Review: Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House
Published July 15, 2013

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Lord Alistair, heir to the Earl of Gaheris, finds his sleeping hours plagued by night terrors prophesying his death and his waking ones by his mother’s political schemes to make him king. Alistair resigns himself to a loveless marriage with Lady Leta, the daughter of the second-most powerful earl in the land. Leta appears to meekly acquiesce to the plans made for her. Inside her, however, a battle of wills rages, and the rebellious Leta will not so easily be silenced. Befriended and challenged by the reclusive Chronicler, Leta begins to desire more for herself than a lonely life as a silent and powerless queen.

As Alistair’s uncle, Earl Ferox’s life draws to its end, he reveals a secret that sends the entire nation reeling and upsets all plans to unite the people under one king. In the midst of this chaos, an evil army marches, determined to destroy the would-be king and his people and capture the fabled House of Light. Meanwhile the Dragonwitch waits, searching for the enchanted sword which ended her first two lives. Only a hero can wield it.

Once again, Stengl excels at drawing readers into the world of faeries and monsters. Dragonwitch reveals more story surrounding Starflower, as earlier Goldstone Wood novel Veiled Rose added to the series beginner, Heartless. Fans will enjoy piecing scenes from the two stories together as well as the cameo appearances by beloved characters from previous stories.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Sexual Content
Brief kissing.

Spiritual Content
Spiritual references are more understated in this novel than in previous books in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. The Prince of Farthestshore (who seems to represent Jesus) makes a brief appearance. The idea that God has a plan, and it may not look like our plan, is discussed more than once during the course of the story.

Some characters are part of a cult in which they worship and serve the Dragonwitch. An acolyte first defends her goddess, but later sees her as an imposter who imprisons and abuses her people.

A mysterious narrator recounts the tale of two brothers given gifts by the true God who use those gifts to spread light and justice. One brother carries a lantern and the other a sword.

Battle violence. Some brief details are given.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Like the sound of this book? Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy! Contest begins July 25, 2013 at 7:53 am Eastern Time and ends Sunday July 28 at midnight Eastern Time. (Must have US address to win.)

To enter, scroll to the top of the blog post and leave a comment about one of your favorite fantasy characters. One random commenter will be chosen to receive a FREE copy of the book.




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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

21 Responses to Review: Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

  1. Candy says:

    Fav fantasy character is Sirius Black from Harry Potter =) ever since he was introduced he was my fav HP char, AND he turns into a badass huge black dog!

  2. Lin says:

    Choosing a favorite is always a tough thing for me – so many choices for so many reasons. I love Hazel, the rabbit leader in Watership Down. He is a humble servant-leader whose courage and wits bring his followers through many dangers to a new and safe place.

    Looking forward to reading this book – thanks for the review and giveaway!

  3. Daniel says:

    Favorite fantasy character: mrs. Brisby.

  4. Hmm…that’s a tough one. When I first started reading Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Saga, I love-love-LOVED Prince Arutha. Especially in Silverthorn!

  5. Jinky says:

    One of my favorite would be Ender in Card’s “Ender’s Game” ..genius! –Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. John Otte says:

    My favorite fantasy character is an elf named Resolute created by Michael Stackpole. A really fun and interesting character in a fantastic series.

  7. Elyssa Szkirpan says:

    This sounds like such a good book!!

  8. Stephen says:

    Fantasy character… Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly without a doubt!

  9. Chrissy says:

    I am going to pick Taverick, from the obscure Hawk’s Flight.

    AES, <3!!!! this series. Reading through Starflower now, excited by the prospect of the story of the Dragonwitch! Looking forward to that one too. 😀

  10. hesherb says:

    Fantasy character? It has to be Gollum. Very layered. Very tragic. What more could one want?