*Right against wrong, good against evil, and the children caught in the middle.*
When I received Shadow Hand, I knew I was jumping into a series in the sixth book. Even though I hadn't read Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, or Dragonwitch, and I'd never met Daylily, Foxbrush, or Lionheart, I was drawn right into Anne Elisabeth Stengl's grown-up fantasy.
I didn't like Fairy Tales when I was little. I avoided the Brother's Grimm because they scared me. It was only when I grew up and met Tolkien and Lewis that I began to learn: Fairy Tales take us to other worlds, give us strange adventures, let us fight epic battles, and teach us about ourselves in the process.
Shadow Hand has all the elements you would expect in a Fairy Tale (the enchanted wood, the unwanted suitor, the dragon pestilence, the Fairy Queen, the seen and the unseen) and then makes it all fresh and lush and wild and surprising. Welcome to a world where nothing is as it seems.
When you step into Goldstone Wood, expect nothing for sure except that you will want to return.
The prophecy says that he will give of himself for her.
She is fighting a battle in herself.
There is an evil sucking the life out of the lands.
They must save the children, the memories, and their destiny.
The scope of this story is very vast- the past and the future, the here and the there, true love and shed blood.
And then there's the tiny details and dialogues that make for such satisfying world-building.
I see can why so many travelers journey into Goldstone Wood.
Me and my friend have decided that we're going to read the first books in this series as our Summer Read Aloud this year.
Thank you to Fred and Nora St. Laurent from Bookfun.org for my review copy!
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.