Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dragonwitch Blog Tour: Sneak Peak & Giveaway

 As a passionate fan of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood series, I jumped at the chance to be part of the online release tour for her newest book,  Dragonwitch.  The tour, lasting from July 14-16, covers several sites each day, with giveaways, special previews, and interviews at each site. Today's stops include:

Dragonwitch, book five in the series,  further explores the mysterious character mentioned earlier. Firstborn of Death-in-Life, once a Faerie queen,  part of her story has been told in Starflower, where the famed Maid Starflower meets her in the Dragonwitch's ruined desmaine, but there is more to be revealed.  The tale of the Brothers Ashuin, namesakes of the famed Ashuin Lantern, will finally be told, as well as introducing new characters.

A Sneak Peak of Dragonwitch....
A sudden pounding at her door startled Leta to her feet. Did those fool soldiers think she might hide her former teacher in her own chambers? Drawing herself to her full height, she strode to the door and flung it wide, demanding as she did so, "What cause have you to . . . oh."A child, brown and wide-eyed, crouched before her, hands wringing. Leta could almost remember having seen this humble scrubber-boy before, hard at work in various corners of the castle. She had never spoken to him. "Lights above us!" she said, taking in the terror in that face. The boy looked as though he had seen a ghost. "What is the matter?""Allees-tar," the boy said, his eyes pleading to be understood.Leta shook her head. "Say again?"The boy chewed his lip, his eyes darting up and down the corridor. Then he reached out and took Leta's hand in both of his and spoke urgently. "Allees-tar.""Alistair?"The boy nodded.A coldness took hold of Leta at the mention of her betrothed's name. "What about him?"But the boy did not notice her icy voice or stance. He repeated the name and tugged at Leta, motioning and signing for her to follow. There was no understanding the child. Leta shook her head, her teeth grinding. "He must be summoning me. A first time for everything under the sun!"She grabbed her cloak, for it was far too cold to wander the castle corridors without one. Best to get the encounter over with as soon as possible, she decided. She followed the boy to Alistair's room. At the door, she pushed ahead and entered first so as not to seem dragged like a dog. She must retain at least some form of dignity.Then she saw the state in which her betrothed lay."Alistair!" She hastened to his side, leaning over him on the bed. Her mouth gaped, and she grabbed the one candle and held it closer for a better look. She saw the boiling, smelled the poison.One side of her mind said: SCREAM!
It's as well you aren't afraid of blood, her practical side responded.
RUN! roared the panicking Leta.
Someone's got to take care of this. And you want something to distract you. It might as well be you.SCREAM, dragons eat you!But, as usual, practical Leta won the day.She turned to Mouse. There was only a slight tremor in her voice when she spoke. "Fetch fresh water and some bandages." Then she shook her head. "How silly of me. You don't understand, do you? Stay with him, and I'll fetch them myself."
Oh...I'm intrigued already. How many times has the practical side of myself noticed logical points while the rest of me is having an emotional crisis....admittedly, not over a poisoned man, but still...

One of my favorite things about the Tales of Goldstone Wood is the skilled blending of traditional fairy-tale motifs and new approaches. For example, the idea of a beautiful maiden threatened by a fearsome dragon is a common one, but Heartless takes a fresh, deeper approach by  coupling the external threat with a threat to the heroine's mind and soul.  The characters are all well-written, fleshed out in startling detail.  I feel I know them all--to the point of wanting to slap some of them when they're being especially stubborn or foolish!
If you haven't read any of the books before, don't worry--although each novel adds fresh insight to the character,  they can be read in any order without confusion (with the except of Veiled Rose and Moonblood. Read Veiled Rose first).  I have previously posted reviews of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood and Starflower with only minor spoilers for the curious.
There's also another book on the way: Shadow Hand will release sometime in the spring of 2014. I can't wait!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest runs through the 16th, so stop back by the author's blog on the 17th to see the winner.


  1. Yea for sneak peeks! Makes me want to read the book all over again. ;-)

  2. This is a series I have been wanting to read.
    Favorite fairy tales-any Beauty and the Beast retelling!

  3. Miss Stengl has a wonderful talent for breathing new life into many old fairy tale concepts and giving them just the slightest twist to make them her own. I really enjoyed the themes on the heart in Heartless. I feel that Dragonwitch reflects back to that a little.

  4. thanks so much for this sneak peek, Galadriel!
    I. am. LOVING this! (I meant this to be read in the Doctor's voice lol from Vampires in Venice :p)

    So glad you're in the tour!!