Thursday, December 13, 2012

Starflower Tour: Tales of Goldstone Wood Reviews!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours...

So I signed up for this tour and proceeded to read begin reading the series but I quickly discovered that while I loved this author's writing this genre was not for me. So I drafted my little sister who is a lover of fantasy and asked her to read the series and write reviews for each of them. She agreed and here are Lydia's reviews for each of the four Tales of Goldstone Woods books!

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir. 
Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

From the moment I started this book, I fell in love with it. Anne Elizabeth Stengl crafted a story world like no other. I loved the classic fairy tale feel combined with her unique twists to it. The biblical parallels were beautiful, yet the story didn't become predictable because of it. That's a difficult balance and it was done flawlessly. The characters were also really well developed. I think all of us can relate to Princess Una, and Prince Aethelbald was quite possibly the best Jesus parallel I've seen in the fantasy genre. All in all this is a book I look forward to reading over and over. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good romance.

Veiled Rose
Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.
Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.
But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?
Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?

 The characters in this book were marvelously complex, and I loved how deep even the secondary ones were. Some characters were not as accessible in their brilliantly flawed state, but the story-line was altogether enchanting. It was a vivid reminder of the monsters inside the best of us, and the the good inside the worst of us. Appearances were deceiving in this book and I think We could all use this exquisite lesson against pride and judgement.

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.
Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed.
With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching, when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon's sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it's too late for Rose Red...and all those he loves.

So... the Far World. As soon as the characters entered the In Between I lost my ability to put the book down.  I was literally trying to read by street lights...that does not work, by the way. I still had a couple spats with the characters at the start, but before I even reached halfway that was all over. I loved how Lionheart, and Rose Red grew through their adventures, and I can not stress enough how much I loved the secondary character's stories. I have often, since finishing it, gone back to read my favorite scenes. Read it. You won't regret it!

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?

Part of me was afraid to write this review. I wasn't sure that I could do it enough justice. But then my enthusiasm won out. As you've probably already guessed, I loved this book. I want to read again. Right now. "Excuse me world I have a new obsession to get back to." Well as soon as I finish this. I fell in love with the characters, the different demesnes, and just the literary beauty of it all. Eanrin and Starflower might just be some of my absolute favorite characters of all time. This book is wonderful. I would go on and on singing it's praises but I'd spoil something so just take my word for it read it as many times as possible. But soak it in, you won't want to miss a thing!

About the Author:
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.

Find & Follow:

The Dragonwood Series:

Get Your Copy:Bethany House-Barnes & Noble-The Book Depository-Amazon

Check out the entire December Tour!
3 - Laura @ Colorimetry - Launch!
3 - Sarah @ Letters to the Cosmos - Review
4 - Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - Excerpt
4 - Kari @ Kari's Crowded Bookshelf - Review
5 - Aleksandra @ Aleksandra's Corner - Guest Post - Inspired by Cats I
6 - Lisa @ Bookworm Lisa - Guest Post - Inspired by Cats II
6 - Mandy @ The Reading Diaries - Review
7 - Alicia @ Mortality Bites - Dragonwitch page REVEAL
7 - Naj @ Unputdownable Books - Guest Post - Inspired by Cats III
9 - Lissette @ Passion and Life - Guest Post - Night Terrors
10 - Laura @ Colorimetry - Review
10 - Bonnie @ A Backwards Story - Review
12 - Aimee @ Getting Your Read On - Guest Post - The Faces of Love I
12 - Kimberly Krey @ Kimberly Krey - Guest Post - Drafts
13 - Abbi @ Christian Novels - Tales of Goldstone Wood Reviews
13 - Mandy @ The Reading Diaries - Interview
14 - Ivy @ Open the Page - Guest Post - The Faces of Love II
16 - Alicia @ Mortality Bites - Review
17 - Len @ Musings of a Reader Happy - Hightlight/Excerpt - Meet Dragonwitch
17 - Jen @ Literally Jen - Review
18 - Beth @ Living a Goddess Life - Review
19 - Rach @ Stressed Rach - Guest Post - Illustrated Sneak Peak
19 - Christy @ Christy's Cozy Corners - Review
20 - Heather @ Proud Book Nerd - Review
20 - Heidi @ Geo Librarian - Guest Post - The Faces of Love III
21 - Jaime @ Goodreads - Review
21 - Finale @ Colorimetry - Giveaway winner announced.

Catch the Christmas Read-along!

GRAND PRIZE: The first four books The Tales of Goldstone Wood: Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood and Starflower + SWAG!

2nd Place: A copy of Starflower + SWAG!

Enter to win until 12/20. Winner to be announced 12/21. Open to anyone who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here & on Colorimetry as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

Awesome reviews, Lydia! Abbi should recruit you to comment on books more often!

Amber Holcomb said...

Lovely reviews!! Lydia, you summarize your thoughts and share your enthusiasm so well! :) I, too, love this series. Moonblood was my favorite of the series...until I read Starflower! Such a well-written, powerful series!


Lydia Brugere said...

Thanks, both of you =) I agree with each of you wholeheartedly on one topic per - Katie: yes, Abbi should let me read more fabulous books and let me shout out my joy through the blog. I am having good book withdrawal. Amber: I know! I almost didn't expect Starflower to be able to beat Moonblood,but alas, 'twas awesome. (Wow, that was a random sentence.)

Rina said...

Great job on the reviews Lydia! I love the series and you did a great job not telling too much of the story and raving about them enough to make me want to go home and reread books 2 and 3. And to finish book 4, I've finished part 1 but I don't want the book to end so I'm not even picking it up. Silly I know. But I know it'll be awesome and I'll be sad to reach the end.
Hope your sister lets you write some more reviews for her! Keep up the great work!

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