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Starflower is the fourth novel in the fairy-tale series Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Lady Gleamdren – the sister of the queen of Faerie – has been kidnapped by a cursed dragon-witch.

The beginning of an epic quest? Of course!

Eanrin, the Bard of his land, is determined to rescue his lady fair – and make sure he beats his rival at it!

What he really didn’t need to happen was to run across an insignificant mortal girl and her problems, but when he finds her trapped in an enchanted sleep he just can’t leave her behind in the perilous Wood Between unguarded.

After getting her awakened, Eanrin finds himself entangled in helping her and striving to rescue Lady Gleamdren all at the same time. A true mess.

Everything happens for a reason, however. And the girl, whose name is Starflower, may have a mysterious link to the dragon-witch…

I’ve been previously very impressed by Stengl’s Heartless and Veiled Rose. I’m working on getting Moonblood. Starflower may be my favorite yet!

First of all, this series is referred often as a Christian allegory – but though it is happily appropriate for all ages, it is approachable to all readers. Not one to be so great on picking up allegory, I only see the references occasionally. Don’t let that scare you away! I love that it’s written with Christian audiences in mind, but if you’re not normally a reader of Christian fiction – Starflower is truly a tale of its own.

Starflower has poetic, magical, fairy-tale writing that whisks me away. It’s fantastic read-out-loud prose with flawed characters and an epic fantasy plot that is complicated enough to be unpredictable!

Here we’ve got gorgeous imagery, refreshing cleverness, hypnotic mystery, and a quest for the ages! The characterizations are excellent, ranging from humorous to heartbreaking to frightening. Starflower is fascinating with an honestly enchanting plot full of twists and turns, moments of light and dark, and always, always heart.

You might be able to tell I loved it. I felt it was stunning and incredibly well done in a sea of so-so new fairy-tales. If your heart yearns for yarns of a fantasy land that is refreshing, moving, and engrossing – grab up Starflower!!!

*I received a copy of Starflower from the Bethany House Book Reviewers program, which you can check out here. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.


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