Starflower, Tales of Goldstone Woods Series #4   -     By: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
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Starflower, Tales of Goldstone Woods Series #4

Bethany House / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission... and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764210262
ISBN-13: 9780764210266
Availability: In Stock
Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood

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Publisher's Description

"Readers will enjoy this romantic adventure story...akin to C.S. Lewis' Narnia series."--Booklist

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

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.

Product Reviews

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  1. Carol Gehringer
    Raleigh, NC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fantasy/allegory for young adults
    April 10, 2013
    Carol Gehringer
    Raleigh, NC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Award-winning author Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales of Goldstone Wood series with Starflower, a prequel to her first three books. Starflower takes place more than sixteen hundred years earlier, but lays the foundation for the story in Heartless.

    Starflower tells how Hri Sora the dragon loses her wings and dragon form. In order for her dragon father to restore her back to dragon form, she must find the Flowing Gold of Rudiobus, securely hidden by the queen of fairies. Hri Sora kidnaps the queen's cousin, Gleamdren, in an attempt to find the Flowing Gold. Meanwhile, Lady Gleamdren believes an army of suitors will follow in pursuit to rescue her when, to her dismay, only two of them make the attempt: the Bard Eanrin, and Glomar, the Captain of the Guard.

    Glomar and Eanrin compete to rescue Gleamdren, knowing whoever reaches her first wins her favor. On the way, Eanrin comes across a deaf mortal woman, Starflower, under an enchantment. Eanrin takes her on his quest to Hri Sora's castle. Starflower (or Imraldera as she is called later) is pursued by the Beast (the Wolf Lord) and his Black Dogs, as well as by the Hound. Imraldera gains Gleamdren's freedom in exchange for assisting Hri Sora in her quest to complete her quest.

    In her author's note, Stengl shares she was partially inspired by the poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. Anyone familiar with this poem will be reminded of it. The Hound in Starflower pursues Imeldera, as do the Black Dogs, slaves to the Wolf Lord. One hounds her to life, the other to death.

    See also Moonblood, Veiled Rose [and] Heartless, also by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

    Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
  2. Laundry Lady
    Bethlehem, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Starflower: Fantasy, Allegory and I’m Not Sure
    April 5, 2013
    Laundry Lady
    Bethlehem, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I should preface this review by saying that fantasy is not my preferred reading style. My husband is a fantasy author, and while I enjoy his work, as well as that of C.S. Lewis and Madeline L'Engle, generally fantasy is not my go-to genre. In the immortal faerie realm, a cousin of the queen, the fairest of the land, is kidnapped by a dragon. The resident poet and the captain of the guard, rivals for her affection, set off to rescue her. While on his quest, the poet encounters a young woman who he assumes must be a princess of some kind. She cannot speak (though we the reader can hear her thoughts), and he is certain it is because she is under some kind of enchantment.

    This book was a struggle to get through. In fact I was nearly 50% of the way through before I became heavily interested. This is how long it takes before we hear Starflower's story. Her story is far more interesting than the interactions of the faerie realm. How did Starflower end up in this immortal realm? What horror did she escape from and why can't she speak? These are questions that will eventually be answered, but in my opinion it took far too long.

    This book is well written by the plot seems to meander. Would I recommend it to a friend? That depends. If the friend enjoys all styles of fantasy and revels in the drawn out nature of this epic storytelling style, then yes. But if a reader is looking for a first introduction to fantasy this isn't it. The average reader is likely to be come bored and listless and possibly give up before the best parts of the story.

    I was not compensated for this review but I did receive a free copy of the book to review.
  3. BevK
    WI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Reviewing STARFLOWER by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
    February 8, 2013
    BevK
    WI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Reviewing STARFLOWER by Anne Elisabeth Stengl... I am an avid reader of most types of books. I was not particularly overjoyed over this book as it was difficult at times to concentrate on the list of characters and places. Something that would help the book immensely would be to have a section for character lists and name list so that it would be easier to understand what was happening in the book and also who the characters really represent. There are so many characters in the book and their symbolism and personalities blur and are confusing.

    There was no Christian witness, only vague innuendos. I would not recommend this book to anyone else as it would confuse many people.

    I received this book from Bethany/Baker Publishing for review with no restrictions.

    JTK
  4. Jael
    TX
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An adventurous fairy tale
    December 21, 2012
    Jael
    TX
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    After reading Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, I knew I had discovered an extraordinary author, but I told myself I needed to read more of her stuff just to make sure. And then I read Starflower. It is safe to say, I will read everything by this author.

    Wow. Where to start.

    First, I wasn't sure what to expect. The cover is beautiful. From the back cover you think the story is only about Bard Eanrin winning his Lady Gleamdren's favor by rescuing her from a dragon-witch, but it is so much more than that. It's also the story of Starflower, the troubled young maiden Eanrin rescues. And boy does she have her own story to share which ties in nicely with Eanrin's rescue mission. I opened the book, and I was engaged from page one.

    The characters are vibrant and quirky. They had me laughing out loud, and even tearing up at times. I met Eanrin and "Starflower" in Heartless, book one of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, and it was great getting to know them more, to see them grow throughout the story. I'm left wondering what happens in the next 1600 years before we meet them again in Heartless. Maybe we'll find out in her next book.

    The creativity of the worlds, the descriptions, the way the story is told: it's amazing. At one point while I was reading, I remember thinking this story is all over the place, yet I didn't feel lost. The prose sung, the characters danced. It was a magical read, totally swept me away. One to come back to again and again.

    Highly recommended if you love adventurous fairy tales. A side note: although this is book four in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, it can be read as a stand-alone.
  5. JMac
    Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    December 20, 2012
    JMac
    Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Three very different characters' stories intertwine in this fantasy novel. Hri Sora the dragon woman seeks revenge on the one who had enslaved her. Starflower/Imraldera, a mortal girl, flees from her terrible and turbulent past. Eanrin (who regularly shape-shifts into an orange cat), chief poet to King Iubdan and Queen Bebo of Rudiobus, hopes to rescue the Lady Gleamdren who has been kidnapped. All these characters are searching for something - will they be successful in their pursuit?

    I found Part One of this book to be very confusing with the different stories all going on at the same time. There was very little explanation given for why things were happening, but perhaps I would have understood better if I had read all the previous books in the series (this is #4 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series). Part Two did clear up the confusion of the first part. Everything fell in place and made sense to me, eventually.

    I enjoyed the story moderately. The confusion of all the different stories running at the same time diminished my enjoyment of the book considerably. There is quite a bit of violence (not graphic for the most part but certainly implied) that readers should be aware of before beginning this book. Also, the contrast between good and evil wasn't as strong as it could have been, but it is a fantasy story with moral principles.

    Having previously read Heartless (by the same author), which I enjoyed immensely, I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, it fell short of my anticipations.

    My Rating : 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

    Please note : I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for my honest review.
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