Sunday Woodcutter is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. She is not destined for greatness like her oldest brother, Jack Jr. She is not hardworking like her sister Saturday, or unfailingly kind like her sister Friday.
It is also almost impossible for Sunday to live up to her own name. Blithe and bonny and good and gay? That’s a lot to live up to.
Still, Sunday is happy with her life. She loves her family. She has her notebook to fill with stories (that have a slightly disturbing tendency to come true). All is well in their crowded hope near the enchanted forest.
In a land as ripe with magic as Sunday’s, it isn’t particularly surprising to meet a talking frog. The real surprise comes when he shows an interest in Sunday’s stories and quickly becomes her dear friend.
Until he disappears.
Rumbold is more than happy to be human again thanks to Sunday’s love. Even if it does mean he is once again Prince Rumbold–a man Sunday’s family has long hated.
But love and magic can be complicated things. And Rumbold isn’t one to give up easily. Rumbold will have to try to win Sunday’s heart all over again amidst a whirlwind of balls, fairy godmothers and true danger for himself, Sunday and the entire kingdom in Enchanted (2012) by Alethea Kontis.
Enchanted is Kontis’ first novel. The second book in the Woodcutter Sisters series, Hero, is due out later in 2013.
Enchanted is part retelling and part fractured fairy tale as Kontis works in every fairy tale trope, convention and character imaginable into this volume. (Half the fun is catching all of her references.)
Happily, Enchanted is a fine addition to the world of fairy tale novels. Sunday is a winsome heroine who is steadfast, brave, and just the right amount of stubborn. Rumbold is as charming as one would expect a fairy tale prince to be. With a sprawling cast, this novel is filled with characters that are as amusing as they are endearing.
Working with so many different pieces of source material, you might expect a story like this one to feel forced. It doesn’t. Kontis’ writing is seamless as she effortlessly brings together many beloved fairy tale elements to create a story that is both sentimental and exciting. The heavy focus on the importance of family–especially the obvious affection the Woodcutters have for each other–was a delightful part of the story.
With adventure and magic and not one but three royal balls, Enchanted is guaranteed to have something for everyone. This story even has a perfect ending to Sunday’s tale (and a perfect beginning for the next Woodcutter Sisters book).
Possible Pairings: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco, Entwined by Heather Dixon, Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Chris Hale, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones,Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp, A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde