“Then the heat came. It began the same as it had the night before, and with it came sudden remembrance of the dream she had forgotten. The two faces–one black, one white, one ice, and one fire…Her mother’s ring on her finger tightened and her hands throbbed with burning.”
I just read a book that I couldn’t wait to share with everyone. In fact, I was surprised that this book wasn’t swept up by the media in the way of Twilight. Heartless, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, started slowly. We are introduced to Princess Una, her brother Prince Felix, and the kingdom of Parumvir. It’s fairy tale kingdom, complete with an enchanted forest, mysterious pet, and magical bazaar. The story drifts slowly along until about the halfway point, when things just take off (on dragon wings?).
After conducting some research, I learned that this is classified as Christian Fiction, and the author is often criticized for so many allegories (hidden meaning or moral). Whelp, the allegory was lost on me! I read it as a fairy tale, occasionally simplistic and a bit over the top. Many reviewers called it Christian Fiction and mentioned allegory without ever explaining what that meant. When I really love a book, I don’t really like reading many other reviews, because I want to feel solitary in that book’s world, so I’ve decided to stick with my conclusion that the overall themes were about love, devotion and the fact that no one is perfect. This is hardly a hidden meaning.
Often, all readers are looking for is a good story. This one is a great story. I can see why it drew some criticism, but I wish more people were aware of this “sleeper novel” and enjoyed it the way that I did, without consciousness of hidden morals. I really did love this book (five stars!) and look forward to more Tales of Goldstone Wood.