Review: Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House
Published April 1, 2012

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Prince Lionheart returns to his ruined kingdom and struggles to reclaim the trust of his people. But when the people demand the death of Lionheart’s only loyal friend Rose Red, he banishes her instead to the treacherous Goldstone Wood, filled with deadly magical creatures.

Captured by her father, King Vahe, and imprisoned in the lost kingdom of Arpiar, Rose Red refuses to call for help. She waits for the Night of Moonblood and her father’s vile plans to unfold, a talking statue and lost boy with no memory for her only companions.

Lionheart pursues Rose Red, determined to rescue her and atone for his betrayal, but finding his way through the Wood is more difficult than he could have imagined and strange enemies greet him at every turn. He must defeat them all and find a kingdom no one has been able to enter in more than five hundred years if he is to reach Rose Red before it’s too late.

Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl possesses a masterful sense of story and beautifully incorporates powerful symbols seamlessly into each of her novels. In reading Moonblood one cannot help but become as lost in the story as the desperate prince in his search for his friend. Lionheart’s struggle to accept his failings and the healing of Rose Red’s wounded heart echo the deeper spiritual message that none are forgotten or without hope.

Moonblood is the third book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. Starflower, the fourth book in the series is a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. Book five, Dragonwitch, will be released in the summer of 2013.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
No foul language.

Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Lionheart is haunted by the choices he has made which caused harm to those he cares about, but refuses to accept blame. He wants to believe he has made the only choice possible. He tries to salvage his mistakes by rescuing Rose Red, but in the end, still he cannot atone on his own. He must accept forgiveness and aid from a Higher Source.

Rose Red, still wounded by the prince’s betrayal, refuses to call for aid in her imprisonment. She too believes she can escape on her own, without help. A small bird calls to her, as God’s spirit calls to us, but she doesn’t want to trust him anymore. She learns that God’s plan doesn’t always look the way we expect, or keep us safe in ways that make sense to us.

Heroes fight a tiger and dragons. A unicorn’s horn stabs through someone. None of these events are given deeply graphic descriptions.

Drug Content


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

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