Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tour Review - Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

On Tour with Prism Book Tours...

Starflower  (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Tales of Goldstone Wood #4
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Bethany House


When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal. 

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

My Review:

I had better start off by saying that I consider Anne Elisabeth to be a friend. I enjoyed having her visit Colorimetry for an interview and was delighted to host this tour for Starflower. In fact, when I first discovered her website back in February, I wanted to like her books. Lol.

That said... her writing caught me off guard. I read Starflower in snatches of stolen moments and each time felt as if I passed from my world into this faery world of her creation. The barrier was almost tangible. The writing style and the world demanded that I conform to its tempo and fluidity, and I lost track of time.

The most memorable moment was when I picked up the story while trapped at the gas station. There was a line of vehicles behind me and I had finished before the car in front of me, so I thought I had a minute to read the book. I don't know how many minutes I read. I slipped into that other world and when I glanced up, I had an audience and an open exit road waiting for me to let others take my gas pump position. It was... well... I didn't wait to see how humiliating. I just got out of there... laughing and shaking my head.

I envy those who read this book in one sitting. How delightful!!

The characters... Starflower or Emraldera was so believable. She speaks in sign language, the language of women who are oppressed by a false faery-god. Love it!!!  Love HER!  She is so strong and so persistent, so full of belief and hope when she has no reason to be. The story is told from all different perspectives so that Starflower's perspective unfolds slowly. I learned about her as Eanrin did.

Eanrin the cat is hilarious. He is so self-assured, he is so exactly a fey and a cat at the same time. He has moments of heart as the story progresses, but he made me chuckle more often than not.

The Dragonwitch is downright intriguing. We get bits of her story right from the prologue. Snatches that are heartbreakingly fierce. It is a huge consolation that there is another book coming out that focuses on her in the summer. Because... darn it... is she horrible forever? Is there hope for her? Will she at least keep her wits long enough to decide her own fate?!  All that condensing of power and yet all that slippery hold on sanity. It's incredible.

The bad guy, Wolf Tongue, is disgustingly horrible. I didn't even enjoy hating him, he was so bad. Bad. Very bad. Grrrrr  Not even Emraldera's compassionate vision near the end lessened his bad for me. BAD! *spit*

The hints and the visits from the Hound are just elusive enough to be intriguing as are mentions of more story. I could see the spiritual connections, but the closer they got to being the-moral-of-the-story, the more mystical they got, which was fun for me. If Love = Sacrifice was explained a-plenty, I didn't get tired of it. And I'm enjoying Anne Elisabeth's Guest Posts even more having read the book!!  :-D

There are umpteen more smaller characters who are all unique and important, giving this story a very big saga feeling. I have heard that the other books in the series mention characters I met here - like Eanrin. Even Sun Eagle is not lost forever. (Thank you, Anne Elisabeth!! I really wanted to see him some more!)

Wait, wait... before I end, I must mention the quick trip to swampland, whatever it was called. How hilarious!! There's a faery queen collecting frog princes in her demesne. I wasn't sure whether to *gasp* or *laugh* although, every faery queen demands fear and this one was irritated, it was still impossibly hilarious. All those princes were croaking "Kiss me!" Lol.

My Rating: 4.75 - I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read the entire series and I may have to reread  this one. It's beautiful.

Reminds me of:  The Iron Fey series, although completely different, I was in love with all fey after closing the cover to Starflower. The Narnia series, also completely different, but the Hound had Lion moments. The Sweetest Dark - this isn't a fair comparison b/c this book isn't out, yet, but the writing style is so fluid and mysterious. Perhaps fans of Shana Abe can tell me whether all her books are so lilting to read? I don't know... but this one is.

About the Author:

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.

Find & Follow:

The Dragonwood Series:

Bethany House

Get Your Copy:

Bethany House
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository

Check out the entire December Tour!

3 - Anne Elisabeth Stengl - Launch!
3 -
Christy's Cozy Corners - Launch!
3 -
Letters to the Cosmos - Review
4 -
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - The Kiss by the River
4 -
Confessions of a Female Bookaholic - Launch!
4 -
Kari's Crowded Bookshelf – Review - The River Calls to Starflower
5 -
Aleksandra's Corner - Inspired by Cats I
6 – The Reading Diaries – Review
6 – Bookworm LisaInspired by Cats II
7 – Motality Bites – PAGE reveal by Anne Elisabeth!!!
7 – Unputdownable BooksInspired by Cats III
9 – Passion and LifeNight Terrors – English & Spanish
10 – A Backwards StoryImraldera Meets the Dragonwitch

Catch the Christmas Read-along!


Grand Prize

GRAND PRIZE:  The first four books The Tales of Goldstone Wood: HeartlessVeiled RoseMoonblood and Starflower + SWAG!  2nd place is a copy of Starflower + SWAG!

2nd Prize

Enter to win until 12/20. Winner to be announced 12/21. Open to anyone who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here & on Colorimetry as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't miss the rest of the Tour!!!

12 - Aimee @ Getting Your Read On - Guest Post - The Faces of Love I
12 - Kimberly Krey @ Kimberly Krey - Guest Post - Drafts
13 - Abbi @ Christian Novels - Tales of Goldstone Wood Reviews
13 - Mandy @ The Reading Diaries - Interview
14 - Ivy @ Open the Page - Guest Post - The Faces of Love II
16 - Alicia @ Mortality Bites - Review
17 - Len @ Musings of a Reader Happy - Hightlight/Excerpt - Meet Dragonwitch
17 - Jen @ Literally Jen - Review
18 - Beth @ Living a Goddess Life - Review
19 - Rach @ Stressed Rach - Guest Post - Illustrated Sneak Peak
19 - Christy @ Christy's Cozy Corners - Review
20 - Heather @ Proud Book Nerd - Review
20 - Heidi @ Geo Librarian - Guest Post - The Faces of Love III
21 - Jaime @ Goodreads - Review
21 - Finale @ Colorimetry - Giveaway winner announced.