Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood Series #4)

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Overview

Immerse Yourself in the GOLDSTONE WOOD Saga
Winner of the 2011 Christy Award for Debut Novel
Finalist for the 2012 Christy Award for Visionary Novel

The Black Dogs Are on the Hunt, But Who Is Their Prey?

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard Eanrin sets boldly forth on a ...

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Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood Series #4)

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Overview

Immerse Yourself in the GOLDSTONE WOOD Saga
Winner of the 2011 Christy Award for Debut Novel
Finalist for the 2012 Christy Award for Visionary Novel

The Black Dogs Are on the Hunt, But Who Is Their Prey?

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard 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?

"Christian fantasy fans will be particularly enthralled by the Tales of Goldstone Wood." —Publishers Weekly

"Fans of Tolkien and the darker talers of Faerie will be drawn into Stengl's effusive prose and wonderfully scary worlds... a series to stretch your imagination over several long winter nights." - USA Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764210266
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood Series , #4
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 962,661
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet 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. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    This book caught me by the heart and refused to let go. I starte

    This book caught me by the heart and refused to let go. I started it, excited to read another book from the Tales of Goldstone Wood, and instantly became so entangled in the lives of the characters that I had a hard time setting the book aside, even to do ordinary things like eat and sleep.

    Starflower is the fourth book released in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, though it takes place more than sixteen hundred years before the others.

    Anne Elisabeth Stengl's writing style is absolutely beautiful. There is an almost lyrical quality to her phraseology and her word choice paints a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Her world is deep and complex, with histories and legends all its own, as if it truly has existed for centuries, rather than being the offspring of pen and ink.

    But even more than the beauty of the writing style, even more than the depth of the world, the characters of Starflower gripped me by the hand and pulled me relentlessly after them, until I walked the paths of the Wood Between beside them.

    Eanrin the bard, Prince of poets, immortal faerie, the man who is a cat, and the cat who is a man.

    Starflower, the maid, cursed but unbroken, silenced but not enslaved.

    Hri Sora, the dragon-witch, embittered, enflamed, soul bent upon destruction.

    From the start, Eanrin wormed his way into my heart. He is so wholly cat-like, even in human form. Conceited, aye, as all cats are. As if the worlds were created for his pleasure, and all peoples and creatures made to love him while he is free to disdain everyone and everything. Starflower is the complete opposite. Made strong in her weaknesses by a love and a selflessness that even her cursed tongue cannot hold back.

    I fell in love with both Eanrin and Starflower and in truth, though the book was over three hundred pages, it felt far too short to do them justice. Not that the book itself was a bad length, but I would gladly have read more of Eanrin and Starflower.

    I highly recommend Starflower to all lovers of fantasy and especially fairy tales. Even those who haven't read the previous books in the Tales of Goldstone Wood will find Starflower an enthralling read. For though the books build upon one another, they are not dependent upon each other. Starflower left me eagerly awaiting the release of the next book in the series, Dragonwitch, coming Summer 2013!

    Note: Thanks to Ms. Stengl and Bethany House Publishing for the chance to review a free copy of this book! The thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2012

    Highly Recommend!

    I am a reader and not a writer and don't know if I am able to adequately share my impressions of Starflower. It has left me in awe, exhilirated, shattered, encouraged and longing for more. I long for "the heady scent of laughter" and am grateful for Starflower's tenacity and courage as she realizes her true value. Ms. Stengl (Annie!) has the Gift of storytelling and the ability to transport us to another world...Goldstone Wood...my new Narnia. And I am waiting expectantly for Dragonwitch!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    I loved this book! I found it very thought-provoking. The auth

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderfully enchanting and mysterious world that you can sink

    A wonderfully enchanting and mysterious world that you can sink into and allow your imagination to roam free.

    'Starflower' is about a Faerie called Eanrin and his quest to find his 'beloved' Lady Gleamdren from the clutch of a dragon-witch, who managed to fool the Faerie people long enough to kidnap her.  Along the way, he meets the enchanted, yet cursed, mortal girl, Starflower.  Unable to leave her, he finds a way to break her out of her enchanted sleep and they set off to save Lady Gleamdren from the burning city of Etalpalli, or what was once known as the City of Wings.  Along the way trouble finds them in the shape of Hounds and that's when the fun really begins.

    'Starflower' was a wonderful book to escape into and to forget about anything else you  had to do.  It had a way of capturing your interest in so many different ways.  When I first started reading 'Starflower' I thought Eanrin was a self-absorbed windbag, but since I've finished the book, I've realized just how talented Anne Elizabeth Stengl is - she made me picture the character as a bard.  I could see him blustering away about his fair beauty, even though he was actually terrified of falling in love. I could see him before a court, gesticulating about how beautiful a woman was and how he was the most famous bard in the land.  It made me laugh with real appreciation. It's so seldom that I've read a book where I had escaped into it that much.

    Lady Gleamdren was, in a way, exactly how I pictured her to be - self absorbed in her own beauty and her imagined scores of suitors.  Haha I actually despised her more than I did Hri Sora, the dragon-witch, mainly because with the dragon-witch, I could see that she had gone through something horrible - at least to her.  Lady Gleamdren didn't have that kind of reason and to help stage her own kidnapping just made me even less sympathetic.

    And Starflower.  I absolutely adored her.  She's the type of character I love reading about.  She was strong, brave and loyal.  And the amazing thing about her is that even though she never spoke a word, I  still got an amazing sense of her.  I felt her pain and her determination.  And those very traits were what attracted Eanrin to her.  And scared Eanrin to death. 

    'Starflower' was written in parts with the second part being the telling of Starflower's story.  While the novel was written in third voice for a majority of the book, Starflower story (which I think was part two) was written in first voice as she used sign language to explain her past and third voice when it came to Eanrin and his search for her.  That was a little disorienting, as I had to change my mindset from first voice to third voice frequently. 

    There was so much I enjoyed about the story line in this book.  From it's initial start at court, to traveling to Etalpalli,and to Etalpalli itself, with all its mysterious paths and dangers.  The hounds were almost symbolic in this book.  I thought they played a big part in Starflower's life, not to mention being the main weapons of Hri Sora's. 

    I also loved the shape-shifting elements to it.  Eanrin was a cat and displayed the traits of one, even in his human form.  There was also his adversary in the pursuit to win the hand of Lady Gleamdren - Captain Glomar- who was a badger.  Which also brings me around to the secondary characters.   The secondary characters were linked intricately with the whole story line and the story would never have been the same without any of them.

    There's a lot more I could say, but I'm going to stop now because otherwise I might drench you all in the waterfall that all my gushing has created.  Anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys high fantasy, with Faerie elements and a slowly unwinding love story - which it is without a doubt.  

    Book review by Sandy at Magical Manuscripts

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    Starflower is an excellent fantasy read that will even appeal to

    Starflower is an excellent fantasy read that will even appeal to those only tangentially interested in the fantasy genre. While connections to Stengl’s other Goldstone Wood novels abound, Starflower is enjoyable as a stand-alone novel as well (but, reader beware: once you read one Goldstone Wood novel, you won’t be able to resist the others).

    Stengl’s talent as an author weaves traditional fantasy elements, classic literary and mythological types, and creative characterization into a story that is as lighthearted as it is deep and as intense as it is entertaining.

    Protagonist Eanrin is a true hero, but with human (and feline) motivations that will engage readers’ interest. Starflower herself blossoms naturally from mysterious maid to complex and engaging character. Even villain Hri Sora displays an array of complex motivations that make for a unique reading experience.

    For the most part, the Christian allegory does not overwhelm the story elements, and the basic themes of friendship, true love, facing fears, and doing what is right will appeal to all. Thematically, Starflower also deals with processing a past full of abuse and oppression, which is a powerful topic especially for the young adult reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    STARFLOWER--a tale of significance Anne Elisabeth's STARFLOWER

    STARFLOWER--a tale of significance

    Anne Elisabeth's STARFLOWER is a book that has great significance. What I particularly responded to is that she weaves a tale where there is a Land where women do not have a voice. They are not heard and their needs are not considered by the men in the Land. Anne Elisabeth creates a story where a woman from that Land above all odds shows individual spirit and makes love-filled decisions, even though she has not been shown love herself from other humans.

    Also, I quite enjoyed Eanrin's journey throughout this story--he discovers a mere mortal in need and quite reluctantly at first starts to help her. His transformation in character is subtle enough to be realistic, yet large enough that his growth is truly magnificent through the book. The message of love does not leave Eanrin untouched.

    So, if you enjoy fantasy lore, stories with great messages, or books that you won't want to put down, pick up a copy and start reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2012

    ¿You¿ve never loved anyone but yourself all your life!¿ ¿Starflo

    “You’ve never loved anyone but yourself all your life!” –Starflower

    Self-centered Eanrin seems to have the ideal life. He is Chief-Poet of Rudiobus, most famous bard and romantic bard of all time. He doesn’t seem to have a care in the world…except the fact that Lady Gleamdren propels him even while favoring him. So when a mistake puts Gleamdren in the hands of the dreaded Dragonwitch, Eanrin sallies forth to rescue his lady fair…and, of course, to make himself look awesome.
    But on the way, Eanrin finds a mortal girl named Starflower who is helpless in the Wood Between. Forced to take her along with him, Eanrin begins to discover that Starflower is more then she appears, and she might prove the key to Gleamdren’s rescue.
    The stakes at hand are far greater then anything Eanrin knows.
    The Dragonwitch, with the Black Dogs at her command, seeks vengeance. Starflower flees from a dark terror that enslaves her land. And the Hound pursues Eanrin himself. Will he be able to disentangle him from the web in which he has fallen? Will he be able to outrun the Hound? Or will it destroy everything he’s ever known?

    Starflower is Anne Stengl’s fourth book in her Tales of Goldstone Wood Saga. It is a prequel and takes place about 1600 years before Heartless.
    As always the messages in Anne’s story are profound and convicting. As we watch Starflower we learn the power of true love and seeing people through the eyes of the Creator to know their true names.
    Eanrin, 1600 years younger then we last saw him, is selfish to the core. But as the novel progresses we see him transform into the hero we all love and adore in previous books. I’ts impossible not to cheer for him as he realizes the purpose of life.
    “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” –Matthew 16:25, NKJ
    With Anne’s incredible talent, a story is told here that will have you laughing hysterically one moment and then sobbing the next. (I know this, because it happened to me.)
    Starflower has a bunch of humor in it; with Eanrin as a main character it’s impossible not to be funny. But as the book goes on the light-hearted feel fades as Eanrin begins to realize the consequences of everything happening and what it will mean to him and the person he has dared to love.
    Starflower has zero language, but of course the climax is pretty heavily intense. But this time, the bad guy of the tale isn’t pursing the heroine with spiritual lust. No, this time, the bad-guy’s intent includes physical lust, but I assure you, he gets no further then intent. So just for those of you who don’t know, The Tales of Goldstone Wood are clean.
    This book was incredible, and I think, my favorite of Goldstone Wood. There are so many wonderful parallels to Scripture. 1 Corinthians 13 goes beautifully with this book.
    I encourage you to read Starflower. It certainly uplifted and encouraged me. And I CAN NOT wait for Book 5, Dragonwitch, coming Summer 2013!

    “And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJ

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Must read!

    I have throughly enjoyed this series! Unique characters, well written & awesome story line! Everything comes together seamlessly in the end. Each book can be read by itself, but I would recommend them all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    A beautifuly told fairy tale

    All of the Tales of Goldstone Wood are stories to lose yourself in, and 'Starflower' is no exception. The world is vividly drawn and the story pulls you along to the very last page. But the crown jewl of 'Starflower' for me has to be the characters. There's Eanrin, who is sometimes cat, sometimes man, and always full of himself. He starts as an utterly self-obssed buffon, but as the story continues, we see that fall away as he discovers what he was meant to be, and we see him take the first steps towards becoming the person we saw in earlier books. I can't say more without giving too much away, but Eanrin is my favorite character in the entire series. Then there's Starflower herself. Her story was hinted at in Veiled Rose and Moonblood, but now we get to hear it in full, and boy is it worth hearing. I love Starflower herself for showng that there is more then one way to be a strong women- it's not all about swinging a sword and kicking guy's butts in a fight. No fairy tale would be complete without a good villian, and Hri Sora, the Dragonwitch, fulfills this role admirably. She is cruel and she is terrifiying, but there are enough hints about backstory to make you pity her and the wreck she's made of her life. She declares herself a queen, but she rules over nothing but her own ruined wreck of a life, and this makes her pitiable, at least in my eyes. The characters, the world, and the lyrical fairy-tale writing style make this a truely beautiful story worth reading again and again. This is the fourth book published in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, but can be read alone.

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  • Posted April 15, 2013

    After reading Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, I knew I had d

    After reading Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, I knew I had discovered an extraordinary author, but I told myself I needed to read more of her stuff just to make sure. And then I read Starflower. It is safe to say, I will read everything by this author.




    Wow. Where to start.




    First, I wasn't sure what to expect. The cover is beautiful. From the back cover you think the story is only about Bard Eanrin winning his Lady Gleamdren's favor by rescuing her from a dragon-witch, but it is so much more than that. It's also the story of Starflower, the troubled young maiden Eanrin rescues. And boy does she have her own story to share which ties in nicely with Eanrin's rescue mission. I opened the book, and I was engaged from page one.




    The characters are vibrant and quirky. They had me laughing out loud, and even tearing up at times. I met Eanrin and "Starflower" in Heartless, book one of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, and it was great getting to know them more, to see them grow throughout the story. I'm left wondering what happens in the next 1600 years before we meet them again in Heartless. Maybe we'll find out in her next book.




    The creativity of the worlds, the descriptions, the way the story is told: it's amazing. At one point while I was reading, I remember thinking this story is all over the place, yet I didn't feel lost. The prose sung, the characters danced. It was a magical read, totally swept me away. One to come back to again and again.




    Highly recommended if you love adventurous fairy tales. A side note: although this is book four in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, it can be read as a stand-alone.

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    Award-winning author Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales o

    Award-winning author Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales of Goldstone Wood series with Starflower, a prequel to her first three books. Starflower takes place more than sixteen hundred years earlier, but lays the foundation for the story in Heartless.

    Starflower tells how Hri Sora the dragon loses her wings and dragon form. In order for her dragon father to restore her back to dragon form, she must find the Flowing Gold of Rudiobus, securely hidden by the queen of fairies. Hri Sora kidnaps the queen’s cousin, Gleamdren, in an attempt to find the Flowing Gold. Meanwhile, Lady Gleamdren believes an army of suitors will follow in pursuit to rescue her when, to her dismay, only two of them make the attempt: the Bard Eanrin, and Glomar, the Captain of the Guard.

    Glomar and Eanrin compete to rescue Gleamdren, knowing whoever reaches her first wins her favor. On the way, Eanrin comes across a deaf mortal woman, Starflower, under an enchantment. Eanrin takes her on his quest to Hri Sora’s castle. Starflower (or Imraldera as she is called later) is pursued by the Beast (the Wolf Lord) and his Black Dogs, as well as by the Hound. Imraldera gains Gleamdren’s freedom in exchange for assisting Hri Sora in her quest to complete her quest.

    In her author’s note, Stengl shares she was partially inspired by the poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. Anyone familiar with this poem will be reminded of it. The Hound in Starflower pursues Imeldera, as do the Black Dogs, slaves to the Wolf Lord. One hounds her to life, the other to death.

    See also Moonblood, Veiled Rose [and] Heartless, also by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.
    Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

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  • Posted March 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This had to have been my favorite of the series so far. I absolu

    This had to have been my favorite of the series so far. I absolutely loved it. The imagery is amazing, the setting so detailed, and the characters are a hilarious. I could barely put this book down for wanting to know what would happen next.

    Like a lot of fans, I absolutely love Sir Eanrin and was so glad to find out that he would be a main character in this story. Usually I don't like cats, but he is an exception. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

     I loved this story! Set in an earlier time, it gives a great hi

     I loved this story! Set in an earlier time, it gives a great history to some beloved characters from the first 3 books. The characters are dynamic and the story is thought provoking and lovely. I delighted to learn more about a younger Eanrin. Stengl has thought of everything in her Faerie world, and I especially enjoyed part with the frogs (can't spoil the fun!). It's a great book. Excellent...

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  • Posted January 23, 2013

    Ok I'll admit it I haven't read too many fae books, but when Ann

    Ok I'll admit it I haven't read too many fae books, but when Anne contacted me and told me about Starflower I wanted to have NOW and find out what happens with Starflower and the most cocky Eanrin. I was in for a wild ride!




    Although he is so much into himself (he carries a comb around with him!), and probably loves only himself most of the time he's a good guy. He helps Starflower even though he had just been tricked into helping the dragon-witch, he is still selfish though because he makes her help him first before taking her back to her people. He even attempts to be her Prince but alas he isn't one so instead he finds her one, I mean how much better could he be? Well ok a little but I don't think I'm complaining too much :D Lady Gleamdren, can we just leave her with the dragon-witch and leave it at that? Very annoying and even more conceited than Eanrin! Perfect that you will love to hate. Or that might just be me.




    One thing I would've like was to learn Starflower's story from the beginning but it was at a great place when I did finally learn about her and what happened to her to come to be in Wood Between. I was very startled to realize that Starflower cannot talk. What is this crazy nonsense of the men of her tribe cursing with the inability to speak?! That drove me crazy (as well as Eanrin, I think) but it added so much to the story that after a bit I got over it because Starflower although not able to speak has her own beautiful language. Her story kind of broke my heart a bit. Basically made into an outcast by her people and the loss of two she dearly loves is not easy but she is strong.




    Starflower, easy to say. Eanrin, and Gleamdren and every other fae name listed in this book not so easy. Fairy books are always so interesting because of the names and this is no different. Would I recommend? Yes! I'd even say to read it as a bedtime story for your munchikins. They'll, as well as you, will thoroughly enjoy Starflower and Eanrin's journey.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    I was hesitant to decide I liked this book the first hundred pag

    I was hesitant to decide I liked this book the first hundred pages in. It was a little dry in places and switched point of view so many times it was confusing. But when Stengl began to unwind the tragic story of Starflower, maiden of the dark New World, I was caught. She spins a beautiful web of deceit, ancient curses, and weakness. Starflower's world needs a deliverer. And a most unlikely one threads through the pages ~ with the guidance of the Hound, One Who Names Them, the Giver of Songs, Lumil Eliasul, who leads down a path they do not wish to go . . . but need with everything they are.

    The book did not start off with the bang I expected. It was dry. It was long. And it was not cleverly written, so often changing point of view between a vast cast of characters, that it often left you hanging empty and confused.
    Still, the moment the story of Starflower began to untangle, the book caught me. And something more. The purpose of the book.
    It is beautiful. In a picture analogy so perfect and so heartrending, Stengl molds a story so compelling and so realistic, no one doubts why the characters take the steps they take nor change the way they do.

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  • Posted January 4, 2013

    "Starflower" is the fourth book in the Tales of Goldst

    "Starflower" is the fourth book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. I had read all of the previous books in the series, so I was familiar with Stengl's world and characters from the beginning. I was very much looking forward to this one, as it explores the history of Eanrin (my favorite character) and Starflower, whom we have met before under a different name.

    This book takes place well over 1,000 years before the first book in the Goldstone Wood series, "Heartless," so, as is described in an author's note, the names and descriptions of otherwise-familiar places and characters are often different. Stengl does an excellent job throughout the series of interweaving characters and plot lines, and "Starflower" is no different. Many of the same characters appear here as in the previous books, but they are different people from the ones we have known. It was particularly interesting to me to see how different Eanrin was and to compare him to the Eanrin we know from the previous books.

    Although my favorite in the series is still "Moonblood," "Starflower" is an excellent addition to the series and I recommend reading it. Thanks to Anne Elisabeth Stengl and Bethany House for the chance to review a free copy. The opinions expressed in this review, as well as any mistakes, are solely my own.

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  • Posted January 1, 2013

    I enjoyed this book greatly. The characters grow on you aft


    I enjoyed this book greatly. The characters grow on you after reading it and the plot is a twister where you cannot begin to guess what is going to happen next. This book is in a series that I didn't realize it until to late but you can read it alone and understand it.

    I recommenced this to any person age 11 and up it is a nice and easy read that still has a fantastic plot and characters.

    I received this as a review copy from Bethany House Publishers.

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  • Posted December 31, 2012

    STARFLOWER This fantasy novel takes place more than sixteen hun

    STARFLOWER

    This fantasy novel takes place more than sixteen hundred years before the first novel in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. When fairest Lady Gleamdrené Gormlaith is kidnapped by the troubled and cursed dragon-witch Hri Sora, Royal Bard Eanrin and Royal Guard Captain Glomar set off on a rescue mission. Eanrin is veered slightly off course when he comes across an unconscious maiden in the dangerous Wood Between. The maiden is Starflower. In all his immortal life, Eanrin has never involved himself in the life of a mere mortal, and he has many qualms about it now. But he has something of a conscience, and it wins out, so he takes Starflower along. Starflower, for a mortal, is an interesting creature. Even Hri Sora takes notice. What is Starflower’s story? And how is it connected to the dragon-witch?

    As this was my first novel by Stengl, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found that I was fascinated by this tale. The main characters – and even the major supporting characters – all have distinct personalities, and Stengl’s writing is full of depth. I would recommend this tale to anyone with an appreciation of fantasy. The magnificent creature, Lumil Eliasul, does remind me of Aslan from the Narnia books, but this Christian fiction tale doesn’t read with blatantly obvious Christian undertones. Despite it being the fourth in the series, it also reads as a standalone novel.

    -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted December 22, 2012

    I had read the first book in the series and was looking forward

    I had read the first book in the series and was looking forward to reading this one. I could not get through the second chapter. I found the story difficult to follow and the characters names hard to pronounce. In general, I was very disappointed with the book.

    *I received this book from Bethany House to review. The thoughts I have expressed are entirely of my own.*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    I received a copy of STARFLOWER by Anne Elisabeth Stengl from Be

    I received a copy of STARFLOWER by Anne Elisabeth Stengl from Bethany House. This is the fourth novel in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, but its set before the first book. I have read all of the books except for the first, but it was a while ago and I did not remember much. With that said, STARFLOWER works fine as a standalone novel. There are references to characters from other books, but it only adds to the depth of the series without making this book confusing.

    Like the others in the series, it has an intriguing, picturesque cover, very eye-catching. The chapters move along quickly, with relatable dialogue and realistic characters. There is plenty of magic, too. You might not realize it from look at the cover, but it’s about dragons – I love dragons. Anne Elisabeth Stengl adds her own twist to the dragon myth that is very refreshing and entertaining. To put it simply, a dragon kidnaps the princess. Two men must fight for her hand in marriage. STARFLOWER is anything but simple, though.

    I recommend this to fantasy and romance fans, especially those who love Christian fiction. Although this is an adult book, it will easily appeal to teenagers and could work with middle school children.

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