Enchanted Alethea Kontis
This is one that came across my radar on Amazon last winter. Fairy tale retelling! YAY! Of course I wanted to read it.
Then the reviews started coming in and they all said it was really, really good. They said it was awesome. There was a lot of hype for me when I picked up this book.
Look, y’all, I know you said it was awesome, but OMG IT IS EVEN AWESOMER THAN YOU LED ME TO BELIEVE.
Monday’s child is fair of face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace
Wednesday’s child is full of woe
Thursday’s child has far to go
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is blithe and bonny and good and gay.
Sunday can see how the rhyme is true for her sisters, but “blithe and bonny and good and gay” feels more like a curse than anything. Sunday’s not dark and gloomy like Wednesday, but she’s not ALWAYS happy. There is more she yearns for than her too-full house, built around a doorless tower that has an uncanny resemblance to a shoe.
Then she meets Grumble, a talking (enchanted) frog. She’s not around when her kiss does its thing, so she doesn’t see that the man he turns into is the Prince, a man despised by her family. In order to see Sunday again, to get her to know him as a man and not just a frog, the newly returned Prince Rumbold decides to hold 3 balls, inviting every eligible girl in the land...
*whew* how many fairy tales and nursery rhymes did you pick out in that brief introduction? Because there are even more. Some are major, and some are minor but all are deftly woven together in something much, much more.
For Arilland is a kingdom where faerie blood runs through the veins of many. Where immortality is a dark seductress of the wealthy and two faeries, Joy and Sorrow, have played with other’s lives for far too long. And Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Joy and Sorrow are her aunts, and Sorrow is Rumbold’s faerie godmother...
Sunday and Rumbold each have secrets in their past that they need to discover and wrongs that need to be righted before things can work out.
It’s so well done and perfectly paced. There is so much going on without it ever being cluttered or confusing. I want so much more about this family and this world (Thursday is a Pirate Queen-- surely there is more to be told!) And Sunday is so wonderful. She’s the right balance of strength and weakness, of confidence and doubt. She’s so real and believable.
I also LOVED the omnipresent 3rd person narrative. The focus shifted between Sunday and Rumbold without being too much in their heads and it worked so well. We don’t see a lot of 3rd person in YA and when we do it’s usually 3rd person limited, but 3rd person omnipresent is the *perfect* choice for this. We need to see what’s going on in the cottage and in the castle.
You guys, not only did this live up to the hype, it blew the hype away.
I know you said it was awesome, but it was even better than that.
Book Provided by... my local library
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