Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Title: Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Number of Pages: 400
Published: November 1st 2012 by Bethany House
Source: Author (Paperback)
Genre: Christian > High Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult

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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?

 Starflower without a doubt is a high fantasy novel. I myself have never been a huge fan of this genre but was willing to give it a go and read the book. I am glad that I did but at the same time had very mixed feeling about the book. The story itself was interesting and well developed but the characters were lacking that certain something. I did not feel much of a connection with anyone besides the main female protagonist, Starflower. She is what made the story work and hold my attention throughout most of the book. 

As the story begins we meet  Eanrin, a male bard or poet who is madly in love Lady Gleamdren. She gets herself kidnapped by a immortal who is known to be a dragon/woman. This creature is searching for a item in which Lady Gleamdren posses in order to reclaim her wings. Once discovered missing, Poet Eanrin and his rival go on the quest to find Gleamdren and bring her home safely. Many of the people in this land, including Eanrin are animal shifter. He is able to turn into a cat while other may do the same with different animals. 

On their quest to rescue the kidnapped Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin comes upon a young woman laying beside the river. When his curiosity becomes the best of him, Eanrin find she is a human girl and is alive but asleep. With nothing else to do, he decides to find a way to awaken her to see who is girl truly is and why she is alone in the woods. The truth behind who this loss girl is and where she comes from not only changes his path to rescue his love Lady Gleamdren, but will alter his live and his future..... 

As the story unfolds everything will made clear..... but will the path Eanrin takes be to his lost love or to a unknown girl.

To find out what happens you'll have to read the book for yourself....

Here are the things I did in fact enjoy about the book:
1. The world building was excellent, far better than I thought it would have been. I really got the sense of being there right along side of the characters.
2. The story itself. I really enjoyed the plot, mystery, and how the story unfolded with each PART within the book. The book was written in three parts, one in the present day, one the past (part 2), and then once again back to the present where there the story as a whole begins to make complete sense. The ending was beautiful and I dare say I cried a bit. *tissues may be needed*
3. Starflower. She was a real and believable character. I found her to be very kind, and self-sacrificing for the ones she loved. Her jounany and hardships made her stronger, not bitter.

Here are the few things I did not care for about the book:
1. The annoying and whiny Lady Gleamdren. I just wanted to smack her. She thinks the world revolves around her and she is loved by all, or should be.
2. The pacing of the book in my taste was a little slow and choppy. I was lead one way and taken another a times.
3. Not much romance.... Yes, I am a stickler for the romantic aspect in books and I did not see much at all.

All in all it was a fun read. I would definitely read the next book in the series to find out what happens next. I think anyone who really enjoys high fantasy novel that Starflower would be a good fit you them.

I liked it a lot. Would recommend.

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