Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Song Stuck on the Brain: We Believe by The Newsboys
(Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5)
Tales of Goldstone Wood is probably one of the most complex fantasy series I've ever read, and I love it. I was fortunate enough to catch it from the beginning and started with book 1, Heartless. I was pretty much hooked from there. If you enjoy this genre, then be prepared to fall in love. I will warn you though, it's an involved story with a large cast, various lands, and cultures that weave throughout all the tales. It's fantastic! But be sure you start at the beginning.
Dragonwitch is book #5 and although I enjoyed it, this one did feel a little darker and heavier in nature than the others. That doesn't keep me from recommending it, but be aware that it's a little more intense.
There is always a deeper message beneath the surface, one that stays with you and makes you think long after the last page, but never hinders the flow of the action.  Lady Leta and Lord Alistair's journey is a great example of a story that captivates your mind while reading and your thought for days after.

An Ancient Evil
Long ago, Etanun buried his sword in the depths of the Netherworld then vanished from all known history. One day, it is said, his heir will find the sword, and the Dragonwitch, firstborn of the Dragon King, will be finally slain.
A Desperate Hope
These stories are no more than nursery rhymes. In a world of cold reality, what room is left for fairy tales? Lady Leta of Aiven is pledged to marry a man she does not love . . . sleepless Lord Alistair struggles to unite the stubborn earls of the North Country . . . Mouse is lost, far from home, slaving as a kitchen drudge . . .
. . . and the reclusive Chronicler, keeping the records of Gaheris Castle, bears a secret so dangerous it could cost him his life and plunge the North Country into civil war.
An Impossible Journey
But when nursery rhymes begin to come horribly true, will these unlikely heroes find the strength they need to fulfill a prophecy of fire? For the Dragonwitch lives. And she has vowed vengeance on all who have wronged her.
Who Will Dare to Face the Dragonwitch?
Submissive to her father's will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet the future King of the North Country and a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves. But within the walls of his castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta's tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the entire nation into civil war. And far away in a hidden kingdom, a flame burns atop the Citadel of the Living Fire. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice . . . and for the one person who can wield it.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, NC, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood and Starflower. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.


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