Saturday, April 26, 2014

Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Bethany House, 2014. 408p. (9780764210280) Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood, #6

Normally I don’t read time travel books because I find the idea too implausible and mind boggling. This story takes place in two (three?) time periods, but Anne Elisabeth makes it completely plausible and believable. It’s still a bit mind boggling but very well explained. I highly recommend this book and series! (But you already knew that. :-)

Goodreads Summary:
She will take your own two hands
to save your ancient, sorrowing lands.

By her father's wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. Unable to bear the future she sees as her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory.

But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal fey parasite . . . .

A world that is hauntingly familiar.

My Review:
Lumé love us, is this a good book! It pulls you into the Wood and along with Lady Daylily and Foxbrush you lose all sense of time. Though, fortunately, unlike them you probably won’t encounter sylphs who push, poke, prod, tickle, pull and play with mortals to death (unless rescued of course).

More dangerous though than losing all sense of time is being pulled through time and finding yourself in a time that is not your own. Which is exactly what happens to the main characters of this epic adventure. How else do you describe a tale that takes place centuries ago and in the present? Where the outcomes of what happens in the past shapes the future beyond the present more than ordinary history shapes what comes after.

Confused? It does take a bit to get used to. Shadow Hand is a complicated story and to make sense of it and to grasp the import of Redbeard, the Haven, Imraldera and Eanrin, Sun Eagle and his beads, South Land itself and many other things you really ought to read all of the other books in the series.

And then after you read Shadow Hand for the first time you should reread it. As I’m writing this review I’ve been flipping back trying to find various bits and I keep coming across things at the beginning that tie in to the end. For example, the sylph tells Leo something on page 87 that we don’t completely learn about and don’t realize the full importance of until pages 382 and 402 (out of 408). Or, what would have happened in the present and the past and the future if Foxbrush hadn’t gone back and picked up that paper? The tiniest of actions can make a world of difference.

Fangirl moment: yes, I shouted aloud at that scene in chapter six of part two; and then sighed at the following scenes. Oh Eanrin.

Read this series if you enjoy fantasy and complicated other worlds and stories about love (and not just romantic love either!).

Five stars: Go buy, borrow or beg this book right now!

Go read it! Find it at a library near you; Buy it from Amazon  ($11.54 / $3.99); Buy it from ($9.99 / $3.95); Buy it from Barnes & Noble ($11.51 / $5.99)
(Paperback/ ebook prices good as of April 26, 2014; always double check for yourself)

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author and publisher (thank you Anne Elisabeth!). 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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