June 24, 2011

Review: Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood) Heartless (The Goldenstone Wood, book 1) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Genre: YA Fantasy (Classic Fairy Tale)

The Dragon King Seeks His Princess--
Who Dares to Stop Him?

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon marry. She dreams of a charming prince, but when her first suitor arrives, he's not what she'd hoped. Prince Aethelbald of mysterious Farthestshore has travelled a great distance to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be on the hunt and blazing a path of terror.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his cautions with dire consequences. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in his sights. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

A Tale of Goldstone Wood

Timeless Fantasy That Will Keep You Spellbound


Fairytales are the timeless joy of the fantasy genre.  Readers thrive off of them, whether it’s retellings or variations of our favorite stories.  What gets readers into more of a frenzy then the classic Fairytale?  Why, an original tale that is clearly worthy of the classics.  That is exactly what Heartless is.

The beauty of Stengl’s writing style will please fantasy fans who hunger for the kind of quality found in Robin McKinley’s books. For those who find McKinley’s style too harsh and a bit hard to sink into, Stengl’s softer style will be a relief.  The landscapes just flow up majestically and the emotions that consume the reader make the characters feel real.  The story and plot sweeps across the page with a timeless grace.

Una is definitely a classic fairytale Princess. She needs to be rescued, and there are enough warnings given to her before hand that she shouldn't have fallen victim.  Then again—that’s life—everyone has bitten and choked on the apple at some point.  Una’s downfall is of the heart, a modern and historic story of how someone can give their heart to the wrong person. In Una's case it's a terrible price she pays for the nativity of her emotions.  Unlike the classic princess, Una is strong and willful.  She has enough spirit to make up her own mind, and in the end find redemption—even learning from her mistakes. (Of course Prince Charming still get to ride in and save the day.)

Dragons never quite get the attention they deserve in most fairytales.  In Heartless the Dragon(s) finally get that time to shine—even if they are quite the villains. Anne has created a dragon mythology that sent my head spinning into giddiness.  They're like vampires in the aspect that they must be invited into a dwelling, and that they can turn other humans into dragons.  It’s breath taking, and terrifying, all at the same time.  Heartless is such a tease as it reveals enough to get you there, but enough is left out to keep you crawling after the next book!

This is a win-win for Fairytale lovers!  Dragon lovers will be smitten by the new mythology of the dragon.  Princess Una will frustrate readers with the paroles of love, and have readers rooting for her (or wanting to smack her upside the head). This book deals with the modern day heartbreak on a grander scale only a Fairytale can exploit.  The ending is just as practical and sweet as a Happily Ever After should be, so HEA readers should feel contempt. Keep an eye out for more by this author as there’s more world—and dragons—to enchant readers.

Sexual Content: Really clean. A few kissing scenes, some blushing, and some very vague sexual humor. Definitely good for the kiddies.

Rating: 4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.

Add it:

Amazon: Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood)

Goodreads: Heartless


Tim Greaton said...

Another great review. If only there were uncountable hours to explore more books. I'm not first to romance but I do like some of them when the mix of supernatural is high and the romance is not all-encompassing :-)

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Heartless is definitely a nice balance of romance and supernatural.