What’s better than a traditional Cinderella story? One that steals elements from the tale, but forges its own path. The Amaranth Enchantment is about a girl named Lucinda whose parents died in a horrible accident the night of a ball. She goes to live with her uncle and step-aunt, a woman who treats her like a servant. A magical woman—the book’s version of a fairy godmother—is the catalyst for Lucinda leaving to make it on her own. Following the elements of a fairy tale, she falls in love with a prince and winds up at his ball, but that’s where the similarities end. In a way, the novel reminds me of a Disney movie because memorable characters include a lovable thief named Peter and a pet goat named Dog (why Dog, idk, but it’s cute!).
The Amaranth Enchantment might read like a fairy tale, but it also has some sci-fi tendencies. The “godmother,” Beryl, is from another planet and has a special stone that gives her magical abilities. This stone is so valuable that an evil man wants it and will stop at nothing to get it back. Beryl begs Lucinda for help, offering to restore everything she lost if she can retrieve the stone, which was stolen by a thief named Peter and sold to the Crown Prince. This is one place where The Amaranth Enchantment succeeds: Lucinda doesn’t wait around for a man to save the day. She pulls it together and takes charge herself despite the consequences. She was the opposite of Beryl, who wasn’t able to solve her own problems.
My favorite character was Peter, the thief. He was the most animated, and stole every scene. He had surprises up his sleeve that I never saw coming, too. I felt he was the most well-developed of all the characters. While I admired Lucinda’s spunk, I felt she was a little too naïve at times and often found herself in bad situations due to this. I also wish Prince Gregor was a little more fleshed-out. There weren’t as many romance scenes as I would have liked, but I’m hoping to see more in Berry’s future novels. For a debut novel, The Amaranth Enchantment had many good ideas, and the story was still fun to read. There were twists and turns I never saw coming, and I loved the fact that despite the Cinderella influence, Lucinda was her own heroine, and not a reincarnation of anyone else.
I LOVE this cover. It’s beautiful. I was first drawn to this book because of the pretty cover. I love the way the title is written in silver foil, lending it a magical air. Amaranth flowers play an important part in the novel and I love that Lucinda is holding one. The magic dust rising from the petals gives the cover a magical feel. The dust (and swirlies) continue onto the back cover, giving the jacket a united feeling. I also love Lucinda’s dress. The embroidery is so beautiful, and I wish I could look at it in even closer detail. Simply gorgeous!
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