is how Lindsey uses the stories Tanwen tells to reveal the past of the world and the beliefs of the people. The world too, feels solid and real, with its only little quirks, creatures and sayings. It’s one I wouldn’t mind visiting, though not at the time the story is set.
Thematically, it is… Let’s just say it’s powerful and the theme is on a level that I can’t dissect in one go. There’s a lot of depth to be explored in the future books. There are mentions of old stories of a Creator who is in opposition to the goddesses that the majority of people serve. Or at least they give money to the priests who claim to serve the goddesses. It seems a lot of people have no devotion of their own. There’s also threads of redemption and mercy running through the story.
It’s not a terribly, twisty story in terms of secrets, as I saw things coming and made reasonable accurate guesses, yet at the same time it didn’t go where I first thought it might. It is refreshing to have a trilogy with no big cliff hanger at the beginning of the first book, and have something be nicely finished and wrapped up without too much trouble. It means it can go further in the next book, and The Story Peddler promises much more.
In summary, The Story Peddler is a great new book, and I will be keeping a look out for its sequels and anything else by Lindsay Franklin.
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 www.facebook.com/
I had the special opportunity to ask Lindsay a few questions about herself. I always struggle with coming up witha lot of good questions, so I decided to stick to a few, rather than adding in lame ones.
Brie: I’ve noticed that you’re a home-school mother. I was home-schooled and I plan to educate my own kids (one day when I have some), while keeping on writing. How do you manage to balance your writing and mothering duties?
Lindsay: That’s a tough question because I still fail to find proper balance sometimes! But one thing I found very helpful in the past was scheduling four weeks of schoolwork in three weeks’ time. Then I would reserve the fourth week for time off for the kids (unless they had independent projects to work on) and a “work week” for me. This is the system I put in to place when my freelance editing business took off, and it works! Mostly.
Brie: That’s an interesting solution. I can see how that would work as long as your kids take up less attention on a off week than during a school week. It seems like you’re doing a good job. Now I’ll move onto a couple of question relating to The Story Peddler itself.
What was your favourite part of writing The Story Peddler?
Lindsay: I wrote three different versions of The Story Peddler. The last major revision was completed about three years ago, and in that revision, my agent challenged me to dig into the emotional lives of my characters more because it seemed like that was missing. She didn’t know it, but I’d been dealing with really tough emotional stuff in real life and my writing at the time reflected my reluctance to dive into that stuff in my own heart. So in that third revision, I went there, and you’ll see even more of that in Story Peddler’s sequel. It’s healing to deal with that tough stuff in a fictional space, so while it was the hardest part of writing The Story Peddler, it was also my favorite.
Brie: Wow, that is a deep answer. I usually expect something on a more surface level, such as writing particular scenes or characters. I felt that level of deep emotion in The Story Peddler. The most powerful stories are the ones that are truthful and don’t gloss over the tough things. Thank you for not avoiding it.
If there was one thing that readers took away from your writing, what would you like it to be? (Yes, the message question. It’s one I can’t help wondering with every book.)
Lindsay: Honor your God-given gifts, whatever they may be. There is hope and light and humor and healing to be found in even the darkest of circumstances. There are more, but I’ll stop, lest I begin to sound like a fortune cookie. *grin*
Brie: Lindsay, thank you so much for doing this interview, and writing this book. I can assure everyone that that message does come through in the book beautifully.
Calling all book readers! Join authors Lindsay A. Franklin and Sara Ella to celebrate the releases of their novels, The Story Peddler and Unbreakable, on May 1st!
Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with Lindsay and Sara, games, and giveaways.
The party starts at 8 PM EST (7 PM CST and 5 PM PST). Can’t wait to see you there!
Want to dive into a new world or in need of a good book? Use the link below to enter to win a signed print copy of The Story Peddler, a blue strand book sleeve, custom Story Peddler bookmark,a fluffhopper sticker, anda set of five mini Story Peddler art prints! (US only.)
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, April 24th
- Book Spotlight – Tabitha Caplinger
- Review – Jane Maree Author
- Review – 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
- The Story Peddler and Unbreakable Facebook Launch Party
Wednesday, May 2nd
- Blog Tour Wrap-Up –Unicorn Quester
Brie, this is a fantastic review! I loved hearing your thoughts and agree that I wouldn’t mind visiting this world, though not during the time of Tanwen. Also, I thought she was such a relatable heroine too.
The interview was awesome and love what Lindsay hopes readers will take away from reading The Story Peddler!