Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Book Details:
Title: Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood #5)
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
2013, Bethany House
Genre: Fantasy, Christian Fiction

Book Summary:
Who Will Dare to Face the Dragonwitch?

Submissive to her father’s will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves–Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.

But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta’s tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice…and for the one person who can wield it.

My Review:

Honestly I had no idea what to expect from this novel. I’ve never even heard of a Christian novel in this type of fantasy genre. It kind of reminded me of what The Lord of the Rings must be like (although I’ve never attempted to read it). From the front cover I almost expected it to be a YA novel, but it was pretty complex. I believe it was supposed to be some kind of Biblical allegory, but I could never figure it out.

I took me awhile to get into this book. It is the first I’ve read if its kind and of this series. There are A LOT of characters and the POV switches from Lord Alistair to the Chronicler to Lady Leta to a Faerie to a girl in the Temple of the Sacred Flame. There are goblins, faeries, mortals and a host of other strange beings that I’m not sure I could describe.

To be truthful, I really enjoyed this book the farther I got into it. It took me probably a good quarter of the book to fully grasp what was going on and all the characters, but once I figured it out, I found it pretty fascinating. It is very well-written and all the intricacies made it really interesting. I would say that the love stories were pretty easy to predict, but I wasn’t sure how they were going to work out. There is so much that went on in this book that I can’t even write a good summary of it. It is about mortals and immortals and how their lives are different and intertwined. It is about good versus evil and overcoming hardships and expectations. It is also about family and relationships – and love and jealousy.

If you are a lover of fantasy, this book is for you. I would suggest starting with an earlier book from the series. Dragonwitch seemed to stand alone, but I just have a feeling it would have made sense earlier if I had more background into this fantasy world.

I received a free copy of this e-book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. All words and opinions are my own.

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