"The Amaranth Enchantment" by Julie Berry

When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store.
Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path.

In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe — just maybe — capture the heart of a prince.

From Goodreads

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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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Wow, this one is a really out of this world version of Cinderella, huh? Sounds creative, and original. Might have to read this one. I like the premise.

  3. I did not like this book very much. You touch on most of my reasons. Lucinda and her prince really didn't do it for me and the alien thing...eh. Peter was the shining star though :) And the gorgeous cover.

  4. GINA: This is definitely a fractured version of Cinderella that doesn't fit any of the stereotypes. It's definitely creative. While the novel had a few issues, I really admired its imagination and innovativeness.

    SMALL REVIEW: I didn't love this one, but I did enjoy it. The book had problems that kept me from TRUE LOVE (mostly the same as you, I think), but I enjoyed it, especially for its uniqueness! And the cover, YES! *drool*


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