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May Review: A sequel that is better than the original...really!

The Story Raider

Author: Lindsay A Franklin

Publisher: Enclave Publishing

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A race to save the dying.

A kingdom on the brink of revolt.

A dark presence undermining it all.

In the aftermath of The Story Peddler, Tanwen and her fellow weavers turn their attention to Gryfelle, their cursed and dying friend. Rumors of an ancient cure inspire a daring journey beyond the land of Tir to discover the secret and save her life. However, the cure is not the only secret the group must discover. Meanwhile, Braith, now queen over Tir, must establish her rule despite rioting peasants, a new arrival, and the work of the one behind the rise of Gareth.

Whereas The Story Peddler took its time allowing the reader to fall in love with its characters, The Story Raider picks up on the fast-paced ending of the first book and rarely leaves a moment for the reader to breathe. The anticipation of what is to come and the rise of a dark presence that will destroy everything will have you turning pages, eager to see what happens.

Your favorite characters from the first book are back!

Tanwen is no longer the young, naïve girl you met in The Story Peddler. Now, she must deal with the reality of being a weaver who has spent years resisting the full use of her abilities. Her relationship with the weavers is complicated at best, especially with Mor. Watching her grow up as the pages turned was one of my favorite parts to this read.

Braith is still one of my favorites as she embodies wisdom and deals with the choices she must make as a new ruler, none of which are black and white. You will find yourself rooting for her, even it means she must give up everything. Anyone who has spent time in leadership will relate to Braith. I found myself aching over her longing to do right by her kingdom.

I found Mor to be the most sympathetic character. Caught between his love for dying Gryfelle, who no longer remembers her love for him, and his feelings for Tanwen, he struggles to navigate the battle raging inside him. I could identify with the tension between two noble choices and his desire to do what is right in both cases.

Oh, and there is a character late in the book that I would LOVE to tell you more about, but—spoilers. Needless to say, I think I have a new favorite.

While the first book inspired you with a new world of magic based in art, I loved seeing the power of the weavers in full force in this book. The world of The Weaver Trilogy is expanded, introducing new cultures and people groups. Your imagination will run wild filling in the gaps of how this world came to be. Could I be the first to suggest that Franklin write a prequel about the rise of Gareth??

Frankly, I was frustrated every time life required that I put this book down. The story moved at a pace that made this a binge-worthy read, and I would have read it in only a couple sittings if I could have. The reader is left wanting more and anticipating the long-awaited finale to the trilogy, The Story Hunter, being released in May 2020.

Once again, this is a clean read that I would recommend to anyone. Language and sex are absent. Romance is clean. Violence is never gory and only present when necessary.

Lovers of fantasy will drool over this book. However, I would challenge those who struggle with fantasy to engage The Weaver Trilogy with an open mind. I have struggled with some fantasy books, but not this one. You may find yourself falling in love with the genre because Franklin has reinvented magic and created characters you will care about.

I have already pre-ordered my copy of The Story Hunter, and only time will tell whether my wife or I will win the argument to read it first. Please pick up this book. You will love it!

Available on Amazon or through your local bookseller (support local business when you can!).

No disclaimer. I did not receive anything from the author, nor was I requested to write this review.


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