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A New Tale Is Added to this Christy Award-Winning Fantasy Saga!
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
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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, STARFLOWER and DRAGONWITCH. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.
Sneak Peek for
By: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
A sudden pounding at her door startled Leta to her feet. Did those fool soldiers think she might hide her former teacher in her own chambers? Drawing herself to her full height, she strode to the door and flung it wide, demanding as she did so, "What cause have you to . . . oh."
A child, brown and wide-eyed, crouched before her, hands wringing. Leta could almost remember having seen this humble scrubber-boy before, hard at work in various corners of the castle. She had never spoken to him. "Lights above us!" she said, taking in the terror in that face. The boy looked as though he had seen a ghost. "What is the matter?"
"Allees-tar," the boy said, his eyes pleading to be understood.
Leta shook her head. "Say again?"
The boy chewed his lip, his eyes darting up and down the corridor. Then he reached out and took Leta's hand in both of his and spoke urgently. "Allees-tar."
The boy nodded.
A coldness took hold of Leta at the mention of her betrothed's name. "What about him?"
But the boy did not notice her icy voice or stance. He repeated the name and tugged at Leta, motioning and signing for her to follow. There was no understanding the child. Leta shook her head, her teeth grinding. "He must be summoning me. A first time for everything under the sun!"
She grabbed her cloak, for it was far too cold to wander the castle corridors without one. Best to get the encounter over with as soon as possible, she decided. She followed the boy to Alistair's room. At the door, she pushed ahead and entered first so as not to seem dragged like a dog. She must retain at least some form of dignity.
Then she saw the state in which her betrothed lay.
"Alistair!" She hastened to his side, leaning over him on the bed. Her mouth gaped, and she grabbed the one candle and held it closer for a better look. She saw the boiling, smelled the poison.
One side of her mind said: SCREAM!
It's as well you aren't afraid of blood, her practical side responded.
RUN! roared the panicking Leta.
Someone's got to take care of this. And you want something to distract you. It might as well be you.
SCREAM, dragons eat you!
But, as usual, practical Leta won the day.
She turned to Mouse. There was only a slight tremor in her voice when she spoke. "Fetch fresh water and some bandages." Then she shook her head. "How silly of me. You don't understand, do you? Stay with him, and I'll fetch them myself."
This is the 5th book in the tales of Goldstone Wood series. I have only ever read the first book, Heartless, but when I saw this book, I was ON IT. I mean... just the title alone had me begging to read it. And I am glad I did. I mean.. some things were confusing since I did not read books 2-4, but it was still an amazing read. The beginning where the prophecy and such were being explained sort of threw me off a little- as did the multiple stories, but once I dove into the actual story and they were merged together, I really got into it and enjoyed it. I don't want to get into too many details- not even about the characters.- so I don't accidently reveal anything pertinent to the story.
I can tell you that I loved each of the characters and their individual stories. Especially Eanrin. (:
All the characters were adorable and believable (well, you know what I mean. As believable as a fantasy character can be.) ;)
And, as with the first book in the series, I love the magical worlds the author creates. Everything is so original and the characters are so much fun to follow. I had to keep guessing about a few of them and it really kept me on my toes!
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