One of my favorite authors, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, has just released a new book in her fantasy series Tales of Goldstone Wood. I had the privilege of receiving an early copy of the novella Goddess Tithe in exchange for an honest review.
Each of the stories in the series so far has seemed to me not just a book but a window into one part of an intricate world. Stengl has built up this world so thoroughly that when I read one of her books I feel that I’m getting just a glimpse into something much bigger. So far, every one of them has left me feeling that I’ve just paid a short visit to a place I could spend years and years exploring (and never grow tired of, so I’m glad she has several more planned!).
Though significantly shorter than Stengl's other books, Goddess Tithe provides the same kind of reading experience; the same kind of window. It gives an intriguing glimpse of a culture alluded to only briefly elsewhere, but one that Stengl has obviously put a lot of time and thought into developing. The characters are well rounded and believable, and I feel that I know them well now. Their adventures and the settings, though unique, are still consistent with the rest of the series.
This story takes place during the time of one of the previous ones, Veiled Rose, and provides readers an extra look at an episode in the life of the character Leonard - from a new character's point of view. This little novella serves to enrich the world of Goldstone Wood by adding one more angle through which we can see it; one more set of eyes through which to seethe experiences of a character we already knew. And like all the rest of the books, it makes me wonder what other angles there are that I don't know about yet; what other cultures exist there that we have yet to see. I can't wait for the author's next books!
A couple of months ago I featured Goddess Tithe on my blog when Anne Elisabeth Stengl did a cover reveal. Click here to read that post, which includes an excerpt from the story.
Have you read any of the Tales of Goldstone Wood? I'd love to hear what you like about them, or which one is your favorite. Feel free to reply in the comments!