Thursday, 24 May 2012

Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Title: Enchanted
Author: Alethea Kontis
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 305
Release Date: 8th May 2012
Read In: May 2012

Goodreads - - Book Depository

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.
The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

I have found a new genre to explore; Fairy-tale retelling. I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying them. Inside this woman, there is a small girl who wants a young prince to sweep her of her feet. 

“You have tortured her with silence. You let her grieve for a soul she did not lose, mourn a heart that should not have been broken, and berate herself betraying the man she loves … with the man she loves.”

Looking back on it, there were things that I shouldn’t have liked; quick romance, a world that doesn’t make a great deal of logical sense e.t.c.  But I have to be honest with you guys, as well as myself, that I just loved this book. I couldn’t stop reading. If it was any other genre, other than fairy-tale, the rushed romance may have annoyed me. However the fairy-tale style allowed this to not be the case.

Enchanted is first and foremost a fairy-tale but Aletha Kontis has improved on the aspects, of fairy-tales, that I don’t like. Lack of depth to the characters is the main one, especially the lead male protagonist. In so many fairy tales, the prince is just some figure that the heroine falls for but we never learn much about them. Not the case here. Oh how I grew to love Rumbold. I originally expected him to a bit of a spoiled brat but we discover his depth quite quickly. We discovered his past and his fears. And slowly I fell for him too.

The writing, as well as the emotional details was what made the book feel more like an adult novel rather than a fairy tale for small children. It had the lightness of a fairy-tale but with the added depth, to the plot, that I expected. I think there was a good balance. 

I liked how the Monday’s child poem was incorporated into the story. How it gave each of the daughters a personality. However this seemed natural. Sunday wasn’t bonny and blithe because of the poem. It felt the other way round. (Although it is clear in the book that this was not the case).
At first I thought that it was just going to be a retelling of the Princess and the Frog. Instead there was so many references to so many different classic fairy tales; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk to name a few. It made me laugh each time. 

Another thing to mention is how much I loved the beginning. We were introduced to the characters, a bit of the history and Sunday’s personal background in an entertaining way. It didn’t feel I was being told these because I had to know, it just happened to be mentioned during the events. I managed to read the first two pages before I had to put the book down. That was enough for me to pick it up again. 

One downside was that it was a little short. But I don’t think it needs to be too much longer. I just wanted a bit more of it of Rumbold and Sunday’s relationship. 

I am surprised that I liked it as much as I did. This is one of those books everyone should give a go. Be prepared to be thrown back into your childhood. I know I was. Just a tad bit longer and it would have been perfect. A fun read for this summer. 


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