Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Book Blurb

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.

Buy Links

Amazon ~*~ BN

Author Info

 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, and Starflower. Heartless won a 2011 Christy Award.


My Review

(Written and Provided by Amber McCallister)

Dragonwitch is a mesmerizing journey that beautifully showcases the strength and determination of the human spirit. A couple of the themes that I felt reverberated throughout the pages of this epic story are of the power of love and the importance of self-worth. We should never underestimate the potential and strength of true love just as we should never undervalue the need for self-worth. Both are necessary for living a full and meaningful life, and both determine the choices you make and the type of person you become.

True love really does exist, but we have to take the time to look for it. We have to nurture it in ourselves before we can expect to see it in others. We need to reach out and show the compassion, mercy, and kindness that every soul on this planet needs if we ever expect to see it returned to us. One example of this is seen in the character of Leta.  She falls in love with the man who has showered her with unmatched kindness and compassion. When that man disappears from her life, she refuses to believe that the worst fate has befallen on him, and through this hope, she is able to push through her own difficult time. Once we find love, it will prove to be a source of unlimited power that can then be used to draw strength from when we have none left. 

The other main theme that echoed throughout Dragonwitch is that we cannot deny who we are meant to be. While we may try to convince ourselves that we can never be what others have proclaimed us to be, it does not diminish the fact that we still have a great destiny to fulfill.  Feelings of inadequacies may haunt us, but they don’t change what is meant to be. Instead, let us take hold of that promise and walk with all the confidence and courage that comes along with that knowledge. Prove to those around you and yourself that you are more than what you appear to be. Dragonwitch presents us with a man destiny is so much bigger than he is, and he is unable to allow his heart to accept it. He wrestles with this destiny until his heart is tired and worn out. In the end, he realizes he can’t fight against what was set in place by One who is greater than he. He learns that even though we can’t control what happens in our life and the lives of others, we can choose how to react to them.

I found Dragonwitch to be an exhilarating journey full of surprising twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more. While being new to this series and jumping in at this late stage of the game, I wasn’t sure I would be able to understand what all was going on, but overall I had no problem keeping up with and thoroughly enjoying every part of this intriguing tale. Anne Elizabeth Stengl’s writing is like reading beautiful poetry that creeps into the corners and crevices of your heart and illuminates the dark and forgotten parts in order to heal and sooth past hurts. I would recommend this story to fans of fantasy and epic adventures. You will not be disappointed.

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