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Monday, November 19, 2012


I've been a huge fan of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Christian Fantasy Series, Tales of Goldstone since her first book, Heartless. Now after all this time, Anne has written a novel as a prologue to Heartless in which the readers get a bit of the back story about the characters we've come to know and love and how they got to where we find them in the novel Heartless.

There still is an air of mystery whenever you encounter any of Anne's characters from her novels, because she slowly builds them up without giving too much away too soon. In this novel there are two stories happening simultaneously that will eventually intersect. So if you don't quite understand it from the beginning, take a deep breath, relax and immerse yourself further. It will all make sense in the end. Much like great fictional books do, when you get to the end, you can see how it all came together and that to me, makes for an exceptional book.

In the novel, Starflower, we get a sense of the fate of a great city that was once ruled by a Faerie queen. That city was called Etalpalli or known as the City of Wings by some. In this peaceful city, the people all flocked in the air, their wings a garden of many colors, and they lived in the green-grown towers of Etalpalli. In those high places, they found it easy to hear the voices of the sun and the moon singing and would sing back in joyful echo. Once upon a time, the City of Wings was a peaceful demesne full of life. Now it burned.

Hri Sora is a character with many different persona's blended together, she was once the Faerie Queen of Etalpalli but when she grows angry, the fire that burns within another part of her, unleashes the fury of the dragon-witch within. She dwells in a life of half light and half dark, but when she becomes dragon-witch she suffers from memory loss and she struggles to recall that former part of her life. When she confronts her Dark Father in hopes of regaining the wings he once had taken from her, he offers her a trade. He'll restore her wings, if she brings back the secret of the location of the Flowing Gold of Rudiobus and only kept safe by the Queen Bebo, who is the oldest and strongest of all Faerie queen. It is the chief treasure of King Iubdan Tynan and the only person who knows where it is hidden is the Queen's cousin, Lady Gleamdrene' Gormlaith.

Hri Sora agrees to the deal and sets off in a scheme to find a way to penetrate the boundary protections that Queen Bebo established. No one can enter Rudiobus uninvited. To even set foot in Gorm-Uisce Lake without leave would be death. She had no other choice. There was nothing left. No power without her wings; no city to call home. Only the hideous memory of former fires and that burning, driving lust for revenge. Such a pathetic creature she was, reduced to the form of a human. Unless... she smiled. This form was pitiable, but her mind was still good. And dragons command many powerful enchantments. An idea took root, and her smile grew.

Now the book really gets interesting and all kinds of characters from two different worlds are introduced and soon we begin to see the threads of an epic fantasy adventure beginning to grow. This is the story of dragons, Faerie Queens, hidden worlds, enchantments and of course magic. In the end, Anne Elisabeth Stengl once more weaves such an elegant storyline together you forget this is an imaginary world after all. I won't spoil it for you so you'll have to read this one for yourself and it's perfect is you haven't read the Tales of Goldstone Wood yet, because this is the perfect beginning. In fact, I'm going to continue once more with the series from beginning to end. This one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars for those that love books like Lord of the Rings Trilogy or even The Chronicles of Narnia series!!!

I received Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. The one thing I did take away from this novel, is that it sets up the premise for your stereotypical fairytale story's and you can see how the author used those to move the story forward especially when dealing with the character of Lady Gleamdrene' Gormlaith. The exciting part is that Book 5, The Dragon Witch is due out in 2013, so trust me, you'll want to pick up the entire series!!! For more information about Starflower, Anne Elisabeth Stengl or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Anne Elisabeth Stengl on Facebook and stay on top of all the Tales of Goldstone series.

You can also find more reviews from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tour on Starflower by clicking here. 

The Tales of Goldstone Series Order:

Prologue: Starflower (Book 4)
Heartless (Book 1)
Veiled Rose (Book 2)
Moon Blood (Book 3)

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