Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Three very different characters' stories intertwine in this fantasy novel. Hri Sora the dragon woman seeks revenge on the one who had enslaved her. Starflower/Imraldera, a mortal girl, flees from her terrible and turbulent past. Eanrin (who regularly shape-shifts into an orange cat), chief poet to King Iubdan and Queen Bebo of Rudiobus, hopes to rescue the Lady Gleamdren who has been kidnapped. All these characters are searching for something - will they be successful in their pursuit?
I found Part One of this book to be very confusing with the different stories all going on at the same time. There was very little explanation given for why things were happening, but perhaps I would have understood better if I had read all the previous books in the series (this is #4 in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series). Part Two did clear up the confusion of the first part. Everything fell in place and made sense to me, eventually.
I enjoyed the story moderately. The confusion of all the different stories running at the same time diminished my enjoyment of the book considerably. There is quite a bit of violence (not graphic for the most part but certainly implied) that readers should be aware of before beginning this book. Also, the contrast between good and evil wasn't as strong as it could have been, but it is a fantasy story with moral principles.
Having previously read Heartless (by the same author), which I enjoyed immensely, I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, it fell short of my anticipations.
My Rating : 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Please note : I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for my honest review.