Tales of Goldstone Wood
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
This delightful series just draws you in. There is such a depth to it. Starflower is the fourth book in the series, but it takes place before the first three books. But before we take a look back, I am going to review what has already taken place in the previous three books.
Heartless: Una is princess of Parumvir and she is anxious for the day when she will be sought by nobility who desire her hand in marriage. But all too soon Una gets her heart's desire in the form of three very different suitors. But little does Una realize that her choice will determine not only her future but also the fate of her very soul.
When Prince Aethelbard of Farthestshore declares his love to Una and his desire to marry her she refuses him. Then Prince Gervais of Beauclair seeks her hand, as does her father's old childhood acquaintance the Duke of Shippening. But only to Leonard - Prince Lionheart of the Southlands does she give her heart. But Leonard is a prince in hiding and only to Una does he reveal his true identity.
Having touched a dragon's scale Una and the kingdom of Parumvir are in danger, but Aethelbard's warnings fall on deaf ears. When the very dragon they were warned of comes upon them, King Fidel and Prince Felix may lose their very lives trying to save Una from her fate.
But love is the only way to save Una, a sacrificial love. But whom among Una's suitors would be willing to die for her and to give up their heart so that she might be saved? Or will Una remain Heartless for the rest of her life?
Heartless is a lovely allegory of love and sacrifice. True love is only true if it is given for no personal gain.
Veiled Rose: This is Prince Lionheart of the Southlands story and it is the story of Red Rose.
Leo and Red Rose develop a friendship when Leo spends a summer with his cousin in a remote area. Rosie is a young girl whose true appearance is hidden from view by the layers of veils she forever wears. Her only companions are her old father, Beana - nanny goat, her imaginary friend who is a songbird, and the one who haunts her dreams and taunts her. When Leo and Rosie meet their lives are forever altered.
But the town folk, who live below the mountain where Rosie lives, believe she is the monster of the legends and that she will bring doom upon them all. When Leo's cousin Foxglove sees Leo with Rosie he declares that Leo has been bewitched by the mountain monster. But Leo cannot see the monster that everyone declares Rosie to be.
But as he grows older Leo's mother is determined to see Leo marry whom she desires and the lady of her choice is the Lady Daylily. But Daylily is not as she is expected to be - she is not afraid of anything and she is determined to win Leo and the throne. But Leo's friendship with Rosie is a threat to Daylily's plans.
When a dragon invades the Southlands and takes the capital and royal family captive Daylily and Rosie save Price Lionheart and together the two young women return to the castle to care for his family while Leo goes search of something that will aid him in quest to defeat the dragon.
But soon Daylily and the rest of the royal family succumb to the noxious fumes of the dragon while Leo continues his quest. Forbidden to leave the castle upon threat of death, Rosie is soon tested in her resolve to protect Leo's family.
As time slowly passes, Leo's quest takes him far from home. When he is directed to find a ring to draw the dragon from his homeland, Leo finds himself playing Jester in the court of King Fidel of Parumvir. But Leo is soon tricked into betraying Princess Una though he is at first unwilling to betray her and must be persuaded.
But when the dragon leaves the Southlands can anyone truly be free of the dragon's power and at what cost was their freedom bought?
Moonblood: The Southlands are free of the Dragon, but the effects of the five years he controlled the kingdom are still being felt. The people of the Southlands are turning against Prince Lionheart because of his friendship with Red Rose. When Una (in her dragon form) comes in search of Leonard, her presence brings the peoples' distrust of Red Rose to a fevered crisis and in-order to save both her life and his reign Lionheart (Leo) exiles her. But Red Rose's exile is a death sentence because she is being sent into the realm of King Vahe - her father.
Meanwhile Prince Felix of Parumvir is falling under the control of the poison still within his blood. When Felix hears the summoning cry of a Unicorn he follows it into the Kingdom of Arpiar where great evil is about to be unleashed.
When Leo is given a choice to right the wrongs he has committed, what will he choose? Will he marry Lady Daylily and reign over the Southlands or will he instead search for his childhood friend and give up his throne?
Who will be sacrificed to bring King Vahe's evil dreams to pass?
Be sure to join us tomorrow for an exclusive interview with author Anne Elisabeth Stengl as she answers a few questions about this world she has discovered in the Goldstone Wood.
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