Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl delivers an incredible adventure, dynamic characters, and a complex, philosophical plot in Dragonwitch, the 5th book in the “Tales of Goldstone Wood” series. The power of love over hate, good over evil, and forgiveness over bitterness are themes that are woven into this allegorical, fantastical story of goblins, faeries, witches, and mortals. God’s desire to use weak, foolish, or despised things for His purpose and His glory, His ability to make us strong in our weakness, and the peace that comes in accepting His will for our lives are also topics that are figuratively alluded to throughout this novel. Dragonwitch addresses the idea that one can be willfully blind and bound to a belief, as well as the thought that a person can give her life trying to attain something only to discover that what she sought was ultimately meaningless, and in fact, a lie. Deeper still runs the philosophical thread that is the main theme of this story: that one’s belief- or disbelief- in something does not affect the truth of what is. Indeed, Dragonwitch is laden with incidental bits of metaphysical and religious philosophy, making it one of the best, and certainly one of the deepest, Christian novels I’ve read in quite a long time. I have not read the first four books in this series, and I readily admit I haven’t read much of this genre of literature at all…in fact, I read this book because it looked so bizarrely different from anything I normally read that I thought I should give it a try for that reason alone. In doing so I inadvertently became one of Ms. Stengl’s biggest fans. Dragonwitch is a brilliant allegory, a finely crafted story, and altogether unique Christian fiction. Its appeal is suitable to a broad reading base, from young teens to adults, and certainly to Christians or non-Christians alike. This is one of those rare fiction books you will read, highlight, contemplate, and want to pass on to others.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.