Welcome to my stop for Starflower by Anne Elizabeth Stengl. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on a book I ended up loving. So much so, that I intend to buy the others that are part of this series.
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Published Nov 1st, 2012
by Bethany House
The Black Dogs Are on the Hunt, But Who Is Their Prey?
When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard 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 the flees destroy both her and her rescuer?
A wonderfully enchanting and mysterious world that you can sink into and allow your imagination to roam free.
'Starflower' is about a Faerie called Eanrin and his quest to find his 'beloved' Lady Gleamdren from the clutch of a dragon-witch, who managed to fool the Faerie people long enough to kidnap her. Along the way, he meets the enchanted, yet cursed, mortal girl, Starflower. Unable to leave her, he finds a way to break her out of her enchanted sleep and they set off to save Lady Gleamdren from the burning city of Etalpalli, or what was once known as the City of Wings. Along the way trouble finds them in the shape of Hounds and that's when the fun really begins.
'Starflower' was a wonderful book to escape into and to forget about anything else you had to do. It had a way of capturing your interest in so many different ways. When I first started reading 'Starflower' I thought Eanrin was a self-absorbed windbag, but since I've finished the book, I've realized just how talented Anne Elizabeth Stengl is - she made me picture the character as a bard. I could see him blustering away about his fair beauty, even though he was actually terrified of falling in love. I could see him before a court, gesticulating about how beautiful a woman was and how he was the most famous bard in the land. It made me laugh with real appreciation. It's so seldom that I've read a book where I had escaped into it that much.
Lady Gleamdren was, in a way, exactly how I pictured her to be - self absorbed in her own beauty and her imagined scores of suitors. Haha I actually despised her more than I did Hri Sora, the dragon-witch, mainly because with the dragon-witch, I could see that she had gone through something horrible - at least to her. Lady Gleamdren didn't have that kind of reason and to help stage her own kidnapping just made me even less sympathetic.
And Starflower. I absolutely adored her. She's the type of character I love reading about. She was strong, brave and loyal. And the amazing thing about her is that even though she never spoke a word, I still got an amazing sense of her. I felt her pain and her determination. And those very traits were what attracted Eanrin to her. And scared Eanrin to death.
'Starflower' was written in parts with the second part being the telling of Starflower's story. While the novel was written in third voice for a majority of the book, Starflower story (which I think was part two) was written in first voice as she used sign language to explain her past and third voice when it came to Eanrin and his search for her. That was a little disorienting, as I had to change my mindset from first voice to third voice frequently.
There was so much I enjoyed about the story line in this book. From it's initial start at court, to traveling to Etalpalli,and to Etalpalli itself, with all its mysterious paths and dangers. The hounds were almost symbolic in this book. I thought they played a big part in Starflower's life, not to mention being the main weapons of Hri Sora's.
I also loved the shape-shifting elements to it. Eanrin was a cat and displayed the traits of one, even in his human form. There was also his adversary in the pursuit to win the hand of Lady Gleamdren - Captain Glomar- who was a badger. Which also brings me around to the secondary characters. The secondary characters were linked intricately with the whole story line and the story would never have been the same without any of them.
There's a lot more I could say, but I'm going to stop now because otherwise I might drench you all in the waterfall that all my gushing has created. Anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys high fantasy, with Faerie elements and a slowly unwinding love story - which it is without a doubt.
Now for my rating:-
Five out of five wands
Links to Buy
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.