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Customer Reviews for Bethany House Publishers Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook

Bethany House Publishers Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook

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.

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Customer Reviews for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Review 1 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another Powerful Message!

Date:December 26, 2013
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Lala
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Anne Elisabeth Stengel writes another fantastic book in this series! Just when I think her novels can't get any better and are the best yet, she surprises me and does even better with the next novel! "Dragonwitch" was definitely no exception!
I'll admit that for a while in the beginning I was lost and confused. I had read the entire series previously, but I felt there was a lot going on and it took me a while to catch up. However once I did, the story really took me off on an exciting journey!
All the mortals were extremely flawed characters and were so easy to relate to. They all struggled with some kind of doubt concerning the realness of Faerie stories they had learned from a child. They would eventually have to face their ideas/beliefs when meeting these people of legends. Are they going to believe their words of truth or are they going to be so full of doubt that their eyes won't open to the power of their words? This is a question that the characters struggle with throughout "Dragonwitch," with some of the characters believing in what they thought didn't exist and others not really seeing the true light!
Something that has blown me away with each one of Anne's novel is the powerful message she writes throughout the series. Someone might ask "How can any fantasy novel have a Biblical message?". Well Anne definitely answers this question with a big YES throughout Tales of Goldstone Woord. The message in "Dragonwtich" left me tear-eyed, which was Jesus is our living water and has called us to a greater purpose. There are other inner lying messages, but this one was superior to them all. People might view themselves as a person of no beauty, worthless, different, doubtful, and many other negative thoughts that the devil wants us to believe. The reason being is because he knows if we live and believe these thoughts then we will never truly embrace the calling that Jesus has spoken over our lives and won't be able to walk the path He has laid for us. He died on the cross so that we may have living water, but we as people have to believe and trust in Him. It doesn't matter if He calls/tells to do something that would seem impossible to not only us, but everyone around. He makes us a new creation through our faith in Him so that we truly can do the impossible through His name and fulfill the purpose He had for us since the beginning of time.
I strongly encourage anyone to read this novel who loves the typical fantasy of goblins, dragons, and a beautiful unicorn because not only are the characters unforgettable, but the storyline has a message that will not be easily forgotten as well.
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Review 2 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Who will face the dragonwitch?

Date:November 3, 2013
Customer Avatar
PennyMindingMom
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
When the world you know starts to crumble, what do you do? Do you have the courage to stand up and fight, or do you flee?
The House of Lights has been hidden for centuries and many do not believe that it's real. Children's stories tell of the Smallman who will open the doors of the House of Lights so that everyone can hear the Sphere songs once again. The Smallman's time has come, but who is he?
The Dragonwitch is desperately searching for the sword that has slain her twice, once more and she will die her final death. Who will defeat the Dragonwitch before she grows to powerful? Who has the power to wield the sword?
Dragonwitch, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the fifth book in the "Tales of the Goldstone Wood" series. This is a very interesting tale. At it's face value, it's a fantasy novel but it has an underlying Christian theme This isn't immediately apparent, or at least it wasn't to me. It wasn't until halfway through the tale, that it suddenly hit me...
God has created each of us. Although we may not appear perfect in our own eyes, we are perfect in his. He can take even the most "insignificant" of us and use us to show his Love, Mercy and Might to all people.Another element is the theme of truth. The tale of the House of Lights is just that, for many people, a fairy tale. Something to be read to children and left at that. Like the tale, many choose not to believe the stories of the Bible. "What you believe cannot affect the truth of the matter". (page 52) No matter what you personally choose to believe, it cannot affect the truths told in the Bible.I also see how the reference to the "House of Light" could be Heaven and that, just as the the citizens in the story are waiting for the Smallman, we here on earth are waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ. Dragonwitch took me longer than usual to read. There were times that I become confused and frustrated to the point where I would put the book down, but something kept pulling me back. I needed to know what was going to happen...I believe that if I read the earlier books things may have made a bit more sense, by the end of the story everything started coming together for me.
For anyone looking for a new fantasy series to I would recommend taking a look at this one.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
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Review 3 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Only for Fantasy fans

Date:October 4, 2013
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Jani417
Location:Michigan
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
If fantasy is not a reader’s favorite genre, he may be confused and disappointed by this book. There are several stories running concurrently as well as some flashbacks and prophetic events. Characters range from plain Anglo-Saxons to winged creatures. Dwarfs, faeries, lords, ladies, scrubbers, and assorted netherworld beings populate the story and move between worlds and realities.
This was a difficult story to follow, which may be discouraging. The main plot involves the succession to king after the death of an earl. The heir apparent is the earl’s nephew, Alistair, who is betrothed to the very bright, beautiful Lady Leta, but who suffers from fears and insomnia. Lady Leta sees and understands as events unfold and secrets are revealed. Alastair may be the designated heir to the throne, yet there is another; a very unexpected man. Plots and sabotage abound as the mystery leads the reader on a long, magical journey.
This is the fifth in a series of books called the Tales of Goldstone Wood. It may be helpful for readers to read the series in order. Although the story is well told, it takes many side trips, which requires readers to concentrate, sort characters and recall past events.
I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review. I recommend this book to adult and teenage readers who enjoy fantasy stories.
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Review 4 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Confusing and Interesting

Date:September 13, 2013
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Sqwiggles
Location:California
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I was looking forward to reading this book because I enjoy fantasy novels. When I first started reading it I didn’t care for it. I found myself thinking things like “what just happened” “who is that” “this is weird.” At the same time the book was not boring, so it was easy for me to keep reading. The book has more than one storyline and it was hard to keep track of it at first. About half way through the book it started to make sense and I started to enjoy it. Because the book is based in a make believe world a lot of names and terms are made up, which also added to the difficulty in understanding what was happening in the book. The other complaint I have is that the story would constantly change whose point of view the book was from. Usually a book separates different character’s point of view by chapters. This book would say what one character was thinking and then the next page it was about someone else. It was annoying at first, but I got used to that as well. So, at first I thought I would give the book a 3 because some parts were confusing. By the time I was finished with it I decided to give it a 4. I found that I truly enjoyed the book. It always held my interest. I also enjoyed the fact that it was such a unique storyline and different from anything I have ever read. I liked the characters as well and I would read another book from the series. To anyone who wants to read this book I say don’t stop in the beginning because it does get better.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review
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Review 5 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another good fantasy tale from the author

Date:September 9, 2013
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An Avid Reader
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Dragonwitch by Anne Elizabeth Stengl is the fifth book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood Series. This is a Christian fantasy series for young adults, recommended especially for teens, although adult lovers of fiction can enjoy the stories as well.
The North Country is at a turning point. Old Earl Ferox is reaching the end of his life...and his days as the most powerful earl of the North Country. His nephew Alistair is trying to feel prepared to take on the role of Earl and someday King of the North Country, since Earl Ferox has no heir....or so it was supposed. A shocking deathbed discovery turns all of Alistair's mother's well-laid plans upside down.
Into this is thrown Lady Leta of Aiven, a submissive girl who is sent to be the soon-to-be wife of Alistair. She might not want to marry him, but she is much too well trained to speak her mind...or is she?
Supernatural elements are woven into the story, along with hideous creatures, other worlds, and memorable characters. I would suggest it to fantasy lovers of all ages.
I received this book free from Bethany House publishers as part of their blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 6 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Epic fantasy at its finest

Date:July 16, 2013
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Jael
Location:TX
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
It is the story of Alistair, an earl looking to inherit his uncle's land and become king of the north country.
And it is also Lady Leta's story. She has been betrothed to Alistair and struggles with what is considered practical and what she truly desires. And of the Chronicler and his dangerous secret.
And then there is Sir Eanrin and Imraldera. As this book is set about 100 years from the end of Starflower, so in a way it is the continuation of their story as well as the Dragonwitch's, but we still don't know how Monster/Sir Eanrin loses his eyes as those of you who have read Heartless will know that the cat in Heartless does not have his eyes.
At the start of the novel, we have three different threads that weave together to influence the story and we are not quite sure how they are all going to come together. The first thread of influence is the Legend of Two Brothers, a tale that differs from what the near world and even some of the far world believes about the two famous brothers. Second thread is a paragraph or so written in italics at the beginning of each chapter, giving us a first person account of another time and place. Third is the story itself weaving the storylines of Eanrin/Imraldera, Lady Leta, Alistair, The Chronicler, The Scrubber, Mouse and the goblins all together into one grand adventure.
As the main story of Dragonwitch slowly unfolds, we get to learn about the characters, their predicaments, their desires, weaknesses, and nightmares. I loved how the story kept us guessing as who was the "bad guy". I love being able to gather the clues and make guess guesses about the plot or characters, whether I'm right or proven wrong in the end. And even better when it has such a beautiful ending to wrap it all up nicely. It is a book to be read again and again.
With each book, Ms. Stengl continues to weave a deeper, richer story as we explore the worlds of faerie and mortal alike. I cannot wait for Shadow Hand and all the other Tales of Goldstone Wood novels to come.
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Review 7 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another great tale from Goldstone Wood!

Date:August 25, 2013
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Katharina
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
As I’ve said time and again, the degree to which all the stories in this series are woven together is astounding. I’ve read the books as they come out and have only reread Heartless so I know I haven’t caught all the references but they’re there folks, they’re there.
In Dragonwitch we finally get to hear the full story of the brothers Akilun and Etanun. We find out what happened to Starflower’s land after she left it. We also learn more about the goblin kingdom. And it’s the very fascinating tale of a scribe, a scrubber, a betrothed girl and the heir-apparent. But there’s more to them than meets the eye.
The ageless themes of beauty, loneliness, love, family-ties, loyalty and forgiveness are all expertly woven into this tale.
If you love adventure, fantasy, clean fiction, an epic fight that stretches over centuries, a dash of romance and everyone’s favorite cat Eanrin, then this is a book for you.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
+2points
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Review 8 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Complex at first...stick with it! Rewarding!

Date:August 13, 2013
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tropix
Location:TEXAS
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
“In the divine, we find the satisfaction of contradictions. We find the wholeness of broken things and belief in the impossible.” Eanrin, the Chief Poet of Rubidos (who sometimes happens to be a cat).
Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is a tale of a formidable realm on the verge of crowning its first king. The House of Geheris is the seat of power for Earl Ferox. His able administration over the land has given him favor with neighboring earls of the North Country. They are sure to pledge their allegiance to House of Geheris and become one, unified kingdom.
The problem is, the aging and ill Ferox has no heir. It’s been arranged for his nephew Alistair to be groomed for the position of future earl . . . and, presumably, king. But, as fairytales must go, there is nothing straightforward about Alistair’s destiny. Between studies that he loathes, a bride-to-be who is a virtual stranger, and a reoccurring nightmare that plunders his sleep, the young man is a wreck. All this before anything of importance actually happens to Alistair, or for that matter, in the story. One thing that stands out: he is a broken and despondent person.
This tale of prophecy and predicaments, nursery rhymes and revelations, goblins and faeries, is really three tales that weave together into one reality. The different layers were a bit hard to piece together at first, but I believe that was intentional. Watching the threads intertwine became a delight. The author's transcendent Christian worldview glowed within each stratum, yet never glared.
Those of us that love Christ and fantasy have had limited reading material until the last few years (one reason I’ve taken to writing in this genre myself). The stalwarts of allegory, Lewis and Tolkien, have played the game with a sparse team for quite a seventh-inning stretch. It's great to see Christian publishers, like Bethany House, scouting some serious talent.
Dragonwitch is a heavy hitter on this allegorical team. The beauty of the author’s prose, the depths of truth that were portrayed, and the stellar character development, all made for one pleasurable read. I found myself digging for a pen to underline poignant reminders of the reality that exists, even in fairytales.
Especially in fairytales.
With adept skill, Stengl offers readers an adventure that encompasses legend, the supernatural, and life within the walls of palace and pagan lands. Such depth in storytelling makes a brief review a challenge. I cannot offer a nutshell synopsis of the highlights, for there were too many.
Instead, I’ll leave you with a recommendation to get Dragonwitch for yourself (as an aside, I do not care for the title. Seems a bit melodramatic for such a savvy tale. And I wish two of the main characters had not had such similar names. I struggled to keep them straight throughout). Beyond that, I found this book a page-turner and a solid motivator for my own writing.
I will also leave you with another quote from my favorite character, Eanrin, the Chief Poet of Rudiobus:
“Creature of dust, it’s the truth that counts! And you’ll rarely find more truth than in Faerie tales.”
**I was provided with a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
+2points
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Review 9 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Dragonwitch is a book lush with many layers

Date:August 5, 2013
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Rebeka
Location:Ontario, Canada
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Dragonwitch" is the fifth book in "The Tales of Goldstone Wood", a Christian fantasy series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. The events take place some centuries after those of "Starflower", and chronicle the rest of Hri Sora's tale.
Buckle your seat belts.
This book is one of my favourites in this series. All of Stengl's books are full of loveable characters, twisting plots, and lovely, lyrical sentences. But "Dragonwitch" took all the wonderful qualities of the previous books and amped them up a few notches. Stengl has outdone herself with this book.
First of all, the characters. When I first heard of this story and understood a bit of Leta's character, I did not expect to like her that much. Yet she ended up surprising me and by the end of the story, she had made a lasting impact. Her struggle to find her voice while maintaining certain ideals is a struggle I find realistic and with which I empathize. It's so easy to feel that as girls, our voices should remain unheard--we should always be quiet and never speak up. This is exactly what I've been fighting with for the past couple of years, and Leta's fight to find her voice and strength in weakness was beautiful.
Eanrin, the cat-man, and Imraldera, a scribe and librarian, flipped my heart a couple of times through the story--as always.
When I first started reading the novel, I did not like Alistair that much. He seemed whiny and annoying. And then I reach around the middle of the story, and things start happening--and Alistair showed how awesome he was. By the end, I was as in love with him as (-----) one of the other characters. What, thought I was going to let a spoiler slip by? ;)
But what really caught me was Hri Sora and her story. By the end, my emotions had gone through several highs and lows. Hri Sora is one of the best villains I've ever read, because I could empathize with her. I was actually hoping beyond hope that she might reform and be saved. Does she? I won't tell. :)
Secondly, the writing. Some of the scenes--especially the one with Leta and the star--left me breathless with the sheer beauty of it. I think I was even in tears at one point! And the intensity had me gritting my teeth and gripping the computer screen, unable to tear myself away. One scene--involving goblins--was so well-written I felt as though I were creeping through the castle with the characters, trying to escape the onslaught. I couldn't stop reading; I had to see what came next. I could see it all in my head like a movie; could hear the epic, eerie music. I think of all the books, I would love to see "Dragonwitch" as a movie the most. It just struck me as an epic movie in the making.
Thirdly, the locations. This book revisits locations seen in previous books--and how different they are from when we first see them! One thing I love about this series is that it's like learning the history of another world; you get to see the places and people in different forms, just as our world's history would have been. Nothing is as it is without having been different before--people shape their enivronment quite a bit. And you see the consequences of this on one location in particular, the South Lands, where a horde of fire priestesses have taken hold....
Lastly, the feel of this book is very different from the others in the series. Its scope is wide, with daring escapes, journeys, and lasting consequences for the characters and their world. Even at the end, some strings are resolved but the very last page makes it clear that the story is not completely over. And that is completely fine with me, because that means there are many more Goldstone Wood books to come!
Five GREAT BIG HUGE GINORMOUS STARS!
Please note: I received a review copy from NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for that opportunity!
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Review 10 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Speaks to a deeper part

Date:July 31, 2013
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PJ Detherage
Location:Huntsville, AL
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I just finished reading Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Book 5 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Upon completion I began to formulate my thoughts for a review. How do you describe something so indescribable? I realized that when I read the last word I suddenly wanted to cry! Why? Not normally a weepy person, this was a bit disconcerting; and then it dawned on me. This wonderful, fantastical book spoke to something much deeper than my need to be entertained. It spoke to my struggles in the real world with profound clarity, gentleness, understanding and depth beyond any fictional work I've ever read! My heart was touched, inspired and encouraged all while I was entertained with lovely characters and settings beyond my imagination!!! Where does she come up with this stuff??? Oops, I digrees. I read another review that commented that "this was not an easy read" and that you couldn't skip words. What a tremendous complement to this young author! Every word had meaning and purpose as the story unfolded! It was woven together like a beautiful tapestry. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of series books as a rule but even that has been challenged by this series. I love the unpredictability. The series doesn't follow a set timeline, with each book a continuation of the last. I love the developing characters. Each is unique and special. Even those who aren't on the scene for long, leave you hoping they will appear in another book down the road. One final admission before I close, fantasy is not my usual genre. In fact, not even close; but I have to say with complete honesty, I love these books!!! They are unique and truly speak to a deeper part; if you will hear the songs!
+1point
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Review 11 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Loved it!

Date:July 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
homeschoolmom24
Location:Alabama
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
About the Book:
Who Will Dare to Face the Dragonwitch?
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.
About the Author:
Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the acclaimed TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD series, including Starflower; Veiled Rose; winner of the 2012 Christy Award for Visionary novel; and Heartless, the winner of the 2011 Christy Award for First Novel. She makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a dog, and a passel of cats. Learn more at www.anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com.
My Review:
The book begins with Lord Alistair waking up screaming from one of his nightmares. The servants were quite scared of him and often avoided him. He barely crawled to the Chronicles library to speak with the Chronicle about his dream. The Chronicle acted coolly but truly didn't care. It seemed as soon as Lord Alistair got to reading his daily reading work a page came a calling. Alistair demanded he tell him what the big deal was. His Bride, Lady Leta had arrived. He practically ran down the stairs, still not making it in enough time to please his mother.
Lady Leta was barely tall enough to be a girl much less a woman. She hardly reached Alastair's shoulder. She unwillingly came to this castle and tried her best to fit in. But knowing that one she was to wed barely wanted anything to do with her, she took a liking to the Chronicle. He was nice enough to her and now helping her learn how to read. Maybe after all she would make happiness out of this, God forsaken life she was dealt.
This book takes on a life of its own. It is rich in Medieval history which is a huge interest to my children. I read them the book and they enjoyed it immensely.
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Bethany House.
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Review 12 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

READ THIS SERIES!

Date:July 25, 2013
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Stacelito
Location:Ohio
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Having read Starflower, the previous novel in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, I was already anticipating faeries, adventure, dragons, and the like. Once again, I struggled with the creative names of the characters and villages/demesnes. However, I was able to get “into” this story line much more quickly having already been familiar with Imraldera and Eanrin, the main characters of Starflower.
Stengl has NO LIMIT to her creativity. It is no surprise that she won the Christy Award for Debut Novel in 2011 for Heartless (first book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series) and the 2012 Christy award for Visionary Novel for Veiled Rose (second in the series).
Dragonwitch is a compelling read. I found myself disappointed when it was time to head somewhere or start cooking dinner as it forced me to delay finishing the story. Because of its fantasy content, it is not a “light read” but it is an excellent, thought provoking story of the journey of a set of unlikely friends.
Leta is the meek, obedient daughter of a king set to marry Lord Alistar, nephew and future heir of the King of Gaheris. The Chronicler, whose job it is to journal the events of the day, recent past, and recopy any older ledgers which have become too faded to read, becomes friends with Leta while she is in the castle getting to know Lord Alistar (as it was an arranged marriage). Mouse….is MOUSE, an obedient servant at the Citadel of the Living Flame and her goddess. Mouse takes on a challenge out of awe and reverence for the Silent Lady and is most certainly my favorite character in the book.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Stengl's creative use of phrases growled in anger or whispered in fear.... "Dragon blasted", "Fire burn, fire purify" and "Lights Above". They are unexpected and yet perfectly placed during crises.
The quote from USA Today calls the Tales of Goldstone Wood series a “series to stretch your imagination over several long winter nights.” And that is DEAD ON! I plan on picking up Heartless, Veiled Rose and Moonblood as this series is one my children will enjoy – regardless of gender!
I received this book for free from Bethany House to provide my free and unbiased review.
+1point
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Review 13 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Enjoyable

Date:July 24, 2013
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JMac
Location:Canada
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Dragonwitch begins with the story of Alistair Calix-son (heir to his uncle the Earl Ferox of Castle Gaheris) and his betrothed Lady Leta, daughter of Earl Aiven. It's your typical arranged marriage scenario - neither one cares too much about the other but they aren't given a choice in the whole situation. There is something else going on, though - something darker. Why is Alistair's mother fighting so hard to assure her son's place as her brother's successor? And who exactly is the mysterious Chronicler, the dwarf who spends his life working in the Earl's library?
This is the third book I have read in this series. I still haven't found any of them to equal or surpass Heartless, though. It remains my favourite so far. Like Starflower, I enjoyed Dragonwitch moderately. Once again, all the stories running simultaneously (at least two or three at a time) makes the reading a bit confusing. I actually read the book twice before beginning this review to make sure I had a good grasp on the story.
As with Starflower, there is quite a lot of implied violence but nothing graphic. At times it is hard to discern whether a character is good or bad, but in the end, good triumphs over evil. Having some of the same characters from Starflower return in another story gave this book an interesting and unexpected turn of events.
I would give this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It is a clean, moralistic fantasy and an enjoyable read. The negative things about the story are the confusing multiple story-lines and the assumption on the part of the author that the reader has read the previous books.
Please note : I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 14 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Dragonwitch a delightful story of hope& redemption

Date:July 15, 2013
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Blooming with Books
Location:Bloomer, WI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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Dragonwitch
Tales of Goldstone Wood #5
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Dragonwitch is yet another enchanting excursion into Goldstone Wood. The opening starts with the Legend of the Brothers Ashiun
which gave me the same thrill of beauty that I felt when I read The Silmarillion by Tolkien. There is an awe that this opening legend imparts that is hard to describe with words and its touches the very heart of one's soul!
Dragonwitch is two stories in one. The first story is of the Brothers Ashuin - Etanun and Akilun and the Flame at Night. The second story belongs to Alastair, Leta, the Chronicler, and Mouse. But these two stories are essential to each other because without one you won't fully grasp the other.
Alastair of Geheris is destined to become king of the North Country and the Lady Leta is to become his wife. But Alastair is haunted and hunted in his sleep by the face of a child. What can the meaning of his recurring dream mean? While Alastair struggles through his unwanted lessons under his uncle's Chronicler, Leta secretly seeks out the knowledge that Alastair disdains. The lessons the two pursue are steeped in the legends and nursery tales surrounding the House of Light and the Brothers Ashiun. If there any truth to the prophecy regarding the rising of a heir who will claim the long lost sword of Etanun?
When Eanrin comes upon evidence that someone or something is attempting to force open a new death-house gate he becomes alarmed and warns Imraldera to keep an extra watch over the gate while he is away. But when the Murderer comes upon Imraldera in Eanrin's absence the gate is allowed to open and goblins pour into Geheris.
The goblins search and dismantle the castle in search of a prize for their Queen Vartera. The king-to-be is the key to goblins quest. But the King-to-be is who Eanrin needs to save Imraldera. But how can the future king of the North Country be in two different places at once. Torn between duty, desire, fear, and feelings he can't explain the heir of Geheris and Etanun is about to embark on a life altering journey that could cost him his very life.
Dragonwitch is a story of disappointment, sacrifice, betrayal, love lost and love found. It is a story of new beginnings and lost dreams. There are lessons for both the characters and the reader. When we rely upon our senses we are restrained in how we view the world around because we see through preconceived perceptions. We judge others on appearance, but the true measure of a person is who they are in their spirit.
Dragonwitch won't disappoint and you'll want to revisit it again (as is the case with all the Tales of Goldstone Wood books) while you await Shadow Hand.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 15 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Philosophical, fantastical, truly unique

Date:June 27, 2013
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Josi
Location:Baker City, OR
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Meets Expectations: 
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Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl delivers an incredible adventure, dynamic characters, and a complex, philosophical plot in Dragonwitch, the 5th book in the “Tales of Goldstone Wood” series. The power of love over hate, good over evil, and forgiveness over bitterness are themes that are woven into this allegorical, fantastical story of goblins, faeries, witches, and mortals. God’s desire to use weak, foolish, or despised things for His purpose and His glory, His ability to make us strong in our weakness, and the peace that comes in accepting His will for our lives are also topics that are figuratively alluded to throughout this novel. Dragonwitch addresses the idea that one can be willfully blind and bound to a belief, as well as the thought that a person can give her life trying to attain something only to discover that what she sought was ultimately meaningless, and in fact, a lie. Deeper still runs the philosophical thread that is the main theme of this story: that one’s belief- or disbelief- in something does not affect the truth of what is. Indeed, Dragonwitch is laden with incidental bits of metaphysical and religious philosophy, making it one of the best, and certainly one of the deepest, Christian novels I’ve read in quite a long time. I have not read the first four books in this series, and I readily admit I haven’t read much of this genre of literature at all…in fact, I read this book because it looked so bizarrely different from anything I normally read that I thought I should give it a try for that reason alone. In doing so I inadvertently became one of Ms. Stengl’s biggest fans. Dragonwitch is a brilliant allegory, a finely crafted story, and altogether unique Christian fiction. Its appeal is suitable to a broad reading base, from young teens to adults, and certainly to Christians or non-Christians alike. This is one of those rare fiction books you will read, highlight, contemplate, and want to pass on to others.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
+3points
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Review 16 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Overwhelmingly Powerful!!!

Date:June 22, 2013
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Anonymous
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Spoiler Free
In the North Country, there is no hope for fairy tales. Lord Alistair must prepare to be king, not a hero. His bride-to-be does not love him. The Castle Chronicler will never be more then the misshapen dwarf who can read and write.
Fairy tales are for children. The House of Lights will never be found. The Smallman will never inherit the sword of legend that slew the Dragonwitch twice. The impossible will never happen.
But one day it does.
In one terrifying moment, everything the North Country knows is in danger of being destroyed. If it is to be saved, heroes must rise and believe in the legends of old. If the evil is to be defeated, the sword must be found. But to find it requires going into the heart of a distant land where the Dragonwitch rules. Courage will be tested, loyalties must be proved...and the Dragonwitch must be slain for the third and final time.
~
Dragonwitch continues the epic saga that Anne Elisabeth Stengl is unfolding before our eyes. The story takes place soon after the end of Starflower, Book 4. But even after such a short period, dramatic changes have taken place. With new characters to root for and plenty of returning characters to love, this novel escalates to a grand scale not seen in the series before. Entwining with the present events comes the legend of the Dragonwitch and the Brothers Ashiun, so long alluded to, but never fully explained.
This is a tale of becoming what you were meant to be. It encourages to live up to your full potential, no matter what you may look like, no matter what people think about you, no matter what you think of yourself. This theme makes Dragonwitch possibly the most triumphant book of all the series. We cheer for the characters as they trust in He Who Chose Them and overcome all odds.
But this theme also makes the book the most tragic. For we see those who fail. Those who reject the call of their Creator and turn down a darker road. Those who proclaim themselves as gods and goddesses and end with nothing at all. It is heart-breaking and enlightening. This is the first book where I was literally weeping for the villains.
Amidst the drama, the tragedy, and the action, there is plenty of humor and sweetness to brighten your mood. And as always, the book is CLEAN. No language, no sexual content, mild violence. There is more combat and killing on page then before, but the author keeps violent description low, not that it's any less intense.
While possible to read as a stand-alone, you will miss the full potential if you don't read the series in order.
The most EPIC Tale of Goldstone Wood yet! I give you--
DRAGONWITCH
~ 5 stars! ~
Book read from NetGalley
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Review 17 for Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5) - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 7, 2013
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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I can not even tell you how excited I was that I got approved to read Dragonwitch!!! It's the fifth book in "The Tales of Goldstone Wood", and I'm already super excited for the sixth book! To say I love Anne Elisabeth Stengl's books is a gross understatement. haha Seriously, though this is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. If you haven't read any of her books, you need to buy them or check them out of the library because I'm telling you, you won't regret it! The descriptions, the cultures, the whole world is so different, and it entranced me from the very beginning. I just love the unique twists she puts on things. On to the review. :-)
Lady Leta of Aiven has never met her betrothed, Lord Alistair who is the future king of Castle Gaheris. She journeys to the castle as per her father's command, and once there realizes they would never be a good match. When she meets the castle Chronicler, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. But behind his gruffness, sorrow and myriad insecurities battle for supremacy. Who is the Chronicler really?
Alistair has been having horrible nightmares and has been unable to rest because of them. As he battles with his sanity, a gate begans to open between the faeries and mortals that lets in horrible creatures. They come seeking only one thing - the rightful heir.
Starflower is back in her homeland again, but this time her country is ruled by what the people call the goddess but is really the dragonwitch. For years the dragonwitch has been searching for Etanun's sword, and she is determined to secure it before it can kill her a third and final time.
Of course, Eanrin is in this book, too. ;-) His character is too funny, and he keeps me wanting to read. If you have read the other four books, then this book won't disappoint you! It is still as magical and engaging as ever. And if this is the first book you've read in this series, you'll fall in love with her mythical, magical lands. I was eagerly turning the pages to see how all of the conflict was going to be resolved. I love the well-rounded, realistic characters, and the addition of more new characters alongside Starflower and Eanrin. But I have to say... I really what to know when those two are going to get together!!! And the characters from Moonblood, too. Maybe soon. :-)
I was given this book free from NetGalley as long as I review it. I am not required to give a positive review.
*Dragonwitch will be available July 15th!*
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