Heartless - eBook  -     By: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
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Heartless - eBook

Bethany House / 2010 / ePub

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Product Description

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir. Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781441212016
ISBN-13: 9781441212016
Availability: In Stock
Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood

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Publisher's Description

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

Author Bio

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, 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.

Publisher's Weekly

Debut author Stengl conjures the fantastic world of Parumvir. The kingdom's Princess Una is courted by Prince Aethelbald of Farthestshore. She, however, finds him insufficiently romantic and much too boring in his concerns for her safety as a dragon approaches the kingdom. When Una makes the wrong choice, catastrophe ensues for the princess and her family, and love, courage, and trust are needed when darkness engulfs the kingdom. Allegory is hard at work here--occasionally too hard, when the intended meaning drives the plot instead of the plot being driven by the momentum of events. But Stengl does let her imagination run in inventing some delightful things and scenes: the Twelve-Year Market that appears in its own good time and sells fairy goods; a clever blind cat who is invariably underfoot and has, of course, a secret. Since they never get enough to read in this small market niche, Christian fantasy fans will be particularly enthralled by this first in the Tales of Goldstone Wood. A clever debut from an author worth watching. (July) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.6 Stars Out Of 5
4.6 out of 5
(16)
(5)
(1)
(1)
(0)
Quality:
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
Value:
4.8 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.6 out Of 5
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94%
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Displaying items 1-5 of 23
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Lovely Fairy Tale
    February 13, 2015
    Michelle R. Wood
    This review was written for Heartless, Tales of Goldstone Woods Series #1.
    I was introduced to this book for the first time when I served as judge for the INSPY awards back in 2011. When it came in the mail with its image of wispy waif and description of finding true love, I admit I didn't expect much. This novel really taught me not to judge a book by its cover: I was pleasantly surprised to discover a world of wonder, beauty, joy, tragedy, and painful redemption that cut to the marrow.

    Anne Elisabeth Stengl must have cut her teeth on the same copies of Grimm and Anderson I did. Her style comes across as both traditional and fresh, emulating and yet expanding the fairy tale genre. The closest approximation I can give for her style is Robin McKinley's "Beauty," or Juliet Marillier's "Daughter of the Forest" (also books I devoured as a child), but she also develops elements and concepts all on her own. Nothing about her fantastical settings felt borrowed; instead, she dusted off archetypes and blew new life into them, with a light enchanting prose that draws the reader in before challenging all assumptions and revealing not only the roses but the thorns of this world.

    This world is fully realized, yet Stengl never weighed down the story with a long complicated history or geography. Places, people, and their magical properties were allowed to simply exist without any painstaking theories, explanations, or justifications. The traditional tropes were actually traditional rather than deconstructed, and thus surprising.

    Best of all, portions of this particular story were left unexplained without a lapse in the overall meaning of the central plot. It's rare for any author to resist the urge to reveal all her cleverness. Stengl does so in the most beguiling way, keeping her focus solidly on the main plot while simultaneously dropping tantalizing hints at what might lie just beyond the map.

    But it is Stengl's commitment to the very core of fairy tales that will surprise readers the most. Nothing in the first airy chapters hints at the grim sense of loss and despair that characters experience later, especially when it is a tragedy of their own making. Good intentions and romantic ideals are shown to be the very things that may put nobility at risk. The dragon's seductive hunger bore down on Princess Una with the same determined long game many of us feel oppressed by here in the real world. Even the virtuous are plagued by doubts, the right way isn't always clear, and there's an ever-present feeling malevolent fate that seems inescapable.

    Don't confuse Heartless with grimdark or contemporary dark fantasy, though! There is light in this world, even when the shadows seek to devour it, and heroes still walk this land. They're just not obvious or in the form we expect. Allegory, metaphor, and novelty all weave together in a spell of remarkable meaning, offering an unfettered vision of what it truly means to lose our hearts and have them given back to us.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    beautiful allegory
    March 2, 2014
    Ember
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Heartless, Tales of Goldstone Woods Series #1.
    Wow, normally fantasy allegory is not a genre I enjoy. But Anne Elisabeth writes it with a twist like none other! I couldn't put it down.

    The world of Goldstone wood is one of the most complex and layered storyworlds I have ever come across in fantasy. It is huge and ever-expanding with so much more depth, and history, and characters that you could believe. Every book in the series is better than the last!

    Anne Elisabeth's writing style is unusual and reminiscent of older classic fairy tales. It is a bit hard to get used to at first, but hang in there! Because once you catch onto her unique and beautiful style it is one incredible ride and well worth the time.

    One thing I've noticed is how many reviewers seem to hate Una. Maybe these folks just don't like her because she's a little too real. Yes, she's selfish, she's stubborn, she's a dreamer, always looking for something newer, brighter, more appealing. She's totally unsatisfied and missing out on the good and wonderful things (and people) that are right under her nose.

    She's just like you and me.

    Personally, I love Una. And I love how Anne Elisabeth breathes life into these beautiful, broken characters. Her characters may be far from perfect, and their endings may be too, but in the end, that is what makes their story so much more meaningful.

    In this allegory, Una is a representation of the modern day church and it's faults. It is a story about How God pursues us relentlessly, calling us back to him, and to show that no matter how vile we can become God still loves us and is waiting to claim us as his.

    How incredible is that?
  3. TX
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Fantasy to fall in love with
    December 21, 2012
    Jael
    TX
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Heartless, Tales of Goldstone Woods Series #1.
    About a young woman coming of age to marry, the consequences of her choices and the offer of redemption. I found the imagery brilliant, the flow of the story almost lyrical. I had a hard time putting the book down. I did find that throughout the book I wasn't as connected to the characters as I was to the story, its allegory and the style. The author's website says, the Tales of Goldstone Wood are a series of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style" which I think she did very well.

    I will definitely read more from this author.
  4. Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting!
    December 12, 2012
    tanderson
    Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I enjoyed this book and will pass it along to my daughter! Love the way it came together in the end!
  5. Sandstone, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great quick read
    September 17, 2012
    Japhethwg
    Sandstone, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A wonderful tale about a princess and her quest of discovery. With some mystical stuff thrown in. Kept my attention all the way through.
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