Review: Enchanted

EnchantedAuthor: Alethea Kontis

Age: YA

Genre: Fairy Re-tell

Released: May 2012

Click here to read summary from Goodreads.

Series: Woodcutter Sisters #1

You guys… this story… So spectacularly written.

You can read the blurb anywhere so I won’t say much,  this is the story of the youngest of the seven Woodcutter sisters, Sunday.  Yes, they are named for the days of the week, following the old rhyme about “Monday’s child is…” (it’s in the book).  Anyway, it’s a tale woven of many familiar stories, spiced with humor and family and kindness and love and sadness and Joy and Sorrow.

Having the sisters actually named by their days was mostly helpful in keeping them straight but i occasionally got Saturday and Sunday mixed up.  Each one of the array of characters, all of them delightfully complex, come with their merits and misgivings, and each is showcased and utilized with skill.  Only occasionally did it feel like there were 1 or 2 many people in the scene, but it was never distracting.

For the first few chapters I was a little annoyed by all the tales being mashed into one story.  Well, I say mashed, woven would be a better term.  Everything was well crafted, but there were just so many references, it almost felt silly.  However, once I got to the end I actually read the acknowledgements and about how putting all of those into a single story was an on-purpose challenge.  So that gave me a different view, so when you read it, don’t think she was just trying to rip off the classics.  The stories are actually very well pieced into a really lovely whole story.

When it comes to love stories I adore when it starts out with them being friends.  Relationships are stronger when built of mutual confidence and true appreciation of the other person and not just “You are beautiful and turn my brain to scrambled eggs… Let’s be in love and make babies!”  Sunday’s and Rumbold’s starts with sharing time and hearts and kindness, which of course grows, albeit quietly and softly, right in the squishy part of the feels.  Throughout the book, whenever they are together, it is so incredibly sweet and charming, and I love it so much.  I can see it it my head and it makes me so happy… *sigh*

Now, I am aware you can’t write a fairy tale without magic, but this one had just a little bit more than the glitter and fairy dust kind.  Some of the people being are referred to as fey or as having fey blood. The adjective fey is of Scottish origin meaning fated or doomed, but it is also as having the ability to see into the future (visionary), and marked by an otherworldly air. Here it is connected to having magic or a “fairy” in the bloodline, and those who are fey, or have fey blood in them (born or, um, otherwise), tap into the magic that comes with it. There was some, thought not a lot, of ‘hard magic’ (in this story: the use and teaching of runes, ceremonial bloodletting, and the use of taking lives to extend one’s own), it did, however, play a important part in the story line.  While things weren’t made out in detail (there is a “through the window” description of a ceremony scene), I’d rather not have any.  Because of this I would not recommend it for younger readers; magic is nice for stories, but it is not something to be trifled with.

Something that I appreciated that the Aunt/Godmother Joy said about Sunday’s magic is to be aware of the consequences and that everything you do affects the things around it.  This very much applies to real life.

Enchanted is the first book of four (possibly more to come) and I do think I would like to read the others, however I hope that the magic is a little less intimidating and the magnificent construction carries through.

Also, on a petty note, I want to talk about the cover…  With so many amazing dresses out there, what is she wearing?? It looks like she had a short dress and then they stuck a long petticoat underneath it.  I’m really confused because i can’t even tell if the black lace was actually on the dress or added digitally.   I’m much more into the dress on Saturday on the cover of the next book Hero (the grey dress where she’s sitting down, not the hooded one…).

In spite of the magic and swears, I find myself recommending this one to upper YA readers, because it is so well crafted and the love story is just so nice.  It both tugs on the feels and gives you the warm-n-fuzzies.

Following Enchanted is Heroand Dearest, and Trixter (The Trix Adventures #1)

Interested?  Find it here!

Content Advisory:

Language: 2 – A few well-deserved, and for the most part correctly used, D-s and someone get’s called a donkey (even thought that’s just really crass and quite rude).

Sexual: 0 – I saw another reader mention that allusions to sex were few and easily missed by younger readers, which I must be because I don’t remember any… 🙂

Other: 2 – Some use of “hard magic”

*Our reviews do contain affiliate links, meaning we could make a very small commission should you buy something using one of those links.

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