Shadows of the Hersweald: Book Review

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Welcome to the launch of Shadows of the Hersweald, the third novella in the Legends of Light series! If you enjoy Christian fantasy and fairy tale retellings, you’ll want to check out this Hansel and Gretel novella.


I do not think I could recommend this book enough! Shadows of the Hersweald wowed me with nearly everything from the writing to the characters and themes woven through it. I love fantasy and fairy-tale retellings, so naturally this is the kind of story I would read, but it also has elements of allegory woven throughout (which I usually don’t like) but it was brilliantly handled in this story and I did not find the allegorical parts too overbearing or preachy.

I don’t know if I’ve said it yet, but I love Hope’s writing. Every word throughout this tale is important. Sentences flow together seamlessly to make a quick and easy read that isn’t lacking in vocabulary or stylistic techniques. Hope has a few writing quirks that I’ve begun to pick up on after reading most of her works, such as certain phrases she uses or unique sentence structures. It’s not often that I’m able to find the author’s fingerprint in a book so easily, so that definitely made the writing more special, at least to me.

In this story, Haydn is the main character and he is intent on rejecting the Prince’s pardon. He thinks some people are not deserving of mercy, and that people need to be punished for what they’ve done. He’s now one of the few characters to receive the honor of joining my list known as “Main Characters Whom I Actually Like”. He is an interesting character in the fact that he is not perfect, he is probably suffering from PTSD, and…well, don’t let me spoil things for you ;). Even the secondary characters–whether it be Gorawen, Traveon, or their parents–are detailed, original, and interesting in their own way with hidden motives and differing personalities.

As I began this book, I began asking questions. Why is Haydn against the pardon? Why does he think he doesn’t deserve mercy? Why doesn’t he think others deserve it? Most of my questions regarding Haydn and the central theme of the book were answered by the end of the tale, leaving me satisfied in that area (although I would like to know more about what happens to the characters in the future). The advertised theme for this book is peace, and this is woven through the story in a subtle way, just like the storyline of Hansel and Gretel and the allegorical plot points. However, I found that redemption was a more obvious theme, although the two go hand in hand in a way.

There were very few things I did not like about this book, and one of them was the fact that it was too short. There was no language, and barely any romance, although there definitely is violence. The only thing that could be considered inappropriate was a comment that someone made after finding Haydn and Gorawen alone in the woods, and it was very subtle.

So, if you like fairy tale rewritings with a dash of allegory and Christian themes, you will definitely enjoy this book. And even if you don’t enjoy reading what I just listed, you could still give it a try. And really, what’s not tempting about the cover? You know we all judge books by their covers to some extent…

In summary: Get this book! It’s definitely worth it!

Have a great day, and don’t forget to follow the blog tour! (links below) 🙂

Shadows of the Hersweald CoverThey would have to come that afternoon. Haydn glared at the rutted road twisted away from the gate beneath him, slithering into the shadows of the Harsweald. And what was the flaming idea behind leaving him in charge? Tregaron in the hands of a criminal… that would put them all in the good graces of the province governor, no questions asked.

A battered soldier from a defeated army, Haydn knows there is only one end to the arrival of the Prince’s governor. Except he hasn’t counted on the Prince himself. Or the pardon which his recent foe has declared to acquit all those who fought against him.

A pardon Haydn detests.

A pardon that refuses to punish the rebels now threatening his own village. And his sister.

Guilt-ridden from his own actions during the war, Haydn knows there are others who have no conscience at all. Others who are using the freedom of the pardon to forward their own desperate schemes.

With enemies closing in on all sides, a pardon that refuses punishment, and nightmares of murder and fire haunting his every thought, will Haydn recognize the truth or will his fear condemn everything he loves to destruction?

Book trailer

Although the history of Aslaria and the conflict between the Prince and the rebel, Tauscher, flow chronologically through the series, each novella in the Legends of Light series is a stand-alone story. Each novella focuses on one of the nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit while twisting fairy tales in a clean, exciting, and inspiring manner.

Buy now on Kindle, iTunes, and Smashwords

Add on Goodreads

About the Author:

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Hope Ann is a Christian authoress who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She was homeschooled and now helps teach several of her eight younger siblings.

She has been writing for over five years and has so many story ideas that she doubts she will ever stop. Her favorite genre to write is high fantasy with a touch of the allegorical. A close second is futuristic suspense. Her goal is to not only entertain with her stories but to provide inspirational fiction for young adults.

Predictably, she loves reading fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, and futuristic suspense. Her favorite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Frank Peretti, Mark Twain, and Serena Chase.

Her hobbies include photography, movie making, knitting, tree climbing, writing e-mails to friends, listening to Celtic music, and collecting shiny trinkets for story inspiration. You can visit Hope’s blog at, or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.

Shadows of the Hersweald Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 27

Brie Donning – Review, sneak peak

Erudessa Aranduriel – Interview, quotes

Tuesday, March 28

Catherine Regitz (me!)– Book review

Raechel – Quotes

S. F. – Review, interview, quotes

Wednesday, March 29

Audrey Caylin – sneak peek

Ivy Rose – Quotes

Thursday, March 30

Marrok Macintyre – Interview

Rebekah – sneak peek

Friday, March 31

Elle – Review, interview

Hannah Whatley – Review, interview, quotes

Saturday, April 1

Sarah – Review, interview, sneak peek

Wysteria Campion – Review, interview, quotes

Rebeca Morgan – Interview, quotes


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