Enchanted – Alethea Kontis

Okay, so I love fairy-tales.  I’ve come to discover, throughout my life, that there are two types of stories that I really tend to connect with (and this is true in both reading and watching stories); horror and children’s tales.  So, fairy-tales (I mean the true, Grimm-esque tales) are a perfect mix of both.

I only, however, discovered the world of MG/YA Fairy-tale Retellings around a year and a half ago, when I read Robin McKinley’s Beauty and fell in love with it.  Since then, I have read quite a few more in this genre, the most recent of which was Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

Enchanted starts out as a retelling of The Frog Prince, and then moves more into the story of Cinderella.  There are also, like, six gabillion other fairy-tale references thrown in as well, including Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White (to really only name a few).

I liked that this tale was set long ago, far away (I am not a fan of modern fairy-tales…it kind of defeats the purpose for me), and I really like that there was some storyteller language used throughout the story (turns of phrase, “they say that…”, etc.).  I really love storyteller language, so I was happy to see it here.  I was also really excited when I started this tale, thinking it was going to be The Frog Prince.  But that only lasted for around 50 pages, and then the tale changed.  I am fairly tired of the Cinderella story, so I lost a lot of interest when this is what the tale turned into.  I mean, a whole story of the frog prince would have been great!  There could have been so many intense emotions and confusing thoughts…it would have been marvelous.

I think this story needed to either A) simplify the plot majorly and just stick to one or two storylines, or B) be about three times the size it was.  There was way too much going on in this story, and ultimately I found the plot a bit bland.  I just didn’t connect with the characters, and I think it was because things happened too quickly.  Don’t get me wrong…I am all for love at first sight and quick changes from task A to task B, but in this story there was seemingly no reason for the changes to happen at all, let alone happen so quickly.  There was too much that just was, and was not explained, and it took away from the tale for me.  For example…when the main character Sunday first meets Grumble the talking frog, instead of freaking out because of the talking frog, she’s like ‘oh, a talking frog, how nice…must be a man who was cursed.  Kiss you?  Sure, why not.‘  Yes, it can be explained away that she is already familiar with cursed creatures, but it would have been much more fun if she had freaked…kind of like this…

Okay, maybe without the turning into two frogs bit.  But you get the idea.

Enchanted had some very interesting secondary characters, which I would have loved to see more of.  I particularly would have loved to see more of Sunday’s Pirate Queen sister!  I really wish these characters had been the main ones, and Sunday and her prince just the backstory…I think that would have made a very intriguing tale!

When I finished Enchanted I felt like there was just a LOT left out of the story, and too much uninteresting stuff going on in its place.  There was a lot of potential for interesting developments, but they never really happened.  It was a quick read, and I’d still definitely recommend it for those that like lighthearted fairy-tale retellings; I think it makes an especially good companion to Heather Dixon’s Entwined.  For me, however, it just fell a little flat.

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