Title: Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood #5) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Page count: 425 pages
Format: Ebook ARC
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Rating – 5/5!
Who Will Dare to Face the Dragonwitch?
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.
I received an ARC of Dragonwitch from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Dragonwitch is a book in the fantasy genre that is delivered to the reader through two narratives: a present narrative, as well as a narrative that took place in the past but which is woven into the current day narrative towards the middle and end of the book. The past narrative is given to us in little snippets at the beginning of the chapters and is delivered in italicized font making it easily distinguishable from the present day narrative. I really loved that there were two narratives running alongside each other that just sort of crashed into each other at one point in the book. I thought that was fantastically done.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It took me awhile to read it because I really wanted to prolong my reading experience of it because it was so good and I was just enjoying it that much. I have been itching for a fantasy read that is this good and my goodness, this book was it. I didn’t ever feel like the plot was predictable and I loved all of the main characters, the chronicler being one of my favorites. I also really loved Mouse and Leta, they were two of the female characters that I adored although I quite liked Imreldera and even, the dragonwitch as well. I loved the love stories in the book. I feel like love was a pretty strong theme of this book but it didn’t feel overbearing and I didn’t even feel like it was the biggest focus of the book. There are a few different romance story lines and I thought they were all really interesting and I kind of wanted more. I really wonder if we ever get more in subsequent books. I even love that one of the love stories in this book was a familial love between brothers and even just kin like Alistair and the Florien. What a good book!
I felt like I would have liked a little more background on the world but seeing as how this is Book five in this series, I’m sure if I go back and read from Book one it might seem a little more detailed to me, although that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. I gave this book a 5 star rating because I just loved it so much. What I’m understanding is that even though this is part of a series, each book may be written by a different author because although they may be part of the same world/series they are individual tales that may or may not link up together. I’ll have to read more of this series to find that out for sure and I am truly interested in reading more from this author. I read this as a standalone because I didn’t realize that it was part of a series but I definitely think it is great as a standalone. This was a fantastic fantasy read and one that I have purchased in order to have a physical copy for my personal bookshelf collection. I would definitely enjoy reading this book again in the future. Loved it! The story is enjoyable and the pacing is great. There are some action scenes, lore and feels. Highly recommend to fantasy fans!