To pick up The Story Peddler is to enter a world of peasants and kings, storytellers, colormasters, and songspinners—and let’s not forget fluff-hoppers and marsh-grazers. To finish The Story Peddler is to spend precious hours stalking Lindsay A. Franklin on social media looking for even the tiniest scrap of hope that the next book is not far off. To put it more plainly: I’m hooked!
Tanwen won me over from the outset with her wry, slightly self-deprecating voice and expressions like, “For the love of fluff-hoppers”. But beyond that is a story that excites both the imagination and the intellect. I loved the idea of storytelling being such a visual art and the descriptions as Tanwen wielded her gift, but even more so, I loved the themes explored through the story: the role of story in both remembering and making sense of our history, the suppression of truth through controlling the art of storytelling, and the need for those who know the truth to speak out, no matter the cost.
These themes are never thrust in the reader’s face, and it would be entirely possible to enjoy this story without looking beyond the surface, but it would be a little like admiring the weft without acknowledging the warp that holds it together.
Further, this is a story that can be enjoyed by young adult readers and not-so-young adult readers alike—although there are a few scenes parents may want to consider for appropriateness with pre- or early-teen readers (a forced kiss, for example, and some violence). But it’s a lively, intelligent, and captivating story, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next instalment!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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