Sunday, November 3, 2013

Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Rooglewood Press, 2013. 120p. (978-0-9894478-0-5) Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood, #2.5
(I just made up that number. How do you number a novella that takes place in the middle of a book in a series?)

I just finished reading [when I wrote this review two weeks ago] the first novella from The Tales of Goldstone Wood. It was quite good but now I really want to know if we’ll find out more about Munny. What is his real name? Who is his mother? Who was his father? And the captain. What’s his story? He wasn’t afraid of Risafeth. Why?Who is the lady in the portrait?

And yet for all the questions this book raises, it does answer some questions. All of which concern Leonard the Jester. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Veiled Rose which is the book during which this novella takes place. But I think this story shows us more about his character and some of the things he learns on his journey to Lunthea Maly.

The summary lures us in:
When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.
Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?

Just like in Anne Elisabeth’s other books there are universal themes woven in that make it much richer and deeper than a mere adventure on the high seas story. In this book honor, loyalty and self-sacrifice are deftly portrayed.

In hind sight Goddess Tithe reminds me of C. S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The glassy sea, the fierce storm, the creatures below the water (though they were friendlier in Narnia’s ocean in the Silver Sea or Utter East), and of course the sea serpent.
Narnian mermaid that waves to Lucy in Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Narnian water nymph
Image source:

Since this is a novella there are fewer descriptions, but I could still picture the scenes and Anne Elisabeth’s illustrations are informative as well. If it were a full length novel I can imagine more details about life aboard the ship, a sub-plot involving other crew members and perhaps more hints about the captain’s past as well, and longer descriptions of the sea and Risafeth. But I’m not complaining. I love the idea of a Goldstone Wood novella and am thrilled Anne Elisabeth will most likely be writing some more.

I thoroughly enjoyed this quick trip to the world of Goldstone Wood and the voyage of the Kulap Kanya. Any fan of Anne Elisabeth’s and anyone looking for an exciting ocean adventure involving a vengeful sea monster will enjoy this novella.

Learn more about Goddess Tithe:

Go read it! Buy it from Amazon

Disclosure: I received this ebook free from the author (thank you!). I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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  1. Great review! I can't wait having the questions from this book answered either! :D

    1. Thanks Hannah! I sure hope Anne Elisabeth answers them sometime soon! :-)


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