Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is yet another novel from the Goldstone Wood Series filled with unique voices and humorous characters.
They say to create a great piece of writing you must read a variety of genres. Stengl inserts some Native American flavor into these stories as we hear about some of the characters from Veiled Rose and Moonblood like the boy who got lost on the Paths and Imeralda. We also learn more about Earin, the cat-man.
The story is less about Earin and more about Imeralda–also known as Starflower. Starflower is from the Hidden Lands where women literally do not have a voice. They use sign language to speak to each other and men view them as property. Earin finds Starflower in an enchanted sleep next to a magical river.
Earin is a cat and a man. He is a silly poet in love with Queen Bobos cousin, Gleamdren. Gleamdren is a shallow and vain girl who lets herself get kidnapped by Hri Sora, a dragon, who used to be Etalpali–a great queen whose hatred turned her into Dark Father’s daughter.
The Dark Father strips her of her dragon form and her wings. Hri stands in human form bearing the power of her dragon’s fire in a frail human body. Hri is mother to the Black Dogs–her neglected children who know only hate until Starflower.
The Black Dogs do Hri’s bidding and are known for dragging people to death’s dark waters. The lesson Stengl reveals between the Black Dogs and Starflower is how persistant love and courage can change someone who has only known hate and abuse.
Starflower succeeds where Earin fails in bringing Gleamdren to safety, but only after Starflower makes a bargain. Starflower must face the past she ran from in order to free her people from the bondage of a deviate faerie lord once married to Hri. Hri wants Amarok dead. Starflower is not alone. Earin accompanies her and faces the danger with Starflower. Overall, Stengl’s novel, Starflower is just as good as the rest of her novels in the Goldstone Wood series and I rated it five stars. There is a good reason why Stengl won the Christy Award twice.
This month’s tour for Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl runs Monday through Wednesday. I will refer to past reviews of her books as well as a review of Starflower. In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of Starflower from the publisher. Others involved in this tour are here:
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson