Anne Elisabeth Stengl has become a staple of fantasy as far as I'm concerned. Every time I read one of her Goldstone Wood novels I'm more blown away by how intertwined her characters and legends become. Unfortunately, I got a little out of order reading the series and while I was still able to appreciate the central story, I would recommend starting at the beginning and going in order.
Shadow Hand tells the story of Crown Prince Foxbrush and Lady Daylily, whose ill fated wedding days starts the novel. Daylily is being pushed into this marriage by her father, Baron Middlecrescent, who wants control of Southlands. Hiding a darker side that no one could imagine, Daylily decides to flee into the Wood Between. Foxbrush impulsively decides to follow her and ends up far out of his time on an adventure he could not be less thrilled about.
I loved Foxbrush as the hero of this story. He is quiet, immaculate and very timid, which made for a different and refreshing character arc. Daylily is a powerful female lead that more than makes up for any strength and bravery Foxbrush may lack. She has spent so many years attempting to hide her true self that she has forgotten who she really is which leaves her vulnerable to a sinister plot that has all of Southlands hanging in the balance.
This is my second trip into Goldstone Wood and I am so eager to read the rest of the series. Stengl has gained another lifetime reader and I will recommend her every chance I get!
***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. ***
A note from her betrothed, sends Lady Daylily fleeing on her wedding day. She never wanted to wanted to marry Foxbrush - Lionheart was her love__..
In her latest book "Shadow Hand" Anne Elisabeth Stengl takes you to a fantasy world full of creatures big and small from mortal loving sylphs to dragons with poison.
The homelands have been torn apart by a dragon. Many did not survive the dragon's poison and the land will take years to heal.
Lady Daylily is dressed for her wedding to Foxbrush - not her true love Lionheart. A note arrives for Lady Daylily and as she reads it, she realizes she cannot carry out her father's wish to marry Foxbrush.
Off she runs from her homeland torn apart by the dragon to try and disappear forever in the Wilderlands. But in the Wilderlands looks can be deceiving, nothing is as it seems__..
Elisabeth Anne Stengl's creative writing in this fantasy novel is the best I have ever read. How she is able to create this fantasy with all the twist and turns, creatures great and small and the wide range of characters is beyond me. I am sure with this level of writing, we will be seeing much more from her in the way of novels and awards won for creative ability.
Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the winner of the following Awards:
2011 Christy Award for Debut Novel
2012 Christy Award for Visionary Novel
2013 Clive Staples Award for Speculative Fiction
I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anne Elisabeth Stengle weaves together a tale of fantasy that draws the reader in. In this tale Daylily is to wed Foxbrush, her cousin. This is not the man she loves, but she told him that she would wed him if he never professed his love for her. On the morning of the wedding, these feeling slip out in the form a letter which was not to have been delivered to her. Unfortunately, it was and the events that occur following this are magical.
Daylily escapes to a magical, dangerous world, followed by the man that she loves and the man that loves her. This tale twists and turns and makes it impossible to put down.
I was given this book by bookfun.org and by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review
Shadow Hand is another written masterpiece by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. A word of caution though, this is number 6 in the series. I do not know how the story would be as a standalone without some knowledge of the world she has created. To me, these books read as one large story. I have read Heartless and Veiled Rose, I own but have not read Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. There were some things that happened in those previous books that I missed and I will be going back and reading those. This is an amazing world, and I enjoyed getting to revisit these characters that I had met in Veiled Rose. Daylily runs away from her marriage to Foxbrush, who goes after her to tell her what he has decided and to prove himself, if to no one else but to himself. Lionheart (Daylily's former betrothed) is back from exile not to make fun of his cousin Foxbrush this time, but to help him. This is a dark fairy tale and is a little bit creepy at times. We are reacquainted with previous characters and meet some memorable new ones. I absolutely enjoyed the descriptions of the worlds and the faerie beasts. And in the words of Dr. Who, there is some "timey wimey" storytelling going on. This is also a story of true love and sacrifices. I absolutely enjoyed how she unfolded this story and how it ended. I recommend this whole series for the young adult and up. I received my copy from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Shadow Hand is Book 6 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood Series. I wish I would have read some of the first ones before reading this book. It would have given me a better understanding of characters and rules of the setting. I found the story interesting when taken slowly. At times sections needed to be reread to be understood. But overall I found it to be creative, very descriptive, and very well written. I plan to go back and read the previous books and then reread this one to have a better appreciation of the story.
I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.