Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review of Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

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?
A LOT is going on in this book. Just about every fairy tale you have ever read gets woven in, many of them in passing mentions - a golden ball in a well, women speaking in snakes, a giant who swallowed the sun. There are also a multitude of characters. In addition to the seven sisters, a couple brothers, parents, and the prince, we have two fairy godmothers, spouses of some of the sisters, a king, a few other fey individuals, friends, soldiers, and servants - many of whom, in another book, would have served only to muddy the waters, but somehow Kontis manages to bring us just shy of confused.
You definitely want to pay attention while you are reading, but personally I found all the interwoven details to be intriguing rather than confusing. A reader who did not devour every one of Lang's fairy tale tomes as a child will be missing out on a bit, but will enjoy this very delightful story just the same.
A few things aren't quite explained - or maybe I missed them! Mentioning some would cause spoilers, but here's a minor bit - what were the instructions Rumbold gave  regarding the moneylenders? What did they have to do with anything??? None of that detracted from the story for me, but did serve to remind me this is her first novel. And gads, if I had to keep track of as many threads as she did in writing this, I'd probably forget whole characters! I am definitely looking forward to future works by Kontis.

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