Monday, July 30, 2012

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis lives up to its name! I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the incomparable Katherine Kellgren. Since this is one of those books where I wanted to crawl inside and live in that world, I liked the fact that the audiobook stretched out the time I spent enjoying this book, but I'm also certain that I'll revisit this book in ink-and-paper format at some point.

Sunday Woodcutter, seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, has to be careful what she writes -- the things she puts in writing have a tendency to come true. When Sunday meets a talking frog in the forest, she has no idea what sort of adventures are in store for her. Balls and godmothers, wishes and beanstalks, shoes and axes and more all fit together in the intricate puzzle that is the plot of this novel. All of these elements are woven through the lives of the Woodcutter family, where fairy tales are the stuff of everyday life.

This is one of those books that isn't based on a specific fairy tale, but takes elements from different tales and meshes them together. It manages to be funny but not silly, and there are undertones of real darkness and evil that elevate this book above titles for younger readers (such as Once Upon a Marigold). The closest comparison I can think of is Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing. I was also reminded of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Some readers may find the number of tales referenced a bit too much, but as for me, I was completely . . . enchanted.

(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)

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