Shadows of the Hersweald Blog Tour

Welcome to the launch of Shadows of the Hersweald, the third novella in the Legends of Light series! This Hansel and Gretel retelling is an amazing novella that I was privileged to read it before it was officially released and I loved it! The author Hope Ann does a wonderful job with this series blending together allegorical, fairy tale, and "fruits of the Spirit" elements. So hang around if you enjoy Christian fantasy and fairy tale retellings to learn more about this Hansel and Gretel novella!

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?

Full of danger, loyalty, and betrayal, all tinted red from the shuddering glow of the firecarn, this is more than a mere retelling of a favorite fairy tale.

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.

~ My review of Shadows of the Hersweald ~
Where do I begin? Well, first, as I stated before, Hope magnificently ties together allegorical, fairy tale, and "fruits of the Spirit" elements. I haven't read any other fairy tale retellings so I don't have anything to compare it with, but it was so fun to read this brand new tale and see parts of Hansel and Gretel woven in. It gets intense at times with Haydn's memories of the war and some of the rebels still hanging around, and there's lots of mystery at the beginning as you read and try to guess what it all means. And believe you me, when you get the answers at the end you will be amazed and love it!
The fruit of the Spirit that this novella focuses on is peace. It teaches it so beautifully and in a real way that applies to each of us personally. Haydn's struggles are so real--a sinner who can't understand why he would be forgiven through Christ's death and sufferings, and tries to find another way to gain peace.
You know, one of the main problems with the original tale of Hansel and Gretel is the characters--wicked stepmother, flimsy father, child-eating witch. . .all of that is fixed up in this retelling! Hope did a great job of making all of them real and relatable and interesting. The sweet brother and sister relationship between Haydn and Gorawen was delightful to read, and both individually are great characters.
If you do read it, you'll find lots of delicious descriptions like: "A fountain wept distantly, mourning under the reddening evening sky that shed its dying light about him."
And the story line, it's AMAZING! It was very engaging, swift, and something I could have read in one sitting if I hadn't been interrupted. It happens after the war between the rebel Tauscher and the Prince (during which Haydn fought with the rebels) and the Prince has won the victory. I loved the individual journey of Haydn as he deals with life after the war and encounters its aftereffects. There were some magical elements like the "stormstone" that made the story more interesting and deep. Although a few things were a bit hard to understand, when I finished it I was amazed at how well everything was tied in together. 
In conclusion, I very, very heartily recommend it to everyone who loves fairy tales, mystery, Christian fantasy, and being surprised. :)

~ Interview with Hope Ann ~

What was your inspiration to write the "Legends of Light" series?
I had the idea to write a series to write a short story for each aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit several years ago. A little bit later, I wrote my first fairy tale retelling for the Rooglewood Beauty and the Beast contest. When I decided I wanted to start self-publishing, both ideas clicked together—fairy tales and the Fruit of the Spirit. So I took off with it. 

Which of the three books you have already written in the series would you be part of if you could?
Probably Song of the Sword, if I could walk in the Melody Realm. That would be so much fun.

What important lessons have you learned from writing?
Endurance. To keep going, even when writing is hard or I’m tired or I don’t feel like it… I’ve learned that, in the end, I will figure out my problems and it will be worth it. The harder the struggle, the more satisfied I’ll be with my final success.

My blog tour post draws nigh to an end! Two last things and then. . .well, then you'll have to read it for yourself and see what I'm talking about! :)

~ Quotes ~

"The Prince doesn’t stop all harm. It is a testing, even now. But he opened a way for our reunion with the King. He died, Haydn. You said you were there. You know what he did. What more could anyone give?" ~Traveon

Haydn muttered a rough oath, sending the echoes of the past shivering in all directions. 

They were safe. Battered, empty—but clean. Clean as the morning dew glittering in the dawn.

~ About the Author ~
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.


  1. Thank you so much for being part of my blog tour! :D

    1. You're welcome! Thank you for letting me take part.


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~ S. F.

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