Tales of Goldstone Wood
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Starflower is the fourth book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, though this book can easily be read first as it takes place before the three previous titles.
While the Faerie Kingdom of Rudiobus is in the midst of celebrating the birthday of its Queen Bebo, a mortal girl crosses over into the Wood. Eanrin having left Ruaine Hall to sulk in solitude and to ponder Lady Gleamdren's refusal to dance is startled by a sound that rips through the silence of the night. The dreaded Black Dogs are hunting!
When the Black Dogs cry draws Eanrin across the boarders to investigate he is set on a path that will change his life forever. Eanrin and the Kingdom of Rudiobus are tricked into giving sanctuary toHri Sota the Dragonwitch and Lady Gleamdren is stolen away.
Eanrin and Captain Glomar determine that rescuing Gleamdren will determine who will win the heart of the queen's fair cousin. But first they must enter Etalpalli through the Cozamaloti Gate. The path Eanrin takes brings him into contact with the Golden Hound - Lumil Eliasul! In his attempt to elude the Golden Hound, Eanrin comes across the young mortal girl who has become trapped in a enchanted sleep.
Convinced that he has found a mortal princess, Eanrin helps the young woman by breaking the enchanted sleep spell. The young woman is unable to speak because of an ancient curse placed upon her people so communication between them is problematic. As Starflower tries to communicate her name to Eanrin, he misunderstands and thinks that she carries the Faerie name for starflowers and is the Princess Imraldera.
Starflower joins Eanrin as he continues his quest for Lady Gleamdren. When Starflower comes face-to-face with Hri Sota she tells her story to the Dragonwitch. The former queen makes a bargain that will return Starflower to the land of her people and her sister, for a price.
But an even greater danger awaits Starflower's return. But what is the greater danger - the Black Dogs escorting her, the Golden Hound that seems to be both before and behind her, or the Beast that rules and enslaves her people?
Starflower and Eanrin must both learn to let go of their fears and to see the truth or they will fall to the power of Death. Is Lumil Eliasul the path to death or the path to life? Which voice is speaking the truth and can they determine it before it is too late to save the ones dear to their hearts?
Starflower allows one to fully grasp and to understand why in Moonblood Imraldera was hesitant to go to Rudiobus. When reading about Eanrin's grooming habits, I could so see Monster when he was with Una and Felix in Heartless and with Leo in Moonblood. The Golden Hound/Lumil Eliasul is quite obviously Prince Aethelbard.
The over-riding theme throughout this series seems to be sacrificial love versus self-centered love.
Will you enter into the worlds that surround the Goldstone Woods? You may see life in a whole new light!
In conjunction with this CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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Be sure to visit all the stops on the CSFF December Blog Tour:
Gillian Adams Beckie Burnham Nikole Hahn Bruce Hennigan Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen Emileigh Latham Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller Anna Mittower Rachel Starr Thomson Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower Dona Watson Shane Werlinger Phyllis Wheeler