I use to read sci-fi/fantasy books all the time. I grew-up loving this genre and continued to enjoy it well into my college years. In fact my husband introduced me to one of my favorite fantasy series while in college. Every once in a while I have to pull it out and re-read it. That’s what a good book is all about, the connection to the characters and places. Re-reading a good book is like coming home and finding your best friends sitting around your table with a warm cup of coffee. It’s the comfort of a warm blanket on a cold night.
When I saw new fantasy options from Bethany House in their blogging for books section, I was excited! I couldn’t wait to choose one of the books.
Here is my review of Dragonwitch by Anne Elizabeth Stengl
This is not the first book in the series, it is the 5th in the series with a 6th coming out in 2014. I’ve not read any of the previous books. The story follows some unlikely heroes as they face incredible odds to save a kingdom. Well, a kingdom soon to come. Leta is promised to marry a young lord who believes he will unite the lords and form a kingdom. Alistair, the young lord, is plagued with nightmares and is burdened by the expectation of being king. Chronicler is a young man trained since childhood to record history and official letters for the lord. Most recently, he has begun to teach Alistair to read. Mouse a stranger who is unable to speak the common language but on an important quest to find the future king. Each have an important role to play. Each of them will learn to grow and development into the person they are destined.
There are several wonderful things about this book and story. First off, it’s a great example of how the least likeliest people can accomplish great things. It’s a story of self-discovery and coming of age. It is a romance with a twist. It encourages us to live beyond our circumstances in life or challenges. All of this wrapped-up in an adventure of daring deeds. I also enjoyed the book as I believe several ages could enjoy this book and walk away with a different perception as it tackles many themes. This is a book you could read several times and walk away with a better knowledge of the story.
There are two drawbacks that I noted. At the beginning of each chapter it gives a snip-it of history. I personally found this very confusing in the beginning trying to fully understand what was happening. In fact, I skimmed reading over it in the first several chapters to avoid confusion. I found as I continued to read, this seemed a bit less confusing. In fact, it helped to provide the background to the story and added some depth. The story was a bit difficult to follow with the changes in point of view and depth of the story. It almost seemed to be telling two different stories at once.
Overall, this was a nice surprise. It did take me a while to get into it and so it did sit on my shelf for a while before I completed. It is an enjoyable read once you get through the first several chapters.
I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review. I recommend this book to adult and teenage readers who enjoy fantasy stories.
I give this book a 4 out of 5 bookends.