Monday, July 19, 2010

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Bethany House (July 1, 2010)


Anne Elisabeth Stengl


Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys her profession as an art teacher, giving private lessons from her personal studio, and teaching group classes at the Apex Learning Center. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. Heartless is her debut novel.

Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir.

Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger.  When Una makes the wrong choice, catastrophe ensues for the princess and her family, and love, courage, and trust are needed when darkness engulfs the kingdom.

Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

There are some delightful things and scenes: the Twelve-Year Market that appears in its own good time and sells fairy goods; a clever blind cat who is invariably underfoot and has, of course, a secret!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Heartless, go HERE.

Kay's Comment's: I began reading this book and realized perhaps my fellow fiction reader Brenda Risner would be a better reviewer of this book. The reason is that she and her 15-year-old son Mason have often talked to me about how they enjoy reading Christian fantasy. I handed the book over to them. Brenda's comments are below. Mason says he liked the book even though there is romance; however, like many 15-year-olds, he is a bit distracted with summer weather. I'm sure you will see his review here soon.

Brenda treks over Afton Mountain once a month to attend our meeting of the Shenandoah Christian Writers. She founded Prescription for Learning for families with intense children, edits via The Purple Pen and is a licensed Christian counselor. She home schools her four children and hopes to add another preteen by adoption. Thanks to the Risners!

Guest Reviewer
Brenda's Comments: Heartless, the debut novel by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, is an engaging story of a young princess, competing suitors, and the strange and magical world she lives in. A world filled with myth and magic, faeries and dragons, good and evil. A world where anything is possible and all is not as it seems.

Despite a slow start, Heartless is filled with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and so many twists and turns that the unexpected is the norm. With generous use of foreshadowing, the author encourages the reader's curiosity. The writing seemed a bit stilted at first, but quickly settled into a smooth read.

This was not the best novel I've read recently, but enjoyable nonetheless. Enjoyable enough that I plan to read future books by this author. I believe she has a lot of promise and I expect her name to become well-known within Christian fantasy circles

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