Anne Elisabeth Stengl
BEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS
IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED.
Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.
But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?
For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.
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In Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Sairu has been trained since birth to be a Golden Daughter, a special protector of the nobility. When her skills are perfected, she will go under-cover as a wife to her master for the rest of their lives in order to protect him from all harm. Except Sairu is assigned to protect a woman. This woman has the special ability to Dream Walk, and someone wants her dead. It’s up to Sairu, now a handmaiden, to protect her mistress and to discover why the assassins want her dead before it’s too late.
Every one of Anne Elisabeth’s novels have enchanted me, earning her the title of “favorite author”. Golden Daughter was no exception. I was super excited when I learned that I was to be given and influencer copy of the book and have subsequently devoured it.
One of the first things I noticed was that Golden Daugher, the seventh book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood Series, was much longer than its predecessors. It was also set in a different part of the world with nearly all new characters once again. The setting was the eastern parts of the mortal world, comparable to medieval China. It portrays grand palaces, universities, leper colonies, and small tribes on the plains in a believable manner while intertwining a dream world, the Wood Between, and the garden of the moon.
Each character—Sairu, Jovan, Sunan (yes, Captain Sunan from Vieled Rose and Goddess Tithe), Lady Hariawan, and others—was unique, sometimes funny, and well written. They seemed like real people struggling with real problems and romances. There were a few familiar characters, Eanrin for example, but most of the main characters were completely new and amazing. I would mention that Jovan’s story reminded me of Joseph’s story in the Bible, which was a nice touch.
The plot, also, was unlike any story I have ever read. There is certainly the comparison to Joseph, but there are so many other things going on that Golden Daughter is completely unique.
Also, the spiritual element was beautiful. It tells of redemption, of hope even through pain, and of the ultimate defeat of the Dragon both in the character’s lives and our own when we trust in the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I applaud Anne Elisabeth for another astonishing story.
I received a free influencer, ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.