Anne Elisabeth Stengl weaves a great fairytale/allegory in her “Goldstone Woods” series. Each book is a stand alone, but with each one we see more of the back story and how things began. The immortal characters are introduced, or re-introduced to us and we find out how they came to either serve the dragon king, or the Prince of Farthestshore. Well written, it sucks you into the story. You can’t help but feel like you are there and that you know each one of the characters. I loved “Starflower” as much as the others. It answered some of my questions about how some of characters in the first two books ended up where they were. After reading this one I found my self thinking, “oh, that’s why they called her that,” or “so he is the one the song was about.” I would give this book more than five stars if I could. No swearing or sexual content. There is violence and fighting, some scary images for youngsters. I recommend for teens and up. 5+ stars from me! If you like fantasy, but have trouble finding suitable ones for Christians, this series is it!
The Puppet Queen is a great twist on the well known fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. I really enjoyed this read. It is an adult version, gritty, and full of intrigue. There is no swearing, the only sexual content is implied rape, does contain violence. I can recommend for ages 16 and up. I will be reading more by this author.
The storyline is good and the moral of the story is excellent. Beauty on the outside can be a curse to people who worship it and let it control their lives. People who are not beautiful on the outside can be beautiful on the inside, yet most people will not give them the chance to shine.
A very wealthy couple who have just about everything money can buy are not attractive on the outside and that desire of wanting to be beautiful on the outside has made them very ugly inside. They desire a child, but have not been able to conceive and they heard of a witch that can cast all kinds of spells. First they ask for beauty and it came with a price that was not what they expected. Then they returned to the witch and asked for help and ended up with a curse. The witch was one that had been hurt when she was younger and she didn’t have any love to share.
I don’t want to go into any details, because I like to go into a book with as little previous knowledge as possible so I can be totally taken in without any pre-conceived notions. This book shows that we are all born with a curse, the curse of sin, and the only way out is to except perfect love. This book does not say it in these words, but Jesus Christ is perfect love and He is our answer. If you read the last page of the book, the author describes this love of Christ. She gives a verse that sums it all up, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4: 18-19 NKJV
I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Bristles was a great spin on the traditional Cinderella story. Good YA book set in a alternative society where the government is strong arming its people. Bryssa or Bristles as her step mother calls her, steps out of her horrid life to change it all for everyone. I give this book 4 stars for YA.
The Changeling by Christopher Shields is the second book in the Weald Fae Journals. A fantasy/fairytale. I loved the first book, The Steward and this one is just as good. A book filled with Fae (fairies) and set in the mountains of Arkansas, it is every fairytale lover’s dream. Maggie O’Shea, the main character is a strong feminine character that will do anything to protect her family and friends from the evil fae. As the title states, there is a changeling in book two. Maggie desperately tries to save her little brother, Mitch, while the changeling takes his place in their lives. A great read! I give this book 5+ stars. My only disappointment is that the third book isn’t finished yet. Good for ages 13 and up.