But within the walls of his castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta's tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the entire nation.
And far way in a hidden kingdom, a flame burns atop the Citadel of the Living Fire. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice... and for the hero who can wield it.
Review: Oh. My. Goodness. Someone, PLEASE tell me why I was not made aware of this author years ago?! Forgive me for shouting and being rather dramatic, but OH. My. Goodness!! I loved this book. Like, really really loved this book!
To be honest, I only requested this novel because the cover looked intriguing and it was fantasy. The back cover didn't do much to pique my interest as it sounded rather typical of the fantasy genre. I thought that, at best, it would be mildly entertaining. I suppose what I am trying to say is that this book had a lot of ground to make up for before I flipped over the first page. I was critical, to say the least. And then it hit me:
"Have you ever watched an immortal die?"
That is the first line of this book. From the first sentence, "Dragonwitch" made me sit up and pay attention. The world is complex and incredibly well thought out. There are so many numerous different worlds and spaces coexisting all at once that keeping all the layers separate and clear is an accomplishment all on its own. The characters are untraditional, creative, and surprising. I LOVE being surprised! However, I have read so many fantasies and so many novels that it takes a special book to shock me - and this book did... again...and again..... and again. The twists and turns were constant. I had so much fun reading this!
And to any parents who are considering this book for their teenage/pre-teen child and are concerned over the title (I had people comment on the 'witch' part of the title) it is perfectly clean and witchcraft does not play a role in this story. There is magic in that the characters can step between worlds, there are immortal faeries, there are goblins and monsters, but there was no inappropriate content. This book is clever, fun, and immensely entertaining.
I can not say enough good things about this book. Quite honestly, it was all I could do not to pick it up in-between patients. "Dragonwitch" had me literally grinding my teeth as I waited for the achingly slow hands of the clock to hit 5:30 so I could go home and read!
"Dragonwitch" is the first book I have read by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, but apparently it's not the first book in the series. I will be reading the rest of the series as soon as I can get my hands on them, and from what I can tell a book named "Heartless" is the first in the series, followed by "Veiled Rose", "Moonblood", "Starflower" and then "Dragonwitch". I enjoyed "Dragonwitch exceedingly and did not feel lost jumping in on book #5, but I would recommend that it is probably a good idea to start at book #1!
This book is a MUST read!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.