In Shadow Hand we pick up the stories of Prince Lionheart, Foxbrush – Prince Lionheart’s straight-laced cousin, and Daylily – Lionheart’s former betrothed. Due to previous events, Lionheart has been deposed as the crown prince and future king of the Southlands and has been replaced by the coddled, bookish, rather boring Foxbrush, who is set to marry Daylily and thus forge the alliance with the wealthy and powerful Baron of Middlecrescent. But things go seriously awry when Daylily runs away. Lionheart appears at the same moment, handing his cousin a scroll reputedly from the mystical Dame Imraldera herself. A long-held secret love for Daylily sends Foxbrush after Lionheart, who has promised to try to find Daylily. They travel into the Faerie Wood and their adventure quickly begins, where each must fight monsters, both inside and out, to find the Path set for them.
Every time I pick up another of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, I find myself happily sucked into worlds so deftly drawn that I feel myself a part of them. I am so impressed with how Stengl weaves so many threads from so many storylines back and forth into a fabulously rich tapestry. Shadow Hand is no different. I found myself unmoved by Foxbrush in previous Tales, but Stengl does an amazing job of picking up his thread and demonstrating how someone who may be thought of as, or even consider themselves, insignificant or unworthy can be used by God for mighty works.
And I love the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey-ness of Shadow Hand – how Foxbrush and Daylily end up in their own ancestral world, setting up those things that are so important to their existence in their own time. Each moment I thought I knew what was going to happen next, another surprise was thrown in that made me go, “What? No way! Really? That’s so cool!” (Even my inner dialogue was left practically speechless!) As I read, I smiled effusively, and I even found myself tearing up! Beautiful!
If you even remotely like fantasy and you haven’t tried Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood, you are seriously missing out and must remedy the situation immediately! Go! Now!
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own!