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.
The front cover was what caught my interest, not the summary. When I got to read it, I was afraid it would be a mushy love story playing up on temporary passion.
Not at all.
It is this fake idea of "love" that Una has at first, and as the story progresses and her heart is broken, she learns how shallow crush-like love is. Now she's given up on any kind of love, and it is the sacrificial love of the Prince that finally redeems her.
Most people, rather they know it or not, have a lot in common with Una. She's a young girl with big dreams, she's self-absorbed, and she wants to do things by her own power.
The first half of the book is merely a fairytale about a princess who longs to be the bride of a dashing prince. Enter the Dragon: story totally changes. We go from a bright, happy, little story, to a gripping tale of the destructive power of the devil (the Dragon), and then ultimately to the restoring love of Christ, (aka. the Prince) who never gives up on Una (us). And for any worries, the Dragon wants to make Una his child, not his wife, as the summary suggests. While Una is the obvious representation of mankind, or moreover, the church, there are several other characters who need the redemption of the Prince from Farthestshore.
Most likely, young men will not be interested in reading this book, as it was obviously marketed to females. However, another main character is Una's wanna-be-awesome, but hopelessly mischievous, brother Felix. There is also some rousing action, and a harrowing outlook on dragons. (Fact: There's more then one dragon in this story.) The writing is clever and funny. Oh, and keep an eye on that blind cat, Monster...he might have a few surprises up his paws.
This soul-searching story was beautifully done, and I have no doubt that it is building up treasure in heaven for the author.
If you like this book, do not even hesitate to buy the next two. And the one coming out in October, if you have any interest in that fluffy cat, at all ;)