Stengl is an allegorical genius, and her lyrical writings transport the reader into lands similar to the fairy tales of our childhood. She plays with metaphorical understandings and leads us on an epic journey. Her Tales of Goldstone Wood will be fodder for anyone who is hooked on Christian fantasy adventure. Be prepared to take notes on the where and the who as the stories unfold into a deeper and deeper twist of surprises that keep you wondering how it will all tie together.
Eanrin is on a rescue mission after Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a dragon-witch. During his quest he is drawn to a maiden who has fallen into an enchanted sleep. Eanrin wishes to grant Starflower a waking kiss and hesitates in the Wood Between, bravely wanting to assist her. He is soon enmeshed in a relationship with Starflower, knowing that somehow she is linked to the dragon-witch or is a participant in one of her schemes. Will Eanrin rescue Lady Gleamdren with the help of Starflower or will they both fall victim to the darkness that is following them? (BETHANY HOUSE, Dec., 400 pp., $14.99)