She will take your own two hands
to save your ancient, sorrowing lands.
By her father's wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. Unable to bear the future she sees as her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory.
But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal fey parasite . . . .
A world that is hauntingly familiar.
My Review: Anne Elisabeth’s books always leave me breathless. Shadow Hand even more than ever before. In some fashion or form, Anne Elisabeth managed to draw every single character from her previous six books into Shadow Hand. Many people accused Heartless of being too simple.
But cast in the light of her other six books, Heartless is the beginning of a complex, intricate telling of many tales that touch each other somewhere somehow whether it be in the future, the present, or the past. Shadow Hand touches Heartless just as it touches Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower and the other books she has written. Even Anne Elisabeth’s novel, Goddess Tithe, is intertwined in Shadow Hand (though I have never personally read Goddess Tithe I could see it in Shadow Hand.)
Somehow, Anne Elisabeth can take the most pathetic characters and create them into heroic, courageous figures. I didn’t like Foxbrush or Daylily at all until Shadow Hand. The journeys they travel, the things they are forced to do when they are called upon to do them, were incredible and glorious. This series cannot be read out of order. If it is, then the reader will miss many things. I don’t believe Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s books can be thoroughly comprehended unless they are read through twice. I was a little bewildered sometimes while reading Shadow Hand but when everything began to make sense I was fascinated by how complex the whole plot was. I’m sure if I were to read this book through again I would catch things I didn’t catch the first time through.
Nidarwi the Everblooming was a thoroughly imaginative character. I so enjoyed getting to know her and felt sympathetic toward her for all of the loss she endured. Cren Cru is perhaps the most creative part of the whole novel. It’s something only the author could ever think of. The story of Cren Cru is both tragic and fascinating.
For those fans of Eanrin and Imlraldera, I can assure you that they are both in Shadow Hand. There were some tender moments between them as well as some frustrating ones. Well, frustrating where the reader is concerned. But I think there will be a lot more of them (or at least Eanrin) from the looks of the front cover of Anne Elisabeth’s upcoming release Golden Daughter.
The sheer intricacies of this novel amazed me. Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s beautiful and lyrical writing style captivated me from the very first. And her characters have stuck in my mind like few characters ever do.
I give Shadow Hand 5 out of 5 stars.
**I received a copy of this book from the publishers for my honest review, which I have given. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.**