Starflower - Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I decided to join the Starflower blog tour, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer! Starflower looked like such an enchanting read by the lovely cover, how could I resist?? Now, Starflower is technically the fourth in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, but was meant to be a standalone book, so no worries about spoilers, since I haven’t read the first three :).

 Goodreads Amazon
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Pages: 400 (paperback)
Genre-ish: Christian fantasy
Rating★★★ (3.5) Beautiful world, lacked on the characters

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission…and a race against his rival for Gleamdren’s favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.
But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren’s rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer? – Goodreads


  • There was a good amount of character development in Starflower all around, including one of the villains, though she is more of a grey character than evil I’d say ;-). This was fortunate because most of the characters didn’t start out in the best places, haha.
  • The descriptions of the world and the Hound character in Starflower were absolutely beautiful, nearly poetic.
  • Starflower had an interesting premise I must say, and again, there were several characters that I just wasn’t sure if I was supposed to root for them or not. This makes for a little bit of a confusing read at times, but refreshing as well!


  • Up until 20% of Starflower (I know because I was reading on my Kindle), I disliked all of the characters we had met and interacted with much so far. This was not a really great introduction to the story, and made me worry.
  • The nicest and main character, ie Starflower, is mute and we get very little of her internal dialogue. This led to me wishing I knew her better, since I think I would have liked her, but I just didn’t get the chance. There is a section of Staflower where the girl tells a story to someone who can understand her sign language, and that was awesome, because we finally got to hear from a character who didn’t constantly annoy me!
  • The whole culture that enslaved and muted their women thing never really got completely resolved. I won’t spoil anything by talking about it further, but I would have liked something that made a blanket outcry against all involved in such a horrible practice.


Starflower was beautiful and charming, but the characters just didn’t win me over due to various factors. I think I would have actually preferred if the whole book had been first person, since then we could have gotten to know Starflower better. I had also been hopeful that the dragon would have been the one we were rooting for, but alas, not all dragons are good ;-). Finally, there was a lack of moral resolution for me when it came to the treatment of women by Starflower’s people, which was a little disappointing after such an otherwise epic conclusion.