March 7, 2014

Random Friday: A Current Obsession

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This month, I have a treat for you.  My friend, Sarah (who blogs over at Dreams and Dragons), will be guest-hosting Random Fridays for the next 3 weeks.  So, take it away, Sarah!
Thanks, Emma! And hello, blog readers! This week's theme is A Current Obsession! One thing you should know about me: I have a lot of obsessions. Most of them somehow involve books. And currently, my main obsession is with the Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. (Though that might have something to do with the fact that the latest book, Shadow Hand, was just released a few days ago.)

What are the Tales of Goldstone Wood, you ask? The short answer is awesome. The longer answer is fantasy adventure novels that weave together fairy-tale elements, unique twists, an incredible world, and amazing stories. Even that, however, doesn't fully cover it.

Why do I love the Tales of Goldstone Wood? There's probably a million reasons, but I'll highlight a few of the main ones. 

For one thing, I love the world of Goldstone Wood, especially the Wood itself. The Wood, also known as the Between, is what separates the Near (mortal) World and the Far (faerie) World. It's kind of like the Wood Between the Worlds in The Magician's Nephew, but about five hundred times more awesome because the Wood is kind of a world to itself. I would love to be able to explore it and all the faerie lands its Paths leads to . . . except I'd probably get lost and end up somewhere unpleasant. So I'd need someone to put me on the right Path. But, hey, what's the fun of a fantasy world where there's no danger? 
Also, there's the Haven and Imraldera's library, which pretty much contains every story ever written in the Near and Far Worlds, not to mention a record of all the notable quests and adventures that took place. (And possibly all the non-notable ones as well; I'm not entirely clear on that.) In short, it would be bookworm heaven. It also happens to be the place where two of my favorite characters spent most of their time, and nearly everyone who's anyone (and good) ends up there at one point or another.

Speaking of characters, that's another reason I love the Tales of Goldstone Wood. I'll talk about specific characters in a moment, but the characters in general are amazing. People throw around the phrase 'realistic characters' a lot, but the Goldstone Wood characters are more than just realistic. They're practically alive. As in, if one of them showed up on my doorstep one day, I would be less surprised that they're real and more surprised that they were in my world, on my doorstep, practically in my house

Now, a few specific characters I love:
-Princess Una of Parumvir. Una is a dreamy, romantic young woman who wishes for adventure, or at least a bit of a change from the everyday routine. She's really not what you'd consider hero material: she's sheltered, uncertain, a bit silly, and given more to stumbling over her words than giving witty quips. And that's why I love her. See, every time I read Heartless (which is decidedly Una's book), I can't help thinking "Oh my pumpernickel, this is me." 
-The Dragon. The Dragon, also known as Death-in-Life and the Destroyer of Dreams is one of my favorite villains. He's utterly terrifying and incredibly powerful- and oh, he knows it. The way he toys with a person, preying on their fears and their dreams, shows it. I hate him fully- but I love doing it.
-Dame Imraldera. She's the keeper of the Haven and the Haven Library. She has a long and interesting story before that, but I can't tell you much because SPOILERS. Suffice it to say that she's been through a lot and she has a gift for loving people. She's pretty much a hero to a certain group of people. And she's a bookworm like me! And from what I can tell from one book, she enjoys fairy tales. (Or a story that sounds suspiciously like Sleeping Beauty, at least.) I would love to chat with her about books, her life, and certain other characters over lunch or a cup of tea. Or better yet, I could work for her! That would be pretty much the best job ever. (Can I get a guide to the Haven? At least a hint to the Path? Maybe? Please?)
-Bard Eanrin of Rudiobus. Ah, Eanrin. I literally do a *squee* whenever I see his name for the first time in one of the books, or when I hear he'll be in the books. He and Dame Imraldera are pretty much my top two favorite characters in the entire series. And he's one of the only characters to be in every single book (though he only has one scene in Veiled Rose, and it's a very small one) so that's awesome. But he's funny: independent, conceited, yet loyal and loving. He also has a long-running (as in, 1500 years long) but mostly un-admitted love for a certain lady . . . which it's rumored he'll finally declare in Shadow Hand. I can't wait! Also, he's funny and a faerie and of course the most famous bard in the Near and Far Worlds. I'd like to ask him for writing advice . . . even if some of his poetry isn't quite as good as everyone says it is! 
One last reason I obsess over the Tales of Goldstone Wood books? They inspire me. I don't mean the writing kind of inspiration. I mean that remind me that there's more out there, that I can be more than just another teenage bookworm and writer. That the things we see aren't all there is. That there's light, even in the darkest circumstance. Though they're fantasy, they remind me of the truth. And that is the greatest reason why I love the Tales of Goldstone Wood.

What's your current obsession? Please tell us in the comments or your own Random Friday post! Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi Emma, I really love reading your blog and so I nominated you for the Liebster award. You can find the details here:
    I hope you participate.

    1. Hi, Rose, thank you very much, but I'm not doing blog awards any more. Thank you anyways!

  2. Awesome! Of course, this is my big obsession too, and obsession loves company. OOooo, I can't wait for you to read Shadow Hand. You're going to adore Eanrin in that one!

    1. Obsession loves company. I love that.
      And AWESOME! Eanrin and Imraldera's plot is one of the main things that has me excited for Shadow Hand. I'm planning to buy it soon, and can't wait until I can read it either!

      Thanks for reading!

    2. Just remember...Time is a funny thing in the world of Goldstone Wood...(yes, that's cryptic, but it will all be explained once you read Shadow Hand).

  3. Completely agree that the books inspire! I finished rereading Moonblood last night and knew I couldn't go straight to bed. Music tends to be a good outlet and I would have played piano for a while if one were available and if it hadn't been 11:30 pm. Instead I played flute very quietly for a little bit. Can't wait to read Shadow Hand! Sigh, international mail, please hurry up.
    Great post!

    1. Glad you agree! That's cool about the music- usually my outlet is writing or dancing around my room. I hope you get to read Shadow Hand soon.

  4. Yes, Anne Elisabeth's books are pretty great! I haven't yet read all of them, but your enthusiasm makes me even more excited to do so! Thanks for the charming post!

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Tales!


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