Bethany House (July 1, 2010) 363 pages
Description from Amazon:
Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon be married. She dreams of a handsome and charming prince, but when the first suitor arrives, she finds him stodgy and boring. Prince Aethelbald from the mysterious land of Farthestshore has traveled far to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be approaching Parumvir.
Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.
Heartless is the first book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. I read Veiled Rose not too long ago, and while I loved it, I realize now how much more I would have gotten out of it if I'd read Heartlessfirst. It took my appreciation of the series to a whole new level. Even though Veiled Rose goes back in time, I highly recommend Heartlessfirst!
Heartless is a perfect fairy tale filled with dragons, fairies, knights, and a princess. Since I mentioned knights and all, I do want to point out that I wouldn't label this series as a romance in any kind of way. While I like reading romance, I do appreciate that this series isn't one of them. I've "met" a great deal of people through the blogging world that either don't or can't read romance books. If you like fantasy at all, I do recommend this series, either way. Despite the girly covers, which I love, I think these are great for boys, too.
I still haven't completely figured out Prince Athelbald's character. It seems like there was a great deal of symbolism going on with him, but I couldn't really figure out how parts of it worked together. I know that's really vague, but I don't want to give anything away. You should be able to read this series and come away with whatever you decide, so I don't want to alter that opinion in any kind of way. His character did leave me a bit confused, though. It's one of those stories that have stuck with me. I keep randomly pondering the characters and plot. I enjoy books that do that!
Lord willing, I am planning on re-reading Veiled Rose before Moonblood releases in April. I'm SO excited! :)
On another note(kind of), I visited Anne's site after finishing the book, and she is having a new contest. I'm not really talented at anything, but I am racking my brain trying to figure out something to enter. The winner gets a SIGNED set of the books! :) Check out all the details HERE.