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Whoever said "Don't judge a book by its cover" was obviously lying. This cover made me want ENCHANTED immediately. As soon as I saw it was a fairy tale, I wanted it even more. I was lucky enough to be granted early access to the novel. The first time I read it, I wasn't in the right frame of mind for a fairy tale, so I enjoyed, but didn't love ENCHANTED. I just read the book for a second time last week, however, and was in just the right frame of mind. I loved ENCHANTED in brand new ways the second time around and am so glad I re-read the entire thing and not just pieces. It feels very much like a fairy tale as you read, and is easy to get swept up in (Unless you're being a cranky-pants and not in a fairy tale frame of mind, lol!).
One of my favorite things about ENCHANTED is the way Alethea Kontis mashes fairy tales together. It's thrilling to see beloved tales twisted around in new ways, even as small asides. I loved discovering these the most. I also enjoyed the new take on The Princess and the Frog. In ENCHANTED, the Sunday Woodcutter isn't a princess, but the frog is a prince. Just kissing him won't remove the curse, however. In the vein of true fairy tale magic, only True Love's Kiss can remove the curse. But love isn't enough. The frog is Crown Prince Rumbold, sworn enemy of the Woodcutter family. Rumbold is torn apart when he becomes human and realizes that his true love can never be with him because her family won't approve. He's desperate to prove his love and show everyone the way he's changed, but a deep, sinister magic may prevent everyone from finding a Happily Ever After if it descends upon the kingdom.
There are so many new directions Kontis takes us with ENCHANTED. You think you know what's coming, but never quite do, especially when it comes to what becomes a passing tale. While I wish there was deeper development between the characters over the course of a longer length of time, it felt like a traditional tale and read perfectly in that regard. Kontis is working on Saturday's tale (Sunday's sisters are creatively named after the days of the week), and I hope Harcourt picks it up for publication. In the meantime, Kontis has many short stories available to read, from online freebies THE UNICORN HUNTER (Snow White) and HERO WORSHIP (Little Red Riding Hood), which are both set in the universe of ENCHANTED. Kontis has also published the short story BLOOD & WATER in the HAPPILY EVER AFTER anthology available in bookstores everywhere. While BLOOD & WATER isn't from the world of ENCHANTED, it features the fairy tale The Little Mermaid in a dark way you've never seen before. Perhaps I'll do something with it for Splash into Summer this year! ^.~
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