Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, which means she's destine for great things.  But for now, she's just the youngest in a big family, and who has to be careful of what she writes, because it often comes true.  Sunday befriends a frog, and unbeknownst to her, a kiss turns him back in a man - Rumbold, the prince of the kingdom who Sunday's family has a personal dislike of.  Rumbold is determine for Sunday to meet him as a man and have her fall in love with him, despite her family's feeling.

This was a mishmash of fairy tales, from The Frog Prince to Jack and the Beanstalk to Cinderella.  For the most part, it worked very well.  It was fun to be reading along and pick up on another element of a traditional fairy tale that had been woven in.

I did think Sunday falling in love with the frog was a little strange.  I mean, she had know him all of three days and he's a frog.  Honestly, the feelings that seemed to be portrayed were friendship, but whatever.  She needed to be in love with him for the kiss to work so she was in love with a frog three days after first speaking with him.

Then of course the silliness began, what with Rumbold deciding that just going up to Sunday and saying, "Look at me!  I was the frog but your kiss turned me in to a man again!  Let's get to know each other now that I'm human."  No no, that would be far too sensible.  At least Rumbold had people pointing out this flaw in logic.  But Rumbold is concerned that Sunday will feel bound to him and that's not fair because her family hates him.  Therefore he will meet her as a man and see if she falls in love with him like that, all the while letting her believe something terrible happened to her frog friend.  Smooth Rumbold, real smooth.  Of course the only thing to do is have a series of balls, because that's how royalty rolls in fairy tales.

This lack of logic worked, however, because that's how things are in fairy tales.  Just like you can't just have one ball, you have to have three, and invite all the eligible women in the land (which, me learn, is a hell of a lot of women and they perhaps should have been more strict than "eligible").  That was another thing that was fun, seeing how some of these fairy tale conventions play out when you really look at them.  How turning from a person to an animal and back again is a horrible process, and the danger of magic.

Everything's all light and fun, and then a very dark element of the world is revealed.  There is both dark and light magic, and there are two very powerful fairy godmothers at work.  And the king of the kingdom has been sucking the life out of fey women to stay young.  Yikes.  Super creepy.  There was also the scene at the second ball where Sunday is almost killed by girls who are jealous of the attention the prince gave her the night before.

Don't worry though, because it all ends happily ever after.  I'm not quite sure what was up with Sunday not wearing shoes at the end.  As far as I could tell she wore shoes in her daily life throughout the book, so why the sudden shoe aversion?  That seemed kind of tacked on.  I also thought the explanation of why Sunday's father never told the rest of the family what really happened to Jack was a bit weak.

The fairy godmother issue was not solved, but fixed for the time being, so I could see this becoming a series and more stories being told in this world.  A fun and enjoyable read.

Enchanted comes out May 8, 2012.

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