Mike's Reviews > The Story Peddler

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin
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really liked it
bookshelves: noblebright, 2018-years-best

This book managed to sneak a dystopia onto my reading list, which is quite a feat; and, even more impressively, it also managed to make me enjoy it.

The trope of forbidden magic is overplayed, but this was a good variation on it: magic users/artists who are given the choice by an oppressive regime of being either co-opted or suppressed. The protagonist, a determined and capable young woman (my favourite kind of protagonist), takes the option "neither of the above" and connects up with other dissidents, while the despot's daughter struggles to temper his tyranny. Eventually, the two story threads connect, leading to a climax which took me by surprise with its suddenness.

Well crafted, with characters that deepen beyond their stereotypes because they all have a backstory and all want something, which they're prepared to pursue at personal cost. There's no softpedaling in terms of the outcomes for the characters - several of them come to tragic ends - but it skillfully avoids becoming dark, hopeless, or cynical.

Not quite amazing enough to make it to five stars, but certainly very good, and I expect to include it in my Year's Best list this year.
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Reading Progress

June 5, 2018 – Started Reading
June 5, 2018 – Shelved
June 9, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 14, 2018 – Shelved as: noblebright
June 14, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-years-best

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