Una is princess of Parumvir and she is anxious to be sought by nobility who desire her hand in marriage. But all too soon Una gets her heart's desire in the form of three very different suitors. But little does Una realize that her choice will determine not only her future but also the fate of her very soul.
When Prince Aethelbard of Farthestshore declares his love to Una and his desire to marry her she refuses him. Then Prince Gervais of Beauclair seeks her hand, as does her father's old childhood acquaintance the Duke of Shippening. But only to Leonard - Prince Lionheart of the Southlands does she give her heart. But Leonard is a prince in hiding and only to Una does he reveal his true identity.
Having touched a dragon's scale Una and the kingdom of Parumvir are in danger, but Aethelbard's warnings fall on deaf ears. When the very dragon they were warned of comes upon them unaware King Fidel and Prince Felix may lose their very lives trying to save Una from her fate.
But love is the only way to save Una, a sacrificial love. But whom among Una's suitors would be willing to die for her and to give up their heart so that she might be saved? Or will Una be Heartless for the rest of her life?
Heartless is a lovely allegory of love and sacrifice. True love is only true if it is given for no personal gain.
This book might not be for you if you're not into Fairy Tale as this is how Anne Elisabeth wrote this book. However, if you're a big fan of such writers as George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis, then this book is definitely for you! (Or if you're just curious, like I was.)
At face value, this seem like a regular fairy tale about a princess, a prince, and a dragon, but if you look closer, you see it's so much more. I'm sure some people have said that it's a cautionary tale about foolishly giving your heart away and they're right. But it's also a tale about the Church, the modern church that is, and how we're so "easily distracted from the truth of the gospel, looking for quick-fixes, running after the next new and exciting idea, and falling into traps of worldly thinking, forgetting the truth of grace and love(quote is from the author's blog)." It's a tale of how our Savior never stops pursuing us, even when we tell Him to leave us be and we cause Him pain. Of how He is there for us at the end when no one else is.
After reading this book, I couldn't wait to pick up the other books to see what happened to the characters. And I hope you pick them up too!
This book started out slow and I almost put it down but I am so glad that I didn't. The story ended strong and left me wanting more so I purchased the two sequels and can't wait for the rest of the series.
Allegory is my thing. Poetry is my thing. Fairytales are my thing.
Stories of true to life princesses, scary dragons, skilled knights, talking animals, and the battle between good & evil make up what I call a pretty sweet read.
Connecting with the all-too human like characters, feeling right along with them, entering so deeply into the beautiful, exciting plot-lines were things I found myself doing in the course of devouring this book.
This was good, beautiful, moving, and fresh storytelling.
If these aren't your things, then you wont like this book or the style it's written in. If it is, this series will become one of your favorites, I can guarantee that.
I enjoyed every moment of "Heartless" (read it over 5 times in a year and half!) and am looking forward to reading "Moonblood" and "Starflower."
A Beautiful and Riveting Tale of Unconditional Lov
August 6, 2012
How is true love measured? Ms. Stengl's wonderful novel, (the first in a wonderful series), addresses this question. I loved this story for its fairy tale style and subtle allegorical tone. The novel is an exploration of a young girl's loss of innocence and a tale of steadfast devotion as a suitor will stop at nothing to protect her.
Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and awaits courtship from dignitaries throughout the vast realm of Goldstone. Some of the suitors have ulterior motives and plan to use the princess for their own selfish means. TO whom will Una give her heart? When a fairy market mysteriously appears in Parumvir, Una is enticed by a mysterious stranger into touching an unusual object. Her action catapults the young woman into a perilous journey: a journey that will not only place Una in danger, but will cause harm to befall others. A seductive yet malevolent dragon is on the prowl, and he seeks the one "beloved by his enemy". What will become of Una and how can she be saved.
This story is simple yet simultaneously profound. Princess Una and Prince Aethelbald are amazing characters. My favorite character in the story is Monster, a blind cat who is more than he seems. Being blind myself, I truly appreciate authors who feature disabled protagonists in their writing. Please give this wonderful a story a chance. The ending will move you to tears and truly bring to mind Romans Chapter 6. Happy reading, and God bless you all.