Shadows of the Hersweald is a Hansel and Gretel retelling with the theme of Peace. If you enjoy Christian fantasy and fairytale retellings, be sure to check this one out. I was privileged to beta it, and I enjoyed it a lot.
They 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?
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.
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And I asked Hope Ann a few questions.
Hansel and Gretel isn't a fairytale that I see re-told very often, why did you choose it?
It just snapped with my theme of peace. Since this novella took place after the war, I knew I wanted rebels or bandits and something of the sort. Forests work well with that sort of thing—and siblings. And… it just happened, I guess. It’s not my favorite fairy tale, but I figured I could change it as I please. So I did.
All of your Legends of Light Novellas are Fruit of the Spirit themed. Why did you choose Peace to pair with Hansel and Gretel?
I’m running through the Fruit of the Spirit themes in order, so I picked Hansel and Gretel to go with peace rather than vice versa. Peace fit well with the salvation aspect I wanted to show in this story, as well as a good fit with the outwardly troubled aspect of Aslaria after the war.
Are any of the characters in Shadows of the Hersweald based off of you?
No, not this time. All of these characters are pretty different from me. The character closest to me is probably Mathias… But none of them are based off me. ;)
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 authorhopeann, or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.