Thursday, January 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

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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 Anne Elisabeth Stengl

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, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.


REVIEW

I loved this book!  I found it very thought-provoking.  The author has done an excellent job in terms of characters, setting, and theme.  Interestingly, while I felt an immediate sympathy for Starflower, one of the main characters, in her trouble, I had a hard time liking Eanrin at first.  As the bard for Queen Bebo and King Iubdan at Rudiobus, the immortal realm, he is tall, slender, and very talented as well as immortal.  But he is also egotistical and selfish.  He really loves no one because he doesn't want to feel the pain that accompanies that emotion.  But when Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a dragonwitch, he determines that he is the one to rescue her.  When he stumbles across Starflower though it throws off all his plans.  Isn't that just like life. And as he and Starflower journey together, he starts to wonder which is the true freedom.  Freedom from pain and sorrow or freedom of love and commitment? Where will their choices lead them?

The atmosphere that the author creates adds greatly to the intensity of the book.  I found myself reading this slower than I expected, just because I stopped to think about the characters and the choices that put them into the circumstances in which they found themselves.   What was the right choice? Was there a right choice?  Also, Stengl writing is so beautiful, it is meant to be savored, not rushed. If you enjoy thought-provoking, intense reads with a distinct Christian feel to it I highly recommend this one. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.





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