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Enchantress from the Stars (Elana #1)

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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,676 Ratings  ·  276 Reviews
Elana's father has been sent on a top-secret mission to save the planet Andrecia from destruction, and Elana is determined to be part of the adventure. But when she stows away on her father's starship, Elana steps into more danger and excitement than she bargained for --- especially after she meets Georyn, a native with unusual powers. Can Elana and Georyn combine magic, t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published 1993 by Troll Associates (first published February 1st 1970)
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Michele Elana. She says she "did not anticipate any more rude awakenings" but when she visits the local village and sees how Georyn's people live, she's…moreElana. She says she "did not anticipate any more rude awakenings" but when she visits the local village and sees how Georyn's people live, she's shocked.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sylvia
Dec 19, 2007 Sylvia marked it as written  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This is my best-known novel. Though often given to children as young as the 6th grade because it was a Newbery Honor book, it is really intended for teens and is also enjoyed by many adults.
Brenda Clough
Jan 13, 2013 Brenda Clough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was a young teen I found this book in the early 70s, in the shipboard library on the USS Woodrow Wilson. I was utterly enthralled, and saved up until I could buy my own copy -- my very first hardback fiction purchase! I still have that volume, which introduced me to SF and probably got me where I am today. Yes, it's that good!
Josiah
Jun 02, 2009 Josiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Your feelings for a person who has come to mean something to you colors all your memories, so that you can't describe them effectively."

—Elana, "Enchantress from the Stars", PP. 68-69

"If we don't approach this with warmth and compassion and faith in these people as human beings, we haven't a chance of succeeding."

—Elana's father, "Enchantress from the Stras", P. 72

I find myself stunned into near disbelief by just how enormously powerful and incredibly good is this book. "Enchantress from t
...more
Valerie
I actually have two editions of this. This book is one I like to reread. I like the language, and the raising of issues about who qualifies as 'human' (for example).

But I often don't agree with the arguments. I don't accept that loyalty and adherence to 'irrevocable' commitments are good behavior. It's taken me a lot of wrestling with my conscience to get to this point. This book made me reconsider--and I came to the same conclusion, after seriously considering the arguments.

Loyalty, by definit
...more
Olga Godim
This sci-fi book is simultaneously incredibly naïve and incredibly arrogant. It describes a clash of three cultures, each in a different stage of social and scientific development.
The Federation is a highly evolved, space-faring civilization. They’re so evolved, they are telepathic. They don’t wage war or conquer the less-developed societies. Instead, they travel among the populated worlds and study them. The protagonist, a student Elana, belongs to this society of peaceful explorers. Their man
...more
Janet
Oct 30, 2008 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I first read this book when I was in the sixth grade, and it changed my life. Not only was this the first science fiction story I'd ever read, it was my introduction to the idea that where you come from shapes how you see and interpret the world.

The story is presented as an intersection of fairy tale and sci-fi adventure, with the medieval residents of the planet Andrecia interpreting the high tech tools of an advanced civilization as a "dragon".

Elana, the story's heroine, is a somewhat rash bu
...more
VeeDawn
Feb 20, 2014 VeeDawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the best science fiction ever, but I loved the idea of the three levels of development for civilizations and people too: First wonder and believing in the supernatural, second discarding superstition and revering science, and finally the discovery is made that what was termed "supernatural" (or faith) has been perfectly natural all along and is in reality a part of the very science that sought to reject it.
Wealhtheow
Dec 07, 2008 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy, ya
Ten to fifteen years after reading this book, I still remember the scene in which the anthropologist-from-the-stars gives the woodcutter-who-believes-in-magic orange soda, and he's like "magic elixer!" Hah! Loved this story of high technology and low meeting--it's kinda a Prime Directive parable.
Jo
Jul 19, 2010 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-favorites
The well known story goes like this: a dragon begins to terrorize the land and the king sends forth his strongest warriors. When his warriors fail, he sets forth a decree that any who slays the dragon shall be rewarded. To take up this task is a poor woodcutter's youngest son, aided by a beautiful enchantress and a wise old man who give him three tasks and reward him with the magical gift needed to defeat the dragon.

"Enchantress from the Stars" retells this story from the point of view of Elana,
...more
Archy
Jul 24, 2012 Archy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who has watched way too much Star Trek, this book is basically an exposition on the Prime Directive. Elena is a trainee about to enter the service which protects "younger" civilizations from self-destruction or domination by other species. She becomes entangled in a tricky situation where she must teach Georyn to use his innate psychokinetic powers to fight off the "dragon" of another humanoid species without revealing her true nature. They of course fall in love, which is what gives ...more
Kim
Jul 13, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngreader, fantasy
I read about this young adult fiction in the Chinaberry catalog. It's a Newberry Honor Book that had been out of print.

What a delightful book -- full of mythology and symbolism and right vs. wrong dilemmas. Elana is a stowaway on a Federation Anthropological Service mission headed by her father. They go to a "youngling" world to try to stop interference from another society invading the planet. Elana becomes the key to the mission, and it's fraught with dangers and difficult decisions. Elana's
...more
Joanna
Mar 10, 2016 Joanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An old fashioned science fiction YA book with a bit of a Star Trek vibe (I love Star Trek!). I have to admit that it's obviously well-written and the plot and characters are interesting. Moreover, it has some of my favourite elements, like a clash of different cultures or a more or less believable romance. It also has an important message. It's definitely worth reading. Still, because of the writing style (some POVs are like memoirs, some like legends of the round table), it's just not really ca ...more
Amanda
...I didn't like this.

I really wanted to like it! I really did. I just couldn't.

I can see why people like it, but for me, the negatives outweighed the positives.

1. I didn't particularly like any of the characters. I thought Elana herself was quite arrogant at times and none of the other characters were very fleshed-out.

2. There was more telling than showing. I was told every single motivation for everything and, to be honest, it gets tiring after awhile.

3. The rest of the writing was a bit...bo
...more
Yve
This book is, like, on the level where I can't even articulate the degree of wonderfulness that it achieves so I'm sitting here gaping and making indeterminate hand gestures. The review blurb on the back says "It is almost impossible to convey just how good this book is. Please just read it," and, yeah, I'm feeling that now.

Enchantress From the Stars is the perfect blend of fantasy and sci-fi, and the expert positioning of magic and technology, along with the indefinite time setting (past? prese
...more
Becky
May 24, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I decided to reread Sylvia Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars for my Newbery reading challenge. (It was a Newbery Honor book in 1971). I loved, loved, loved it the first time I read it. I loved it just as much the second time. (I love it when a book rereads well. Not all books do. That's one way you can distinguish between a good book and a great book.) I would definitely say it's a premise-driven book, but, that being said there is plenty of action and plenty of characterization. ...more
Lisa Zigue
Nov 30, 2014 Lisa Zigue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma obra de ficção maravilhosa que me empolgou pela sua simplicidade no desenrolar da história, conseguindo apesar disso uma riqueza visionária e profundidade de reflexões e pensamentos através das personagens apaixonantes.

Cada uma delas poderia explorar e ilustrar vários dos aspectos da consciência humana, em várias das suas perspectivas, unindo-se com grande sensibilidade numa cadeia de eventos, manifestos a seu tempo (e não antes), potenciando assim uma expansão de entendimento sobre a essênc
...more
Wendy Bousfield
Jun 23, 2015 Wendy Bousfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy


In this YA fantasy, humanoids in different stages of cultural/technological development are found throughout the cosmos. Culturally mature peoples belong to a Federation, which oversees the development and continued existence of “Youngling” races. Federation ships easily visit far-flung planets, and these civilizations have solved the social problems that drive less advances peoples to poverty and crime. Federation peoples also have developed the latent psi powers possessed by all humanoids: the
...more
Tess Given
A great sci-fi book in the same way that "The Giver" by Lois Lowry is. Philosophy, a great boook for pleasure reading or a book report. Some cheesy lines here and there, but it adds to the charm. Its a good book to think about, and dscuss with friends.
Jenelle
So I didn't realize till just now that this book was written in the 70's, which changes my opinion somewhat.

First of all, I really like the idea of this story-- that ancient myths and legends could actually be the product of a more advanced alien race's interaction. It's clever and unique, and now that I know it's been around 30+ years, I'm kind of surprised no one has stolen it.

However, Elana is a twit, and though she acts more like an authentic teenager than most other books, that also means
...more
Lisa H.
Jul 09, 2012 Lisa H. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Enchantress from the Stars has the tone and depth of a young adult novel, but the treatment was so unusual it held my interest. It tells portions of the same story from the viewpoints, and in the voices, of three different races: As told by the natives of the unnamed planet setting, it's a fairy tale in which the several sons of a poor woodcutter each go out to defeat the "dragon" that lives on the far side of the Enchanted Wood; in the voice of a colonizing force of space-faring people, it's a ...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
I thought this book was very good theoretically, but somehow was missing something in actuality. The concepts about fairy tales, science, and how civilization moves from myth to science to something else beyond- in this particular story telepathic powers- were really fabulous as well as the rigor, rationalization, and practice of leaving less developed civilizations alone. Perhaps it is that the love story seems more of a literary fairy tale while the rest of the book could be a beautifully rend ...more
Rachel Terry
Jun 01, 2015 Rachel Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
For some reason, I've always had a bias against science fiction and fantasy, but I read this because my son was reading it for a class. I loved it! The symbolism is fantastic, and the plot and characters are wonderful, too. It was written several decades ago, but the discussions about technology are as applicable now as ever, maybe more so than when the book was written.
Neil
Jul 28, 2009 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know a lot of people really liked this book, especially when they read it as youth - and I have to admit that the story was interesting - I just didn't love it. I did think it was neat that the story was told in turns from the eyes of the three main characters. I just couldn't forge a connection with any of those characters, so I had a hard time caring what happened to them. I found serious flaws with the idea that humanoid sentient life forms were all the universe could manage. (this was neve ...more
Kayla Loewen
This book is gorgeous.I didn't have a clue what to expect when I started it,and I wished it wasn't over when I finished it. The plot was pure genius,as was the cast.I can't wait to read it again!
Laura
I remember reading Enchantress from the Stars when I was in junior high along with The Merman's Children. They were my first exposure to science fiction and fantasy.

I've been reading the science fiction my students read and, quite frankly, a lot of it is weak. Enchantress from the Stars blows them out of the water.

I don't know how Sylvia Engdahl does it. The story is told from three different points of view and each of them is valid. For both Elana and Jared, the story is science fiction; for Ge
...more
Sara
Jul 03, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the great joys of financially-stable adulthood is being able to track down all the books you read and loved as a child, but for some reason never owned, and purchase them on whim. I'm not sure what made me think of this book again, probably two decades after it was first recommended to me by a penpal correspondent who was, at the time, serving as a missionary in Africa. But when I did, I remembered how much I enjoyed the story, how different it was from anything else I'd read, and how swe ...more
LCL Children'S
May 14, 2015 LCL Children'S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elana is a young woman from an advanced civilization, in training to be part of the anthropology service. She looks forward to a life of traveling the universe, studying younger civilizations, seeing uncharted planets, and having grand adventures. However, when her impulsive nature lands her in the middle of a delicate mission for which she is unprepared, she discovers that the life she's chosen may not be as glamorous as she was imagining. As she, her father, and her fiance try to save one "you ...more
Sarah (Just One More Chapter)
Jul 24, 2014 Sarah (Just One More Chapter) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14+
Recommended to Sarah by: Sonlight
This has got to be one of the most interesting and unique books I've read in a long time. Although this is technically a sci-fi novel, the planet that the characters go to has a fantasy-type culture, making this the perfect meld between my two favorite genres.

There are three main characters, and the story is told from all three perspectives. Although that is relatively common, what makes it special in this book is the different levels of knowledge of each character. Georyn, an inhabitant of the
...more
Colleen
Mar 12, 2014 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Believable characters, exciting plot, philosophical themes--this book caught my attention. Usually when I choose a book first for its cover, I flip through it, skimming the summary and the author's bio, and then picking a page somewhere in the middle to read. After the dull plot-based book I had tried to read before, this one actually had something to say. It questioned our place in the universe. Well, not ours exactly, but someone's who sounds a lot like us. Three civilizations--one medieval, a ...more
Lauren
Jun 24, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Enchantress from the Stars" has one of the most original and interesting plots I've read in a while. It's a mix of Sci fi and Fantasy elements because it deals with members of an advanced alien race who travel to a "medieval" planet to save it from imperialist conquerors. The natives there see Elana, the main character, as an enchantress with magical powers because of her civilization's advanced technology.

In my opinion, this book suffered from two main problems: one, that at times I felt it "d
...more
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Although she is best known as an author for Young Adults, Sylvia Engdahl's most recent novels, the Hidden Flame duology (Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame) and the Rising Flame duology (Defender of the Flame and Herald of the Flame) are not YA books and are not appropriate for middle-school readers. These two duologies are quite different from each other and some readers prefer the se ...more
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