Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Series: Woodcutter Sisters #1
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 305 (ARC)
Source: Trade
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?
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

It's no secret to my readers that I could survive for the rest of my life off of fairytale re-tellings and nothing else, so I was very eager to get into this one, especially because I've never read a Frog Prince re-telling before. Granted, this novel incorporates several fairytales (like Cinderella) into it that makes it all the more delicious, but the overarching story arc is taken from the Frog Prince. I had shiver-inducing worry flashing through my mind courtesy of my dislike of Disney's most recent princess movie, The Princess and the Frog, but I'm happy to report that this book is nothing like that. Whew!

We're introduced to Sunday immediately. She's the youngest of a large group of siblings whose sisters are all named after days of the week. She tends to write and she's, unfortunately, doomed to a life of happiness. But her biggest problem is that what she tends to write down always seems to come true. I found this aspect of the novel to be extremely interesting because all of her siblings had their own unique magical ability as well and it made them very easy to tell them apart. Her sisters ranged from a pirate princess, a real princess, a tom-boy whose gifted with an ax, a girl who speaks only in poetry and prophecy, and more. Her brothers were also very interesting, too. Think of a family a la PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL. Big and easy to love, full of magic and mystery, though I must admit that it was easier for me to track Kontis's characterization. Make it slightly darker and you have a general idea about how Kontis's story is laid out.

So, now that you know about Sunday and her amazing family and wonderful characterization, I suppose I should tell you about the love interest. His name is Rumbold and he's the crown prince of Arilland. Sunday's family despises Rumbold because of issues he had in the past with Jack Junior, Sunday's eldest brother whose fate is a mystery (who I hope will be seen in future novels). Rumbold began the story as a frog named Grumble. And while I enjoyed Rumbold's characterization and his interesting journey back into being a human and adjusting to life on two legs after being a frog for so long, most of my issues with this book evolved around him.

Firstly, there was a very large portion of the book where he was separated from Sunday and it was rather bothersome. It was a lot of them wondering what was going on with the other, and then when they had the opportunity to meet face-to-face he felt it necessary to keep secrets from her, than he'd beat himself up over it. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble. But I suppose what confused me the most in regards to Rumbold was the fact that he heard some type of voices in his room after returning to his human form. I didn't understand if the voices were real or fake or who was speaking, the importance of such a thing, etc, for quite a while. I think that the usage of his insanity and the certain individual that this voice belonged to could be done a bit smoother.

Perhaps the one problem with this story was the fact that Sunday fell in love with a frog. Literally. She even admitted it. It was love at first ribbet--I suppose that's a cute way of saying that this was a case of insta-love. And while it bugged me, I understand its importance to the story and in keeping the fairytale alive. But, still, you can understand my frustration when our main character is reflecting on how much she misses the frog she loves so much after a few choice encounters in the magical wood outside of her home.

All in all, I really loved this. If you're looking for a unique re-telling with a deliciously dark twist and a cast of characters that is easy to love, I recommend picking up this book. I know that this is supposed to be a seven book series, one for each sister, and I can't wait for book two, HERO. Kontis is an expert storyteller, nothing can hold her amazing writing ability from shining through and she has me eagerly anticipating her future novels.


4 stars

~*~Links~*~

13 comments:

  1. I agree. If I had to pick one genre to read for the rest of my life, it would probably be fairytales and retellings <3 I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to Hero too. I think 7 books sounds great to me. Kontis is gifted in writing a good fairytale. I also had a minor problem with the whole I-fell-in-love-with-a-frog, but it did keep the magical fairytale feeling in the story.

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    1. Ugh, yes, yes yes. I could not live without my re-tellings <3 I'm excited for the 7 books because the sisters are so diverse!

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  2. This sounds like a cute read! I'm always up for a re-telling, so it's definitely getting added to my list. Insta-love and pining over a character sort of get a pass for me in these books, since it's pretty crucial in fairy tales that when people lay eyes on each other they fall in love (see: every fairy tale ever) haha. Thanks for the review :)

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    1. It should get a pass for me, but the whole insta-love occurring while Rumbold was still Grumble The Frog annoyed me a lot because you can't be attracted to a frog! o.o

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  3. Oooo, now I feel like i need to read this one! I had no idea that it dealt with The Frog Prince! This is so exciting! And I also enjoyed Princess of the Midnight Ball. This was a fun review!

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    1. Haha yes, The Frog Prince! It was really great!

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  4. This book was cute. But it was weird and I just couldn't get into it that well. But I really enjoyed the ideas and side characters. Haha. I think Hero would excite me more. But I'm glad you loved it!

    <333 Inky

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    1. To each their own, Inky.

      HERO would probably be more up your alley haha! <3

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  5. I love fairy tale retellings. Love them in a big way. I was worried that this one would be a bit on the young side for me, and it probably was, but I didn't give one hoot. I loved this story, from start to finish. The Woodcutter family will remain one of my favorite families for a long time to come. Sunday was wonderful. The beginning was slow and steady and good, the ending was heart-pumping, fun and perfect. Loved it. I can't wait to read Saturday Woodcutters story in Hero come October, and Friday Woodcutter next year!

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    1. I know, right! She's going to write one for them all! And I didn't think it was that young because it was rather dark-ish at times, you know?

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    2. I can't wait either! And it was rather dark-ish at times, so it wasn't a re-telling for people as young as I thought it would be!

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  6. This is a beautiful cover, but I don't know if I'd choose to read this book willingly, but I'm not unknown to read a book that looks strange and love it!

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  7. I loved this one! And the author is super fun to talk to. I can't wait for the rest of them!

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