I have a love/hate relationship with fairy tales.
I love them because they represent hope, love and all of the good things that the future can bring. I hate them because not only do they contain stock characters that are uninteresting, but they continue to teach young girls that the only thing they should want or need in life is marriage and children.
Alethea Kontis’s 2013 novel, Enchanted is a very interesting novel.
Sunday Woodcutter is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter. She and all of her sisters are named for the day of the week. Her only solace from her busy, noisy household is writing. While writing near a lake, a frog with human like attributes asks her to read to him. She agrees and the relationship quickly turns from friendship into something deeper.
One night, she kisses her frog goodbye. What she does not know is the frog is Prince Rumbold, who was though to be dead because of a curse linked to Sunday’s family. The king announces a series of balls. At the ball, Rumbold instantly recognizes Sunday, but she does not know the the frog and the prince are one and the same. With dark magic about and the secret of his former non humanoid experience hanging over him, will Rumbold be able to tell Sunday the truth so they can live happily ever after?
I loved this book. Combining three of the most famous fairy tales (Cinderella, Jack And The Bean Stalk, The Frog Prince) in a very readable way, the author was able to re-shape the stories without resorting to the one note and predictable “some day my prince will come” style of storytelling. In short, she is able to utilize the standard character and plot that a reader would expect in a fairy tale, but the novel is written in a way that keeps the reader hooked to the very end.
I absolutely recommend this book.