Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #1)
Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 13 and up for violence and some fantasy elements
Best for Ages: 13 and up

Description: The Dragon King Seeks His Princess—Who Dares to Stop Him?
Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon marry. She dreams of a charming prince, but when her first suitor arrives, he's not what she'd hoped. Prince Aethelbald of mysterious Farthestshore has travelled a great distance to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be on the hunt and blazing a path of terror. Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his cautions with dire consequences. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in his sights. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

Every few months, I get the urge to read a fantasy. Well, I got the urge and decided to read Heartless which has been on my to-read list for a long time. I was expecting a cute little story with romance. Instead, I was blown away by a powerful allegory.

At first, I thought I was going to hate Una through the whole book. She starts out very selfish and irritating, yet she was a fascinating character. I think that her desire to find the man of her dreams who loves her passionately is something that most girls can relate to. As the story progressed, and the allegory unfolded, Una became a character that reflected parts of me, and I liked her a lot more.

Aethelbald was by far my favorite character. He is the Christ figure of the story, and he was perfect. He has strong character and loves Una unconditionally, even when she was unlovable.

Sometimes, the story felt a bit weird, especially when it came to the dragons. It was weird and amazing all at the same time, which is why this book gets five stars from me. Younger children who haven’t read a lot of fantasy might find some of the elements of this book disturbing.

It is hard to rave about this book, because if I talked about my favorite parts, I would spoil the ending. I will just say that as it is a redemption story, I loved it. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

I highly recommend this book to those who like fantasy, allegories, and redemption stories.

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