Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Personal find
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairytale
If you are in need of an easy, simple story that has few twists and turns, then this is the book for you. If you hate fairy tales, magic, fun, and basically anything good and sweet in life, then maybe not so much. Enchanted is a sweet story about Sunday Woodcutter, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, which means she has some inherited magic and a whole lot of expectations to live up to.
However, she doesn’t want to be what her name day has doomed her to be, in her own words “Blithe and bonny and good and gay? Who could ever live up to that? It’s not in any way realistic. I don’t want to be happy and good and dull. I want to be interesting.” The simple life is not for Sunday, she craves adventure, romance, and magic; all of which she finds in a frog by the well in the woods who is not entirely who he appears to be.
Kontis did a great job with re-imagining the fairy tales in this book. One of which I was surprised to see redone was The Old Lady in the Shoe and the way she handled it and brought it new life was just brilliant. The other tales, Cinderella, Jack and the beanstalk, and Princess and the Frog, to name a few, were also nicely redone with hints and twists you wouldn’t immediately suspect. Overall, it really felt as if this was the story before all of the other stories, and it was the other tales that were changed over time.
The style flows well with traditional fairy tales, and makes the book seem familiar even if you have never picked it up before. Kontis’ ability to layout a scene is wonderful, and is easy to create a picture from. Each of her characters are fleshed out enough to where you can get a real sense of who they are, and what their motives are without searching for hidden details. I would happily pick up the next book in the Woodcutter Sisters series due to how she writes. After reading this book, it seemed as if there was just a bit more magic in the world.
This really is a nice, sweet book to cozy up with on a lazy afternoon. The story is simple, but not without its twists and turns, none of which are overly distressing or cause the book to lose any charm. I enjoyed it for what it is, a retelling of fairy tales. It does come with a nice moral reminder of not everything being as it seems, and you should listen to others before pushing them off and dismissing everything they say. For that person probably has some story you should hear.