Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales of Goldstone Wood with Shadow Hand, the sixth book in her award-winning series. It picks up the story of Lady Daylily where Moonblood (book 3) left off.
Lady Daylily, a minor character in Moonblood whose backstory is told in Shadow Hand. She is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands (Foxbrush), but Daylily is in love with his cousin, Lionheart. On her wedding day she receives a letter convincing her to flee her arranged marriage. She escapes into the Wilderlands. His cousin Lionheart competes with him to find Daylily. Pursued by the one she loves and by the one who loves her, she finds that the Wilderlands is an unusual place, making things change in her relationships.
All three face strange creatures and dangerous magic where a parasite endangers the Wilderlands inhabitants. Meanwhile, the King of the Southland dies, leaving no other heir (because Lionheart and Foxbrush are rescuing Daylily), resulting in Daylily’s father taking charge and arranging his coronation as the new king. It is interrupted when Lionheart, Daylily, and Foxbrush return.
The plot lines in Shadow Handweaves a tale sure to delight its readers. Stengl carries on three storylines (telling the different adventures of Daylily, Foxbrush, and Lionheart in the Wilderlands). Her complex story is descriptive and detailed, and sometimes one must reread a section or two in order to keep the details straight. As all good fairy tales end with a happily ever after, Shadow Hand ends with, “this is how heroic tales should end . . . the kiss of true love found.”
Recommended for high school libraries, as well as teen collections in public libraries.
Carol R. Gehringer
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2014.