Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review, Interview & Giveaway of Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood #5)


by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Paperback, 432 pages

Published July 1, 2013 by Bethany House Publishers

Submissive to her father’s will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves–Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.

But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta’s tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice…and for the one person who can wield it.

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.

Tour-wide Giveaway - 

July 1 - 26

USA, Canada & UK - Print Copy of the entire series to date!

See Rafflecopter for giveaway details.

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Pull up a chair and a cup of tea... we've invited Anne Elisabeth to every blog on the tour!


1 – Book Release!
5 – JL Mbewe

-          Christy’s Cozy Corner

I interview Anne Elisabeth Stengl: 

1. What is your favorite fantasy novel?
Right now, that would be Sir Terry Pratchett’s Nation . . . which is possibly more “alternate-history” than fantasy, but there are a number of wonderful fantasy elements in it. I absolutely adore that book!
But, for more overt fantasy-fantasy, I think I will say . . . The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
2. How did you come up with the world in this series?
You know, I couldn’t say exactly. I’ve been building this world in my head since I was a teenager. These days, I don’t feel as though I “come up” with anything so much as discover what’s already there, just waiting to be found. It’s a wonderful way to write!
3. Do you have any tips for introducing another cat in the household?
It’s usually a good idea to isolate the new kitty for a few days, allowing the current feline denizens to sniff New Guy under the door and get used to his smell. When you begin letting them interact, expect lots of posturing and “kitty politics,” and keep an eye on them. They usually work it out, establishing a hierarchy. As long as everybody gets lavished with love along the way, it’s not too difficult! We just introduced our fifth kitty into the mix . . . and the other four basically went, “Huh. Another newbie. Whatevs.”  It was the easiest introduction I’ve ever made! J
4. What got you into writing?
I’ve been writing since I was very little. I wrote my first “novel” when I was nine-years old, and I’ve been writing ever since! I grew up the daughter of an award-winning professional novelist, so I think it might have been genetics . . .


Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #5)Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

My rating: 3 of 5 stars :star :star :star

A copy of this book was provided to me by Bethany House Publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Dragonwitch is the 5th book in the Tales of the Goldstone Wood series. It's the first book I've read of the series. Though I normally don't jump in a series in the middle, I was told it would be OK. Thing is, it was difficult. Very difficult. The start of the book we find Alistair, earl and soon-to-be-king. There is also the Chronicler, who is the only librarian and who is teaching (or trying to) Alistair to read. He's a dwarf, a bitter dwarf of a man. Then we meet Leta, daughter of a king in a distant shore come to be the bride of the future king of Gaheris. Each of these characters takes a turn narrating. Also, a cat. And a dragon. And someone else who is a woman (?) all these different narrators and changes in story almost kept me from finishing this book. It was really hard. When did I finally feel like I wasn't being jerked around and was keeping up with what was happening? 40% in. Yeah, it took awhile. But, like I said, this was because I didn't know the world or characters or anything (my fault, I think).

What did keep me reading for the first half and made me very happy I kept reading for the last half was the story itself. It was an intricately woven tale of fairies, mortals, brothers, cousins, dragons, hatred, and courage. All were elements that make a good fantasy story great. The "evil" characters weren't truly evil, they were just responding to heartbreak and disappointment. The imagery was amazing. I really felt like I was watching a movie. A good movie, at that!

I don't want to give too much away, especially because I kept guessing where the story would go and definitely had a huge *gasp* moment regarding Mouse. Her and Leta were my favorite characters I think. I'm definitely going to be reading more of this series. All 5 of the books prior? Eh, I don't know. But I want to read another book and find out more about this world. And if a fantasy novel leaves me feeling this way, it was successful in my eyes.

I recommend this book for lovers of fantasy. I recommend you read at least 1 book in the series FIRST. If you are a first time reader (like I was) then I suggest you give yourself plenty of time to digest this book. It's not impossible to understand, but all the names, characters, places get overwhelming confusing unless you can really take your time and digest the story slowly.

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(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.