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Book of Enchantments

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,743 Ratings  ·  172 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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Mar 05, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 12, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
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
Apr 11, 2016 Katrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is the type of storytelling I was waiting for Wrede to display in her other works. Perhaps her skill lies with the shorter form: taking a snippet of an idea and twisting it into an intriguing, creative tale with just enough drama and humor to fill the pages, then leaving the reader hungry for more. There are two stories in this collection that I would have gladly seen as a full novel - "Earthwitch," which, interestingly, she'd been unable to sell on its own, and "The Sword-Seller," a li ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Brandi rated it really liked it
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
Aidan Blake
Mar 15, 2016 Aidan Blake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was younger, it's a Young Adult book by an author whose other books I had also read. This book has some short stories set in her normal universe and some that are quite separate. I remember really enjoying this collection and it's variety when I was a young reader, and would recommend it to other young fans of SciFi/Fantasy.
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
Aug 01, 2012 Suzie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2014 Kari Chapman rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
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
Jul 02, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Disappointing short fantasy stories. I love PCW, but this is far from her usual standard.
This book is full of fun, enchanting stories including one about everybody's favorite non-conformist princess turned queen, Cimorene. Actually, it's about a mysterious weapon - the frying pan of doom. There's also a funny little tale about werewolves (yes, in this world even werewolves can be funny!), another about a blue chipmunk, and one I didn't enjoy as much as the others about a feathery snake and a special sword. Well, you can't win them all! Still this book is really entertaining and I hi ...more
Each story is so exquisitely crafted that I couldn't put this book down! Wrede starts off with the problem, and the character, and it goes speedily from there. The concise format makes each sentence bold and irresistible. As I was reading, I could only daydream about how she got the story ideas. Incredibly, as if she had answered me personally, her author's note describes exactly that. I'm further thrilled to find that one short story was originally published by my editing hero, Michael Stearns, ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a collection of many little tales about enchanting situations that come from the creative mind of this author. Perhaps the best part, at least for me, are her comments about how each one came to be which is included at the end of the book. One of my favorite tales is Rikki and the Wizard which has an ending that tickles the reader's fancy or at least mine. Of course, I liked other stories, too, including The Sword-Seller, The Lorelei, and Utensile Strength. This is a fun, quick little fa ...more
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
Jul 22, 2013 Kaion rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, shorts
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
Oct 20, 2013 Niki Hawkes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2013 Pamela D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

"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.
Sep 15, 2012 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Britomarte Van
Jan 06, 2016 Britomarte Van rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm reluctant to read most short story collections, but there are some that I love. This is one of them.

Honestly, at times, they can be a little cheesy, particularly the story with the roses but overall, they're wonderful... particularly the story with the roses.

So I'm a sap.
Aug 21, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh, fantasy
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
Jan 21, 2015 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2016 Mindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a delightful set of short stories from this brilliant fantasy author. Some are set in Wrede's Enchanted Forest, some in modern times, some a little bit of both. But they all incorporate magic into their stories and weave a spell for the reader. I particularly loved one story where a young woman is presented the opportunity to choose a destiny of her preference, and needs to examine the potential consequences of choosing one path over another. Another featured the delightful characters of ...more
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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...

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“The young man is currently standing in the hallway, dripping on the handmade silk rug that the Emperor of the Indies presented to His Majesty's grandmother. He is insisting on speaking with His Majesty."

"It's a very ugly rug," Mendanbar said. "That's why we put it in the entry hall.”
“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.”
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