Dragonwitch by Anne Elizabeth Stengl
Dragonwitch begins with the story of Alistair Calix-son (heir to his uncle the Earl Ferox of Castle Gaheris) and his betrothed Lady Leta, daughter of Earl Aiven. It's your typical arranged marriage scenario - neither one cares too much about the other but they aren't given a choice in the whole situation. There is something else going on, though - something darker. Why is Alistair's mother fighting so hard to assure her son's place as her brother's successor? And who exactly is the mysterious Chronicler, the dwarf who spends his life working in the Earl's library?
This is the third book I have read in this series. I still haven't found any of them to equal or surpass Heartless, though. It remains my favourite so far. Like Starflower, I enjoyed Dragonwitch moderately. Once again, all the stories running simultaneously (at least two or three at a time) makes the reading a bit confusing. I actually read the book twice before beginning this review to make sure I had a good grasp on the story.
As with Starflower, there is quite a lot of implied violence but nothing graphic. At times it is hard to discern whether a character is good or bad, but in the end, good triumphs over evil. Having some of the same characters from Starflower return in another story gave this book an interesting and unexpected turn of events.
I would give this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It is a clean, moralistic fantasy and an enjoyable read. The negative things about the story are the confusing multiple story-lines and the assumption on the part of the author that the reader has read the previous books.
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.