Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood #1) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

The Story: In a wondrous fantasy kingdom, a princess dreams of a handsome, charming suitor who will come to sweep her off her feet. Instead, after her first suitor seems quite boring and her second suitor is just after her money, she realizes that her fairy tale romance may not turn out like she hoped. As nightmares start to haunt her and dark forces encircle her, who she gives her heart to will turn out to be a far more serious choice than she ever imagined.

My Thoughts: While this might sound like a typical princess fairy tale, it is actually quite different. Few princess fairy tales are this dark and complex, or have such a strong moral message. A large cast of colorful characters helps bring the story of life, as do a variety of original fantastical touches, such as the way the author weaves many exotic fairy elements into the story.

The writing often gives the impression of looking at a painting instead of words, with skillfully-placed details scattered about on almost every page. The only serious flaw is that the plot seems to lose its way after awhile, and while the beautiful prose mostly covers up this problem, the plot issues grow more noticeable toward the story’s end. Since the book has so many enchanting traits, however, I still enjoyed it a lot, and its strengths make it worth reading.

Content Overview: Mild violence. Some intense and scary scenes.


  1. I think this was one of the first things I read when I began reading fantasy. (Didn't think I'd ever say that. ;P) There were a couple things in it that I recall as seeming too far-fetched, to the point that I was a little annoyed by them, but for the most part, I liked this one quite a bit. I think it would be interesting to go back and read it again now that I've gotten some more exposure to the fantasy genre. :)

    1. I'm glad you're reading fantasy, Amy! If you read Heartless again, I'd like to hear your thoughts afterward. :)