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Book of Enchantments
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Book of Enchantments

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  4,121 ratings  ·  154 reviews
This witty and charming collection of ten short fantasies includes a new story set in the Enchanted Forest about Queen Cimorene’s Frying Pan of Doom, a zany story about a magical blue chipmunk with a passion for chestnuts, and an eerie tale of a caliph who turns his vizier’s daughter into a wolf. “A well-crafted anthology with several selections suited for reading aloud.”- ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1988)
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As a general rule of thumb, I don't like wizards and I dislike books that are simply a collection of short stories. I do love Patricia C. Wrede though and especially The Enchanted Forest Chronicles so when I found this book at our library, I couldn't resist.
And I'm glad I didn't!
Wrede is a delightful writer with funny characters and delightful plots you can't help liking. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the collection of short stories and the variations I found in them.
Ten stories, eac
I think, perhaps, that I am too old to read these stories. I can feel that they have a certain kind of magic about them that, due to cynicism or age, I cannot connect with. I do not say that these are bad stories, quite the opposite. These are the stories that you should read your daughters and be proud of the women they will grow up to be. These are fractured fairy tales at the very best. Stories with strong, cunning, self reliant women who triumph not because they are beautiful, but because th ...more
Short fairy-tale type stories, some of which take place in the Enchanted Forest. In some ways, a meatier version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Very clever.
1. Rikiki and the Wizard: ****
A vain but lucky wizard tries to auction his daughter off for fame and fortune, but things don't go as planned. Fun and clever. My favorite story of the bunch.
2. The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn: ****
A middle child princess from an off-beat kingdom decides to take a journey accompanied by the castle cat.
This enjoyable fantasy collection is comprised of 10 stories that vary widely in tone and setting. Some are laced with humor, while others have melancholy overtones. The ten stories included are the following:

"Rikiki and the Wizard"
"The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn"
"Roses by Moonlight"
"The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd"
"The Sword-Seller"
"The Lorelei"
"Stronger Than Time"
"Cruel Sisters"
"Utensile Strength"

Two tongue-in-cheek tales are set in the "Enchanted Forest" of the a
I do not usually read short stories. They turn me off, for some reason. I have no idea why, because when I do pick up an anthology or collection, I am usually happy with the results.

Such was the case with Patricia C. Wrede's Book of Enchantments. This book was on my Library's withdrawn and for sale pile and its title and author led me to bring it home for myself. I read and enjoyed Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, co-written by Wrede and Caroline Stevermer.

In this collectio
Love this one.

This is a collection of fantasy short stories by Patricia Wrede, author of the Enchanted Forest series (Calling on Dragons, etc.). While there is an Enchanted Forest series story in this one (Frying Pan of Doom), the real gems are the stand-alones. A story about a group of high schoolers encountering the Lorelei (my favorite!!), a story about a magical rose garden you can only experience once, a story about a selfish Caliph. These really are enchanting stories--but also vividly rea
This collection of short quirky stories was a fun, quick read. This would be a good book to read at Halloween with some of the haunting fable-type stories in the collection.
Kari Chapman
I'm not normally a fan of short story collections. The stories aren't long enough to provide enough detail for me. However, Patricia Wrede hit the mark with the book. All of the stories were highly entertaining. She had my attention right from the opening story, "Rikiki and the Wizard", which is one of my particular favorites of the collection. Other top favorites were "Roses by Moonlight" and "The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd".

The others didn't quite hit the mark of the first three, b
Disappointing short fantasy stories. I love PCW, but this is far from her usual standard.
Deborah O'Carroll
Two of the stories in this collection were some of the awesomest I've ever read. Some of the others were still quite good, and there were only a couple I didn't really like, which is rare in short story collections for me. Further review in more depth coming at some point. Loved this collection!!

Mini-reviews for my two favorite short stories in this collection:

The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn

This was just ADORABLE and perfect — it’s set in the Enchanted Forest (of Wrede’s awesome four-book
As others have noted, not all of these stories are from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The dedication hints strongly at this: "For the people who urged me to try writing short: Jane Yolen and the denizens of Fidonet WRITING echo."

The reader is faced with a question not often faced in anthologies of short stories: is it best to flip to the back first and get the author's description of the origins of the stories, or just to read through and read the "Notes from The Author" afterwards?

Wrede has
I really had nostalgic feelings for this collection, which seemed to be a reference point as I was growing up. On reread, the only truly memorable short is the opening story "Rifiki and the Wizard," which features a blue squirrel god and the complications therein.

That it's heads above the rest probably speaks to Wrede's skill foremost at irreverent humor. As in her most famous book, Dealing with Dragons, Wrede is most comfortable mining such humor from her takes of the old fairy-tale tropes; "Th
Rikki and the Wizard (4/5) - A greedy wizard calls Rikki, a blue chipmunk god who loves nuts, and adorableness ensues.

The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn (3/5) - A typical fairytale setting populated by characters with quirky, atypical personalities.

Roses by Midnight (3/5) - Adrian sees glimpses of her possible futures. I liked the ending.

The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd (3/5) - A wizard has a list of curses for those who offend him, but does not think through the consequences of som
From the author of one of my favourite series (Cimorene is such a great princess) comes a short story collection that I didn't even know existed! I like her smart, at-times-funny style and this didn't disappoint. The inclusion of the two Enchanted Forest stories just rounded the whole thing out for me.

What surprised me was the dark edge that some of the stories took. It's been a long time since I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles but I remember being quite young. Some of these stories struck
Niki Hawkes
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

This collection of tales by the author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles was every bit as engaging and whimsical as the stories that captured my imagination as a kid. From a writer’s standpoint, it was also a great study of composing short stories – she even includes authors notes at the end sharing her inspiration behind each story.

My review today is going to be a bit short because, from a reading standpoint, this is one of those books that
Pamela D
One of my favorite series is the young adult series entitled the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. It is a collection of four books that chronicle the adventures of Princess Cimorene. Over the course of the series Cimorene fights wizards by dumping buckets of soapy water with a bit of lemon on them, making large quantities of cherries jubilee for dragons, and giving Rumpelstiltskin's great, great, great, great, great grandchild. The books are so fun and witty. When I cam across Book of Enchantments a ...more
Christina (Boupie)
This is a series of short stories written all over the place and at lots of different times but all by Ms. Wrede. I have loved her fantasy books and so gave this a try and I was not disappointed. She is a very good author and does an amazing job of giving a sense of place and characters in few words. I liked most of the stories but I am not sure if they should be considered children's or ya. The first and last are the lightest and most like (and the unicorn one) what you might expect from her, e ...more
A collection of fantasy short stories. Wrede writes traditional fairy tale style stories as well as stories with a more modern setting that still have a fantastical edge to them. Some reminded me a bit of someone like Francesca Lia Block or Kelly Link or even "the Name of the Star" by Johnson, but this is definitely geared towards a middle grade audience.

Fun, quick.

Stephanie Trinity
"Stronger than Time" was by far my favorite story in the book. A good selection of stories, ranging along the humor spectrum from hilarious to somber.

Only one story, "Utensile Strength," is an Enchanted Forest tale, and since it is included in the fourth book completists need not fret that this volume is not in the boxed set.
I'm really between three and four stars on this one. It was a fun, quick read, but I always have mixed feelings about short stories. I get torn between enjoying the mystery of making up my own context into which I can put the quick glimpse of the world the author's showing me, and desiring the author to do the work for me and give me more! There were several bittersweet and even downright sad stories in this lot, which were worth a read, but a little unexpected (to me) from Patricia C. Wrede. Wh ...more
Bought this because I liked The Princess, the Cat and the Unicorn, which I already own in another anthology. I thought nine more short stories by her would be more of the same. NEVER WAS I MORE DECEIVED. Hit and miss is the way to best describe this collection ... mainly miss.
(I could have sworn I had a review for this book up already... huh...)

Anyway, I do believe that this was the first of Wrede's books that I read. I borrowed it from my sister, and then totally got immersed as story after story unfolded in front of my eyes.

I am still haunted by the Lorlei, the rose garden and the harp made of the drowned princesses' bones. And still laugh in my head whenever I think of the Frying Pan of Doom! (What is a poached egg anyway?)

If my sister hadn't taken this book bac
If you are reading this book solely for more about the Enchanted Forest series (Dealing with Dragons), you'll probably be disappointed; there are only two stories which take place in the Enchanted Forest, and only one of them involves the characters from the original series. However, there are eight other vastly entertaining and interesting stories in the collection that make it worthwhile. Plus, the Enchanted Forest story is very good. (It takes place after the last book in the series, and it's ...more
Mary Anne
This is my first book by Wrede, and I'm not sure that's terribly fair in terms of assessing the author (or that I would have preferred starting with short stories; I'm inclined to try to read the bigger things if an author has done those as well). That said, this was a pleasant enough read. Nice pacing. I'd be interested in reading something else by her, perhaps Dealing with Dragons, since it's the first book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.
Lindsey Dixon
I loved this book. Short stories are not typically my favorite, but the characters in this are developed well in a short time and the stories are haunting and beautiful. I found myself wanting to read what else happened to these lovely characters.
Jun 23, 2008 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles or Wrede's other works
Shelves: young-adult
This was enjoyable. If I was just going to rate the last story then I'd give this 5 stars. It had about 10 short stories taking place in different cultures and times--including today's time. There was only one about the original "Enchanted Forest Chronicles" characters, and it was GREAT! It was a very humorous story. When Wrede submitted the story she was expecting her editor to say something was wrong with the story, but instead the editor wanted a copy of a fictitious cake in the story! Wrede ...more
Naomi Schmidt
I really enjoyed Wrede's Enchanted Forest series, so I thought I would give this book a read. I did like couple of the stories (Utensile Strength was good, and The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd amused me), which is why I give the collection 3 stars, but, overall, I was unimpressed. I'm not a huge fan of short stories in general, so that might have had something to do with it, but I just didn't feel that the characters or plots in most of the stories were interesting enough to care about. ...more
Generally wonderful, with girls and women being wise, kind, brave and strong in many ways. A few stand-outs:
Rikiki and the Wizard, Stronger than Time, Cruel Sisters and Utensile Strength
Elizabeth S
Oh, all these stories were WONDERFUL. There's an Enchanted Forest story that takes place after "Talking to Dragons." There are happy endings, silly endings, sad endings, bittersweet endings, and the recipe for "Quick After-Battle Triple Chocolate Cake." What more could you ask for? Especially fun is that, at the end of the book, Wrede describes where she got the idea for each one of her stories.

NOTE: As another reviewer mentioned, some young fans of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles may not be rea
Not only does this book contain at least one Enchanted Forest story, it also contains a chocolate cake recipe that I die laughing every time I read the instructions. Of course, there are real instructions as well.

This is a collection of tales from different publications in one volume.

I enjoy these so much because they are like having those ebook stories that authors now put out in your hand. I hate to find out that there are novellas and short stories I'm missing because they are ebook only. I
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Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2) Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3) Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4) Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)

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“I refuse to let him hire a princess in disguise who's hoping to sneak into the next ball wearing a dress as shining as the stars so that Daystar will fall in love with her. Princesses are very persuasive, but most of them aren't much use in the kitchen."

Daystar blinked. "But Mother, we hardly ever have balls. And I really don't think I'd fall in love with someone just because she was wearing a fancy dress."

"Try and convince a princess of that.”
“I'm not going to dress in velvet robes with ermine trim when I'm spending the day hanging pictures and cleaning out the attic in the South Tower, no matter how much Willin would like it," Mendanbar said firmly.” 2 likes
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