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It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?

308 pages, Hardcover

First published May 8, 2012

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About the author

Alethea Kontis

130 books1,466 followers
"A veritable badass fairy princess." --Jim Butcher

"The faerie princess of the worlds of weird." --Jonathan Maberry

"Alethea Kontis IS fairy tales." --Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer

"Alethea Kontis: Awesome, racks up award nominations, wears tiaras." --SF author Ferrett Steinmetz

"I want to live in [Alethea's] head because I think that might be the most interesting place in the world!!!!" --Ellen Oh, author of Prophecy

"Alethea Kontis, the woman who writes like Shakespeare would if he were alive today." --Aaron Pound

"The beauty of a princess, the confidence of a queen, the brilliance of a writer, and the demeanor of a cheerful fairy comedian!" --Cheyenne Z.

"This was the story before all of the other stories, and it was the other tales that were changed over time." --Nerdophiles, on ENCHANTED

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,363 reviews
Profile Image for Hira.
153 reviews395 followers
Read
January 25, 2012
It'd be kind of funny and tragic if she was named Friday in current times. It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday!
Profile Image for Elevetha .
1,721 reviews165 followers
February 21, 2016
So it wasn't bad. But it wasn't good.

The prose is nice and descriptions are lovely.

First off, Sunday Woodcutter meets a frog in the woods and INSTANTLY decides to tell this frog her life story and all about her family and their troubles. But, as we already knew, the frog is an enchanted prince. As soon as he talks...INSTA!LOVE ensues.

Sunday is besotted by this creature of loveliness that listens and seems to care for her. But they can never have more because he is doomed to a life as a frog.

Then enter the fact that Rumbold, back when he was man, was a slimeball, traipsing around with every available and not-so-available woman around. Ugh.

And then the fact that the side characters are so much more interesting than the main two. ARRGH. Especially Thursday, the Pirate Queen and her husband, The Dread Pirate Roberts. Why couldn't we have their story?


As the story progresses, you begin to realize that things are never explained, don't make any sense, or just make you head smoke trying to pull a semblance of sense of it. More than half the time, I was just utterly confused.

For example:

Why was it mentioned that the villager's eyes were violet and Sunday is "Wow. That's weird. I wonder why..." and then it's never brought up again.

Why was Rumbold's mother(as I understood it) whispering "Kill me" in Rumbold's head?

The magic system...?????

Jack and his story that we never really get...

What's up with Rumbold's memories? They seemed important but we never really get to see what happened to him. No backstory. Nothing.

Why did Rumbold "remember" Thursday cutting his arm with a knife in the shape of a "T" and then, later, there's nothing there??

And if that was a dream, how did he recognize Jolicoer??

The king's spell. How old IS he?

Rumbold's mum.... Um, WHAT??

Jack and Thursday's fate and stories are mentioned several times for no apparent reason. They are a big deal. Why?

Why did the Woodcutter family all hate the prince and his family? They didn't cause ANY of the problems. It was all the stupid worthless godmothers.

Sunday and her magical powers.... EXPLANATION, PLEASE.

I guess I just felt that there was no purpose to much any of the stuff in here and, if there was, it certainly wasn't explained.


It was the most fun to find fairytale references. Here's what I found: Rumpelstiltskin, The Frog Prince, 12 Dancing Princesses, Princess and the Pea, Rapunzel, Old Woman and the Shoe, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella. I'm sure there were more....

This book just wasn't for me. I was confused. I didn't like the characters. And the bad outweighs the very little good.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,790 reviews69k followers
February 11, 2015
Enchanted is easily one of the better books that I've read this year. If you're a fan of fairy tales then this is a definite Must-Read. The author did an amazing job of including almost every single well-know fairytale out there into one incredible story. And, yes. They are all told in a fresh way.

At first glance this looks like a retelling of The Frog Prince, but there is more...so much more to this story. Cinderella, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Rapunzel...the list goes on. Some of the references are obvious, and others you barely catch out of the corner of your eye. Did I say I loved it? Well, I did.
Now go get the book.
Move it!
Profile Image for Amelia, free market Puritan.
349 reviews35 followers
July 12, 2012
Before reading this review, please keep 3 things in mind:
1. This is JUST my opinion
2. This is JUST my opinion
3. I've had a lot of caffeine tonight, and THIS IS JUST MY OPINION.


Basically, the main word I'd use to describe Enchanted is bizarre. Even before I ultimately decided it wasn't going to get any better and I couldn't care less about the characters, I thought that this was a very bizarre story.

Some fairy-tale retellings are written to sound like extensions of the real story and others are meant to sound revised. "Fractured Fairytales" comes to mind. But Enchanted was like a weird mix of the two. The narrator, a girl named Sunday Woodcutter, had such a blase and matter-of-fact voice that did nothing to elicit any kind of empathy, compassion, or interest in me at all. For crying out loud, she spills her whole family story in the first chapter and talks about how one sister has run away with a pirate and another sister danced herself to death with as much enthusiasm as Ben Stein from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In fact, if Sunday Woodcutter was a real person, I'm guessing her voice would sound similar.
Like I said, Enchanted was bizarre. I mean, within 20 pages I'm reading about a girl who danced herself to death (as an aside, how is that possible? Really? I saw the "Rite of Spring" ballet as a kid and have been pondering that ever since), someone else ran off with a pirate and makes a living raiding ships, someone else got turned into a dog or something... the unbelievability factor was off the charts. And see, I get it. Fairytales are supposed to revolve around circumstances that are unnatural, for lack of a better word. But I've never read a story as flippant and (it appears to me), careless as Enchanted. Most fairytale stories I've read either satirize fairytale elements (including all the extraordinary elements) or they really play them up. But Sunday's narration was just lazy. And just like with Katniss in The Hunger Games series, I reckon that if the character doesn't care, then Nell if I'm going to, either.

The most bizarre part of the story, though, centers around Sunday's relationship with the frog prince (because we all know he's a prince! The synopsis even says so!). The brilliant Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier really raised the bar as far as frog-prince stories are concerned. Whatever I was expecting, it was not for Sunday to realize, almost immediately, that this little frog is a human. And certainly it wasn't for her to decide, after a grand total of TWO DAYS, that this little frog person was the bestest best friend she's ever had, her eternal soul-mate, and the only person who understands me, dawgonnit! It was unbe-freaking-lievable.
The reason behind the transformation of Prince_____ (forgot his name) is the sloppiest, most bizarre thing I've ever read. And I don't mean bizarre in a Tim Burton sort of way. I mean bizarre in a practically-incoherent sort of way.

And never, ever have I encountered a character in a farytale retelling like Prince Prurient. I don't even remember his real name - The main objection I had to the Prince, in terms of his characterization, had to do with the inclusion of what I'd call "major" innuendo, considering the story's target audience. I have been told by a reliable source that these passages were edited out of the final copy. I'm going to leave my notes just for the sake of clarity, but because they refer to the ARC copy, I'm going to give them a strikethrough:
Within the span of less than 200 pages, I was treated to at least 4 references to his sexual exploits. In one scene, the all-important "fairytale ballroom scene," he's surveying the ladies in the hall and commenting on how many of them he's had sex with. WHAT kind of bass-ackwards fairytale is this?! Why authors feel the need to put in so much sexual innuendo is completely beyond me. I get it, I do. Some women think that guys who treat females as objects of gratification are alluring, or whatever. Yeah, and some people eat cats. It doesn't mean it's normal, it doesn't mean it's okay, and it doesn't mean it's sanitary.

Even with the further editing from ARC to final copy, I still feel like Enchanted was a very disjointed and sloppy read...this whole reading experience was weird. Basically, poorly executed.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,695 reviews655 followers
February 10, 2017
This review and the rest of the crap I write can be seen @ my blog Bark's Book Nonsense . Stop by and say hey.

This story was as charming as it was frustrating. The narrator does a beautiful job with her lovely, lilting fairytale-like accent but the material has issues even a skilled narrator can’t overcome.

A beautiful young lady named Sunday falls truly, madly, deeply in love with a frog. A talking frog, mind you, but a slimy frog nonetheless. Now don’t get me wrong, I like frogs well enough. We didn’t open our pool this past summer and a frog moved in on the little pond that was created on our pool cover. He stayed the entire summer and he would croak hello at me every time I ventured out back with my dogs. He would then stare at me like he had more to say or perhaps he was secretly wishing me dead for invading his space. One day he left our “pond” without a goodbye and I kind of missed seeing him. But that was as far as things went with me and my frog. Now that I think about it, perhaps I’ve missed my chance at ruling a kingdom. Damn. Anyway, this beauty named Sunday falls in love with her frog so deeply and so truly that she breaks a curse with her love.

You know that shit is for real when it breaks a curse, right?

This is a kinda sorta retelling of The Frog Prince with a whole bunch of other things thrown in to confuse my tired brain. And I’m not kidding about the “whole bunch of other things". Back in ye olden times of reviewing we would call this type of thing a “Kitchen Sink” book because the author throws everything in but the kitchen sink. Here are just a few of the things:

1. The frog is a cursed Prince, of course, but the curse is a muddled and complicated thing that I can’t explain and he really can’t either. Something about Sunday’s deceased brother and two fairy godmothers who have it out for each other.
2. The prince awakens with fuzzy, partial memories so not only am I confused but so is he.
3. One day Sunday is madly in love with her froggy and I’m feeling for her because he suddenly goes missing without a goodbye. Tragedy, no? But then, oh but then, a scrawny prince asks her to dance and she is wooed and declares herself in insta-love with him! She has no idea he was her true love the frog at this point because he’s too chicken to tell her because of #1. Or something. Sheesh, I guess true love for her means if I don’t see ya for a few days I’m on to the next one!
4. Sunday is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter and do you know what that means? That means that she is magical! It also means that there are hordes of siblings all with complicated but not very well fleshed out stories of their own going on here and I could remember none of them. Her sisters were all named for days of the week. I couldn’t remember who was who and often mixed up Sunday with Saturday. My brain was not up for this.
5. There are tons of pieces of fairy tales sprinkled in here. I enjoyed that at first but after a while it felt a little like overkill.
6. The King declares he is in insta-love with one of Sunday’s sisters (please don’t ask me which one) and will take her as his bride whether she wants him or not. But the prince discovers a dark and terrible secret that sets off another subplot.
7. At some point the prince is running around town with a shoe that will only fit his true love. Wait a minute. What? I thought he already knew who his true love was. They’ve been dancing at balls and he’s only had googly eyes for her. I thought that was truly the only thing he was sure about but perhaps I wasn't really paying attention.

I guess it’s here that my brain ran out of power so none of this may be right. Don’t count on this review for any kind of accuracy.

This story would’ve been adorable if it hadn’t become so overly convoluted that it’s nearly impossible to follow. I never felt any sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters. Terrible things happen to some of them and I felt a whole bunch of nothing because of the breezy way things were handled and because of the way things just keep speeding along. Why bother add in backstory if you’re not going to knock your readers out with the emotional impact? I don’t get it. It’s a real shame because the writing is lyrical in many parts and there was so much promise.

It just didn’t work for me and I have to wonder why I finished the audio at all. I guess my only reason is that I was too lazy to start something else and the writing was very lovely at times. I was also hoping that the confusing bits would eventually be fleshed out and explained. Some of them were but many of them weren’t and now I��m left feeling a little brain hurt.

Not really recommended.
Profile Image for Sarah.
237 reviews1,088 followers
December 25, 2018
The kingdom of Arilland is so marinated in magic that archetypal fairytale events are common enough that people can identify them when they happen.

The King of this place has occupied the throne for so long that no one can remember, let alone write down, his name. Yet he’s not only youthful, but handsome and vibrant. What’s his secret?

The King looks about the same age as his son, Rumbold, who’s a wild child. Usually the boy can be found among pirates, huntsmen, groupies, and his two besties, Erik the redheaded guardsman and Velius the dark, half-fey mage. But no one has seen Prince Rumbold in a year. He’s been sick or locked up or on vacation or something, no one really knows.

Also missing is the notorious Jack Woodcutter, Jr. He’s ostensibly the captain of the royal guard, but he finds plenty of time for slaying monsters, breaking into harems, and generally causing an impressive amount of chaos. The people of Arilland sang so many songs, and told so many tales, about fearless, crazy Jack. Where has he gone?

Jack’s parents produced both a folk hero and a princess, but for reasons best known to themselves, they still live in a dilapidated sylvan farmhouse with their remaining children, even though either Jack or Monday should really have bought them a nice little estate by now. Let me introduce them to you, since the book thinks all of them are Very, Very Important:

The Woodcutter Family
JACK, SR: is a simple man who has a talent for storytelling, but mostly just cuts wood and marvels at all the trouble his children get into.

SEVEN: Jack Sr.’s wife, who’s very grumpy and materialistic and the last person you would ever imagine was related to the fairies, so of course two of them are her sisters.

JACK, JR

MONDAY: She married a prince—apparently not a son of the king, since Rumbold appears to be an only child—and moved far away.

TUESDAY: She died after dancing in a cursed pair of shoes.

WEDNESDAY: The eldest child remaining at home, though we are never told exactly how old she (or anyone other than Sunday) is. She spends her days moping in her chamber, and only speaks in pretentious fragments, which are either outtakes from Doors lyrics or unused bits of John Green dialogue.

THURSDAY: The feisty sister who eloped with the Pirate King! I’m curious how she met him, since the Woodcutters don’t live anywhere near the ocean and Jack is the only one who travels at all.

PETER: He’s an artist or a wizard or…something, the book really doesn’t care. He might have had one line in the entire book.

TRIX: an adopted faerie child who turned up on the doorstep one day. No one knows how old he really is, or how old he’d be in human years, and his maturity is impossible to gauge. Trix will outlive the rest of his family, probably by hundreds of years.

FRIDAY: the nice sister who’s really nice and sews and knits and is really nice and is nice and stuff. The book is so busy telling us over and over again how kind she is that we never actually get to see her do anything particularly kind.

SATURDAY: the tall, scruffy sister who’s great with an axe, but sees everything as a piece of wood in need of chopping.

SUNDAY: the youngest, a little twerp who loves to write and is easily bamboozled.

It is Sunday, alas, who is stuck as our protagonist. Her humdrum life becomes interesting when a friendly enchanted frog becomes interested in her writing…

Content Advisory
Violence: We see a sailor getting flogged in a (very confusing) flashback. Rioters get branded on their arms. Someone gets their throat cut. A fairy slices open the stomach of a goose, to release the person who was magicked into the goose. The goose somehow survives this and is sewn up by Friday, good as new. More under Nightmare Fuel.

Sex: It’s implied that Rumbold slept with half the kingdom before his curse took effect, although to its credit, the book neither judges him, nor condones his reckless behavior. At one point his memories manifest as bubbles, one showing a nude female figure for a second before it pops. There’s a Noodle Incident mentioned where Jack busts into a Sultan’s harem. Wednesday is naked when she regains her true form and collapses in Velius’ waiting arms.

Language: If there was any, I missed it.

Substance Abuse: Velius and Rumbold both get sloshed a few times.

Nightmare Fuel:

Politics and Religion: This universe is run by a lot of shady, unseen gods with unpredictable whims.

Sufficient Excuse for Being There
In “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” the grandfather of all nitpicky reviews, Mark Twain lays out a few rules for novelists to follow. Here are a few of them:

3. They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others…

4. They require that the personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there…


I’ve never read any of James Fenimore Cooper’s work (The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans are both on my TBR) so I can’t say if Twain’s criticisms were justified regarding their original target. But my goodness, do they ever apply to whatever Enchanted was.

When Twain spoke of “corpses”, I think that was just his sarcastic way of noting characters who lack pep. But Kontis’ character roster is so overcrowded and under-explained that sometimes I could not tell the literal corpses from the survivors. It was nigh impossible to remember which of the Woodcutter kids was dead, which was just presumed dead, which married a prince and which married a pirate. Their adventures could fill several novels but are all crammed into the first fifty pages of this one as info-dumping. The book then expects us to have emotional reactions to characters we’ve only heard about, never actually met.

The physically present characters don’t have much more depth than their dead or absent compatriots.

Take Sunday, who starts out a goofy sixteen-going-on-seven-year-old who has learned nothing from her family’s past, abruptly becomes this aloof, guarded person halfway through, then changes back again for no discernable reason. Her innocence itself seems hokey after a while, rather like the parody Disney princess played by Amy Adams in the film Enchanted (2007, no connection to this book). It’s like Kontis herself doesn’t really believe in Sunday, and because our author doesn’t, we can’t either.

Rumbold is no better. The book can’t decide if it wants a wholesome prince or a dark, beastly one. So we wind up with this patchwork fellow, who’s supposed to be Mr. Rochester but comes off about as suave and Byronic as Napoleon Dynamite.

I caught you a delicious bass

We learn from flashbacks that he was a soldier, a playboy, and a pirate—all before he turned eighteen!—but none of that has any effect on who he is today. The book spends a lot of time on his backstory, even though it’s irrelevant, far-fetched, and insanely convoluted.

Third in (ir)relevance is Trix. Everything about this character, from his little-boy hyperactivity to his very name, screams “Look at me! I’m cute and whimsical!” He’s an adult trapped in a kid’s body, except when the book forgets and makes him a kid trapped in an adult’s body. He doesn’t comprehend the trouble he causes and probably never will, and he’s going to live forever. Centuries from now, someone will find him prowling the ruins of the (booby-trapped) farmhouse, talking to himself and inhaling junk food like Kevin at the beginning of Home Alone.

Kevin at dinner

Harry on fire

For characters like this who really are lovable, see the fairies in Lisa Mantchev’s Eyes Like Stars . I’d love to go adventuring with those rascals, but I wouldn’t turn my back on Trix Woodcutter.

Mama Woodcutter is dumb even by this book’s standards. The unseen gods keep sending her gift horses and she looks them in the mouth every. Single. Time. You’d think she’d learn after she accidentally cursed Tuesday to dance until her heart failed, but nope. She holds Rumbold (who was a child at the time) responsible for what happened to Jack, but turns into Mrs. Bennet as soon as the King notices Wednesday. Hurrah for consistency.

Mrs Bennet wink

Don’t get me started on Joy and Sorrow. Joy spends the first half of the book doing nothing and the second half doing everything, a nearly literal dea ex machina.

Sorrow is scary as a villain should be, but her behavior doesn’t make sense. If she’s been in love with the King and keeping him alive all these centuries, why didn’t she just whisk him off to Faerie long ago? They could have spent the past five hundred years frolicking in the woods without any bizarre occult rituals involving geese and disembodied shadows. I get that there’s probably a law or something against human/fairy marriage in this world, but the book never confirms that. I still liked Joy and Sadness better in Inside Out.

Sadness circle

The King is actually a very good villain, even though I found his acts of blood magic a bit over-the-top, even for this genre. His bloodlust was hinted at early on, his motive (longing for eternal youth) was tried and true, and the plotline about his name being lost to history was poignant. Good job with him, Ms. Kontis.

Papa Woodcutter is a sweetheart, a simple man in awe of his absurdly powerful children. I liked him.

Peter Woodcutter is negative space. It’s teased that he might become a powerful magician—but boy magicians are a dime a dozen these days. The poor lad is given no qualities to make him stand out. i think he probably winds up being important in a sequel, but in order to care about his future, the author must make us care about him in the present. Peter still wound up being one of my favorite characters in this—by process of elimination. By doing nothing, he’s much less offensive than sappy Sunday, creepy Trix, or aggressively stupid Rumbold.

Friday is a discount Beth March, and she would have been really likeable had the book given her any room to breathe. Her fellow characters sing her praises, but all we readers know about her is that she’s a magician with a needle and thread.

Princess Monday is only there to make sure there are seven Woodcutter sisters. Literally all she does is look pretty.

On the other hand, it’s hard not to like Saturday. She’s the only member of the family with no magical gift, which she makes up for with a commendable work ethic. She’s also the only one who doesn’t look like a Barbie doll—she’s pretty, but taller and brawnier than the average girl, and maintains a practical wardrobe. She’s fearless in public and vulnerable among her family. She has no patience for all the zany magic around her, and believes that every problem can be solved if you hit it hard enough with an axe. Jo March spliced with Gimli. How is she not the main character?

Jo

Gimli

Saturday enjoys friendship and chemistry with Erik, the magnificent guardsman with the shining red hair and arid sense of humor. Erik, alone among the characters, seems to realize that he’s trapped in a story—and a very silly one at that. Sometimes he almost breaks the fourth wall. He’s a much better friend than Rumbold deserves. The book would have been much more bearable if he’d been in more of it.

Wednesday is pompous, but smarter than she lets on, and highly entertaining. I was genuinely worried about her once she caught the King’s eye. She deserved a bigger role than she was given.

My favorite character is Velius, the dashing half-fae gothic heartthrob of the royal court. Loyal to his friends, a biting wit and a vicious flirt, tall and lithe and black-haired and usually inebriated, he reminded me a bit of Hawkeye Pierce. Although if this book were an (intentional) comedy, it’s more Wayne’s World than M*A*S*H: Velius is a much cooler Wayne, Erik is a much cooler Garth, and Rumbold is Phil, the guy who’s always hammered but still remembers every lyric to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” That’s the tragedy of Velius. He steals every scene he’s in, and a sense of hidden depths follows him through the story. He could be the next Morpheus of Wonderland, and he’s stuck in this role:

Wayne's World Phil

How to Fix This Book
1. Get rid of everyone except Saturday, Erik, Wednesday, Velius, Peter, Friday, Jack Senior, the King, and Sorrow. Saturday is now the MC.

2. Don’t cram in every fairytale that ever existed.

3. Give the poor sisters real names instead of this days-of-the-week scheme, which is cute at first but gets annoying. Let’s christen Saturday Tamara, Friday Hannah, and Wednesday Sophia for now.

4. The two pairings (Saturday/Erik and Velius/Wednesday) are teased, but this is mostly a family-and-friendship story. Not everything has to have romance front and center. Save it for the sequel!

5. Velius becomes king since Rumbold doesn’t exist.

6. Make the final battle a bit less trippy.

7. A less generic title is in order. The Axe-maiden of Arillland is catchy.

Conclusions
I’ve been on a roll with rereading books I used to dislike or DNF’d—and The Demon King, Eyes Like Stars, and Entwined were all much better than I remembered. Unfortunately, my dismal first impression of Enchanted was pretty much correct.

There are a lot of elements in this book that would usually work...

The girl who writes down her daydreams and brings them to life.

The evil, vampiric king locked in a twisted affair of mutually assured destruction with his paranormal mistress.

The oblivious mother who keeps accidentally cursing her own children.

The reformed playboy.

The creepy changeling.

The girl with the axe.

The quiet wizard brother, hovering, waiting for his own shining hour.

The darkly powerful young woman and the equally isolated young wizard who’s drawn to her.

Pick any four of these and you’d have a fine yarn. Cram them into your book’s outline like archetypal sardines and you have a tangled mess of a story.

This book is salvageable, but not recommended as is, unless you like giving yourself a headache, trying to follow a story where everything happens and none of it matters.

BETTER CHOICES:
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Entwined by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

East by Edith Pattou

The Stepsister's Tale by Tracey Barrett
Profile Image for Mimi.
265 reviews359 followers
September 24, 2013
Rating: 4.5 beautiful stars out of 5!

Absolutely ADORABLE. Magical. Smile-inducing. And so incredibly sweet! This book is one of the many reasons why I love fairytales and their re-tellings so much!

Enchanted may mention some of my favourite fairytales — from The Princess and the Frog to Cinderella to Jack and the Beanstalk and more! — but it's much more than just a re-telling of them all. Alethea Kontis weaves them perfectly into an original and surprisingly complex story that's her own, adding in a cast of fantastic characters that will steal your heart away.

Sweet and caring and determined and clever, I adored Sunday from start to finish! Both she and Rumbold (my new favourite frog prince) warmed my heart repeatedly. I love how the very first time she kisses him as a frog, he doesn't change back right away. It was sweetly realistic.

Some people may be turned off by the promise of insta-love (since this is a fairytale, after all), but the author managed to pull it off perfectly without making it feel like overwhelming devotion! And even if that instant spark does bother you at first, I promise that by the end of the book, you'll love them both too much to care.

Beautiful, enchanting, and everything I could ever ask for, Enchanted is one of my favourite re-tellings of anything to date! Alethea Kontis, like Sunday, is a masterful storyteller, and you should definitely be prepared to smile when you pick up this book. :)

BUY or BORROW?: An absolute MUST-have for anyone who likes (or just appreciates) fairytales at all, but even if you don't, I'd recommend this book anyways!

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
Profile Image for Hermione.
596 reviews206 followers
August 11, 2012
Pre-reading: Oh my gosh, it's a frog-turns-prince type of story! Haven't seen you before! Definitely will be reading thissssss~

Post-reading: Uck. 1.5 stars.

--

I hate giving books one star reviews. I understand that authors work very hard to write a book, but it takes us only a few days to read it. And in those few days, the time after you close the back cover, you can decide whether to give the book a good rating or a bad rating.

Unfortunately, Enchanted from me got a bad rating.

I've never really disliked a book that much. But with Enchanted--oh, God--I very nearly died of boredom. I didn't hate it, but it was teetering on the verge of it. Which sucks, because I was really looking forward to this novel. Really, really was. So the disappointment was like a punch in the gut.

Sunday Woodcutter is the seventh daughter of Seven and Jack Woodcutter. And as the legend goes--'she is blimey and good and gay ... and doomed to a happy life.'

But apparently "doomed to a happy life" has lots and lots of "turning things into gold" and "practicing magic." But oh God--everything was so poorly executed. Especially since Sunday and so many goddamn siblings and it's very, very hard to keep up with everyone! Put on top of that that the author explains so badly that you can't help but think her sisters are frogs sometimes, and you've got yourself a pot full of crapiness.

But not even that gave this book the score I gave it. It was the ... (wait for it) ... ROMANCE.



Kill me. Kill me and you'll put me at rest.

Because this has probably been one of the worst YA romance novels I've ever read. Oh dear Lord, I kid you not. It has everything you could possibly want for it to count against you--insta-love, check; angst-ridden teenagers, check; you-are-the-person-worth-me-dying-for, check; unbidden romantic thoughts, check; LOVE AFTER DAY ONE, CHECK.

AGAIN, I KID YOU NOT.

Sunday think she's in love with the goddamn frog after she sees him by a well after the first visit. .

Grumble (the frog) thinks he's in love with Sunday after she comes to visit him after the first visit. .

I understand that this is a fairytale retelling. I got that, but when you retell a fairytale and make it into YA literature, authors should know what the YA community hates about books: and that is insta-love. Fairytale retellings w/ insta-love might work if this was aimed for a middle school audience, but it isn't--it's for the young adult one.

AND I HATE INSTA-LOVE. This book has rekindled my hate of it.

The characters were so annoying. So bland and so plain; they were flat. They were not 3D characters I could feel sympathy with. It just ... the romance completely ruined this book for me. It may not have, if it hadn't played such a huge part in the novel, but it did, and it wholesomely trashed the novel.

Just ... wow. Everything was so poorly written. The writing was good, I admit; but that's probably the only thing. And me being a sucker for happy endings, I gave it the .5 rating ... (though now I'm considering taking it back). But I can tell you this: I positively, absolutely, did not enjoy this book at all. I can't tell you a time where I didn't groan when I had to realize I had to finish it. I can't tell you a time when I didn't sigh with relief when my mother said "Go to bed." I can't tell you a time when I actually smiled while reading this book.

I can tell you this, though: I'm glad I've finished it. Because I'm finally out of hell.

Conclusion: Annoying characters. Annoying plot. Annoying pacing. Annoying, exacerbating, irritating, go-die-in-a-hole insta-love romance. Okayish writing. Okayish happy ending (though absolutely predictable.)

Recommendation: NO. Oh, for the love of God, NO.

Profile Image for Kat.
156 reviews44 followers
June 19, 2012
Is it my fate that I must read books that get my hopes soaring only to get them dashed on the rocks of bitter disappointment?! Every part of me wanted to like this, and there were some points that I did, though mainly in the beginning. However the further I delved, the greater my confusion, frustration and befuddlement (I am aware befuddlement and confusion mean the same thing. I use both to emphasise the depths of my perplexity) over a story that wasn't really sure what it wanted to be. Was it a sweet and heart warming fairytale of love and redemption, a dark and twisted thing that the brothers Grimm themselves would be proud of, full of wicked spells and dangerous obstacles? Maybe a coming of age story shrouded in fantasy? A mystery, family saga...? In truth it was a mixture of all, yet none of the elements to me, seemed to get on very well with each other. It's plot conveyed a sense of not being sure in which direction it wanted to go, or whether to go in all directions at once.

We add to this already confusing mix the storyline itself. I believed this to be a re-telling of the Frog Prince, yet what it proved to be was far more cluttered. Though the Frog Prince is at it's core, many other classic fairy tales make an appearance, burdening an already weighty plot. The end result was not quite chaos, but it was within spitting distance of becoming a broiling concoction of far too much told with far too little. By this I mean that rather than deepening the story, exploring more the relationships of her many characters, the author seemed far more concerned with squeezing in as many fairytale references as she possibly could, most of them shoved in with what felt like little thought to how they worked as a whole. What this resulted in was a hodgepodge tale which got more and more bizarre and random as the book drew to a close. It all just seemed a bit, untidy.

I wanted to explore the blooming relationship of Sunday and her froggy companion. I would have liked to uncover a little more the mystery of the Godmother Sorrow and the nameless King, the tale of the sister's who were gone and the enigmatic Jack who never actually appears. The author introduced us to so much but didn't seem overly fussed about digging deeper. It's not a particularly hefty volume. A few more chapters could have worked wonders on a plot that overall felt a little heavy and cluttered and could have done with a bit of stretching out.

The best way I can sum up 'Enachanted', is by likening it to a dream, of the kind that will one minute have you sitting on a bus playing a game of cards with Papa Smurf, the bloke who works down the local newsagents and a trilby wearing panda, then suddenly transport you to the depths of the ocean and leaves you completely unconcerned by the sudden change in scenery, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, or simply unaware of it the change altogether. There was simply too much going on, each element a part of different a puzzle that won't fit together no matter how much you try.

However, after all that, I did still give it three stars. The reason, is that when you strip everything back, there are fragments of light hidden beneath to fog. At it's heart, there are characters you can like, an ambitiousness on the part of the author in her attempt to weave so many threads together, though she may have lost sight of the essence of the true plot, that I have to admire and the simple fact that I didn't dislike it. There was still something that drew me in. That could partly be the sheer unpredictability of the plot though. Looking back, it was quite mad.

It's one of those books that, where I found fault, others might find charm, inventiveness and a story that certainly leaves you guessing.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,782 followers
June 14, 2019
I am breaking one of my own rules here. I'm giving this book 4 stars even though it's really not a book that greatly touches me personally. I like it but in reality it's a bit more romantic than I can get "rolled up in".

But...it's exceptionally well written. I think most will enjoy this. You get high adventure, great story telling, appealing characters...some fun twists on fairy tales.

Using the "Monday's Child poem" as a spring board the story goes about touching on numerous fairy tales and nursery rimes using them to give some chuckles yet still build a story. (I doubt any of you will be that surprised at what happens when Sunday allows her brother to go off on his own to sell the family cow).

The book centers on the love story of Sunday (involving giants, curses, fairy godmothers, a lost shoe....well lots of shoes) and a frog who isn't really a frog, etc., etc.

Well...you get the idea. I like it pretty well, though a taste for romance will probably help. I think I may look at the next. Who knows maybe the high adventure will outweigh the romance in it?
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,005 reviews1,050 followers
April 21, 2016

An interesting read. A fairy tale for more mature readers. It’s a fusion of a lot of well-known fairy tales from Rumpelstitlskin, The Frog Prince, Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and so on. It’s a very bold attempt, I must say and for that I give the writer due credit. I had fun puzzling over which fairy tale a particular incident is referring to. What’s ironic though is that the strength of the novel is also its very flaw. Because of the never ending references to familiar events and characters from the tales a lot of us know by heart, it had the tendency to become quite confusing, even disturbing although I’m sure to be disturbing is one of the main objectives of the novel done with subtlety through the whimsical, quirky writing language.

My friend, Pau enjoyed it even more than I did, so do check out her quick but wonderful review. And of course, Happy Birthday, my awesome friend. I hope you celebrate your day with awesome books and lots and lots of delicious cakes!^^
Profile Image for Cassi aka Snow White Haggard.
459 reviews154 followers
September 24, 2012
Enchanted is one of those books that tries too hard. I am potentially the biggest sucker for fairy-tale retellings. I have to talk myself out of fairytale stories on a regular basis.

To some extent, this is the retelling of The Frog Prince. The main character Sunday, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, meets a talking frog at the fairy well behind her family's house. They become friends first, then quickly she falls in love with the frog. One day she gives him a kiss then goes home. After she leaves he transforms back into Rumbold, the crowned prince.

But this is not really a simple retelling. This is a fairytale mish-mash that feels a bit like an ADD fest, and not in a good way. It doesn't always make sense, but the author tries to shove in references to practically every fairytale. It's distracting, hard to follow and by the end downright obnoxious. Sometimes I found myself trying to figure out "Is this a fairytale references or a weird detail?" It became hard to distinguish the difference by the end.

This book tries to use clever turns of phrase that just don't work. For example. "He held a silver shoe the same size as the hole in his heart." It's very awkward wording. If your true love has left leaving only a shoe, is that really the size of the hole in your heart? What at first might sound cute doesn't make sense when you actually think about it.

One of the biggest flaws of this novel is that it almost feels like a sequel. As far as I can tell it's supposed to be a stand alone, but the whole story keeps referencing Sunday's dead brother Jack. The book references his life and death so many times without ever fully explaining. They do explain Jack's significance at the end of the novel but by that time it's too late and you still feel like you're missing details.

For me this book was just frustrating. There was too much going on and too many side story-lines. Enchanted would've done better to tell a simple fairytale retelling. Not every fairytale can fit into one book, and trying to fit them all just creates chaos and confusing. The beauty of fairytales is their simplicity and that was completely lost in this book.

For this review and more be sure to check out my blog, Galavanting Girl Books.
Profile Image for Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*.
965 reviews167 followers
January 30, 2014
"Blithe and bonny and good and gay? Who could ever live up to that? It's not in any way realistic. I don't want to be happy and good and dull. I want to be interesting."

Sunday Woodcutter is the seventh daughter in her family, and everything she writes down in her journal has a mysterious way of coming true. When she meets and befriends Grumble the frog near her house she has no idea that he is actually Rumbold, the crown prince under the effects of a curse!
When they begin to fall in love, and Rumbold transforms back into his true form, will he still be able to hold on to Sunday's love?

This book was nothing short of magical! It was like falling headfirst into the most beautiful fairytale and I loved every second of it! The writing was just perfect. It flowed in such a great way, I kept finding myself swept up in the story and reading more than I planned to at any given time! ;) And the best part were the characters. They were all so deep and complex and even though they were flawed, that made them all the more likable and believable too.

"She will heal. All of us heal in time. The strongest are born again. We only keep the scars we choose to keep."

If you love fantasy stories and love fairytales, I'm sure you will love this book as much as I did!

"Everything happens for a reason," Joy said.
"Even the harmful and awkward and stupid things?" asked Sunday. "There are reasons for those?"
"Especially those," said Joy.

Profile Image for Kathy.
2,741 reviews5,978 followers
June 13, 2014


Inspired-kathys-reviews

I love both fairy tale retellings and twisted fairy tales so this one was right up my alley.  I think my favorite thing about this story was the sheer amount of fairy tales that the author referenced or tied into the story line.  I thought this would be a simple retelling for The Princess and the Frog but there ended up being more depth to the story.  The characters lives are all woven together and honestly it was a little confusing at times but by the end of the book I was satisfied and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

If you are looking for a clean unique twisted tale give Enchanted a try.

 

great book

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Clean

Source: Audible.com

Purchase: Amazon.com
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,216 reviews2,103 followers
January 16, 2015
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is blithe and bonny and good and gay.


Sunday is the youngest of the Woodcutter children, with six older sisters and two brothers, plus an adopted Fey brother, crammed into a house that resembles a boot. The eldest son, Jack, had, long ago, gone to work at the palace where, so the story goes, he had been cursed in punishment for kicking Prince Rumbold's dog. Sunday doesn't really know what happened after that, only that there is a deep animosity for the royal family from her parents.

She never expects to meet anyone from the royal family, of course. Life is full and busy enough as it is at home. She snatches moments of peace to go with her notebook to the pond to write in solitude. Sunday loves to write stories, but she long ago discovered that whatever she writes has a tendency to come true, so now she's careful to only write of things that have already happened. Still, she feels she has a boring life, and as the child named for Sunday, she is graced with cheerfulness - another trait she feels make her less interesting, especially compared to her colourful sisters.

Monday married a handsome prince after spending a night on a pile of mattresses through which she could feel a pea; Tuesday danced herself to death in a pair of enchanted slippers; Wednesday is strange and distracted and spends most of her time gazing at the moon and thinking; Thursday left to join her pirate husband as captain of a ship, sailing around the world and periodically sending back marvellous gifts; Friday is full of generosity and selfless deeds, making clothes for orphaned children; and Saturday works hard on the farm with her father and other brother, wielding an axe.

It is a magical family - more so than Sunday ever realised, when her fairy godmother, Aunt Joy, arrives to present them with gifts, and train Sunday. Prince Rumbold has announced three consecutive nights of balls, to which every single young woman in the land has been invited, and so the unmarried Woodcutter sisters must all attend. At the palace, all is not right for the prince. Still recovering from having been turned into a frog, and anxious over whether Sunday will recognise him or love him still, he is haunted by the shade of his deceased mother. His unnaturally youthful-looking father, the king whose name has been forgotten, has decided the balls present an excellent opportunity for him to find a new wife. When, on the night of the first ball, the king sets his sights on one of the Woodcutter girls, Rumbold becomes increasingly aware that there is something very wrong with his father, and hence the kingdom.

This is a retelling of not just one fairy tale, but several, all seamlessly and excitingly meshed together. Sunday lives in fairytale world, a fantasy land not unlike Neil Gaiman's Stardust or Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted , but unlike other, similar-style Fantasy stories, Kontis has borrowed straight from classic fairy tales rather than invent something new. And for the most part, it works. Some other reviewers have remarked that it can feel too crowded, and I have to agree that towards the end there was a bit of this. But what really made Enchanted stand out was what Kontis does with these fairy tales.

There isn't really one definitive version of each tale, they were always being altered by the teller and that's part of the fairy tale genre, so you can't really bastardise a fairy tale (though we could argue that Disney has come extremely close, with its saccharine versions). Kontis has taken elements from several different tales and woven them into her plot in imaginative ways, so you never feel like it's a predictable story. Far from it: you never quite know where the story's going to take you next.

Sunday is a lovely character. I was afraid she'd be too 'good' or happy, in that dull way (but Friday takes that role, in this book at least). She has plenty of positive traits, such as patience, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and loyalty. But she's still young - fifteen, going on sixteen - and a bit self-absorbed (the world revolves around me kind of thing). Not to an irritating extent, more of a means of making her a realistic, and relateable, teenager. She carries most of the story but is by no means the heavy lifter.

That role lies with Rumbold. If Sunday's world is one of sunshine and life and laughter, Rumbold's is a dark, oppressive one of secrets, mysteries and betrayal. That's classic approach: associate the positives with the open, natural countryside, and associate the evils of the world with stone, politics, greed (humanity, in other words, versus the natural world). This is by no means the only dichotomy - the opposite can also be true, wherein the natural world takes on a supernatural quality and becomes dark, mysterious, unpredictable, menacing even. Here, it is the nature of greed and power (the greed for power) that lies at the heart of the kingdom's troubles - coupled with the means to achieve power: Rumbold's fairy godmother (and Aunt Joy's sister), Sorrow, who enables the king. The temptation is there, and he took it.

Rumbold is not a Disney hero. He is quiet, troubled, thoughtful and a bit anxious. He is recovering slowly from his time as a frog - he's lost weight and is always exhausted - though this, it turns out, has another root cause. He's uncomplicated and honourable, so there's never any uncertainty on the part of the reader that he would be good enough for Sunday. He's worthy, and he's tested. He can also be a bit slow on the uptake for someone who lives in an enchanted land, surrounded by magic and curses. We'll have to excuse him though: he did, after all, spend several months as a frog, forgetting who he really was.

There are different kinds, or forms, of love, and the way Kontis writes the early relationship between Sunday and the frog (which doesn't bear much resemblance to the common versions of the fairy tale as you would know it, it simply features a girl, a frog, a golden ball and a kiss of love) made it quite easy for me to believe in their kind of love, a love of friends that went as deep as the recognition of kindred spirits. A simple love, but a true one. It is merely the start, and when they meet again at the ball it is that recognition of spirits that persists, and leads to something stronger, more human.

Yet this is a relatively short novel, and the second half felt a bit rushed. True, part of that is the build-up of tension and suspense, as the plot becomes more central. But I did have this feeling of wanting to spend more time with the characters, because they were so interesting and I didn't quite feel like I'd got to know them well enough to really invest in their story as deeply as I wanted to. This is where the traits of a fairy tale don't always translate well into a Fantasy novel. Fairy tales don't do character development: they do stereotypes, caricatures, clichés. It's how you keep them short. They don't explain things, they don't need to. At best you have connections - they're stories with beginnings, middles and ends, after all. Kontis keeps the tone of a fairy tale in places, especially with a touch of humour and irreverence, but really this is a Fantasy novel, and as such I really wanted more meat on the bones. Perhaps it's a testament to her good ideas, characters and plotting that I was getting into it so much that I wanted more: more depth, more time.

But really, it seems silly to complain about such things. Kontis set out to write a Young Adult Fantasy novel loosely based on much-loved fairy tales, and as such, she succeeds admirably. This was rollicking good fun, with little surprises tucked away here and there that sprang on you when you least expected it, and a beautiful balance of light and dark. I may have wanted more, but if that's the case, I should just read the sequel, Hero, about Saturday's adventures. For engaging, lively, vigorous and inventive Fantasy, Kontis is one to watch.
Profile Image for TheBookSmugglers.
669 reviews1,970 followers
May 18, 2012
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.


Sunday Woodcutter is doubly-blessed - not only was she born on the Sabbath Day (and *doomed* to be bonny and blithe and good and gay), but she's also a seventh-born daughter. While she might not be as beautiful as her eldest sister Monday, or as daring as her sister Thursday, Sunday is a beautiful, kindhearted girl with magic in her veins. Anything she writes on paper inexplicably comes to fruition, albeit not in the way she has intended. (For example, when she fervently wrote about her desire to stay home from an undesirable task, she was granted her wish - in the form of an illness that kept her home for a week)

One lazy afternoon, Sunday escapes from the monotony of her chores and sneaks out to her beloved woods where she meets an enchanted frog, named Grumble, who becomes her new best friend. With Grumble, Sunday can be herself. She can read her stories about her family, share her fears and hopes and dreams, and before she knows it, she has fallen in love with her man-trapped-in-a-frog and gives him a kiss.

The morning after being kissed, Grumble awakens in his true form - in truth, he is the heir to the realm, Prince Rumbolt - and while he has a hard time remembering the events leading up to his cursed transformation, he has no problem remembering his beloved Sunday with her sweet face and beautiful stories. He also remembers enough of his past life to know that he has fallen in love with the only girl in the kingdom that will despise him when she learns his true identity, for Sunday's eldest brother, Jack Woodcutter, was an idolized guard in the king's palace but fell from grace and was killed, all because of Rumboldt (or so everyone believes). In order to woo his love in his true form, Prince Rumboldt makes his way home and decides to throw a three-night ball inviting ALL the eligible ladies in the realm, hoping to catch Sunday's eye and earn her heart, again, as his true self.

Things are not so simple for a Prince and his unrequited love, however. As Rumbolt returns home, glimpses of his shadowed, forgotten past return to haunt him, and when the ball begins, his quest to win Sunday's heart leads to incredibly danger. Rumboldt's father - the eternally youthful King whose true name has been forgotten - has dark secrets, not only encompassing Rumboldt's mother and her mysterious death, but stretching back so many prior generations of beautiful young brides. With the help of his beloved sorceress, the amethyst-eyed enchantress named Sorrow, the King has somehow managed to stay young, vibrant, and in power for many years. At Rumboldt's ball, the King also sets his gaze on a new bride - Sunday's elder sister, Wednesday. As the danger facing the Woodcutter family reaches a feverish pitch, the truth of Rumboldt's enchantment and the familial ties of magic and betrayal between the Woodcutters and their fey roots all must come to light.

And, with such danger afoot, our starcrossed lovers Rumboldt and Sunday must also conquer the challenges stacked between them if they are ever to find their own happily ever after.

Enchanted is Alethea Kontis's first novel (but not her first book), and it is a delightful, airy fable, chock-full of fairy-tale twists and allusions. While the book is billed as a retelling of the Frog Prince, in truth, Enchanted is so much more than that - it borrows from so many beloved fairy tales, from Snow White, to Cinderella, to Jack and the Beanstalk, to Bluebeard. I absolutely adored this aspect of the novel and the clever integration of all of these different, darker and slightly twisted fairy tales into the overall arc of Enchanted. While the book's initial impetus is the bond between a girl and a frog, that story is such a small part of the overall tale, which in truth spans generations and deep family secrets, and I love that completely unexpected depth. There are divisions between sisters, broken hearted parents and the relationship between a mother and her daughters, the complications of magic and the ever-present fey...there is a LOT of fodder for future novels in this single, slim volume. (On that note, PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE say that this is the first novel in a sprawling series, Alethea Kontis! Ahem. I digress.)

So far as the actual characters are concerned, I fell in love with Grumble the frog and Rumboldt the young man from almost first glance. While spend time in both his and Sunday's minds, to me Rumboldt is the true hero of this book. His narrative is sweet and compelling, and I love his earnestness and (at times comic) devotion to Sunday. As Rumboldt struggles to woo the girl who he believes must hate him because of his role in her brother's death, he also struggles to recall the fleeting memories of the years and days leading up to his enchantment as a frog, and you can't help but root for this gangly, slightly awkward but incredibly lovable prince the whole way.

As for Sunday herself, however, my feelings are less warm and fuzzy. I have to admit, I didn't much care for our dear Sunday - she's fair, bonny and gay, and ultimately this means she's so saccharinely sweet that she's nowhere near as interesting as Rumboldt or her less-blessed other sisters! Sunday is a beautiful girl that gets to wear beautiful dresses, but she's lacking the fire of her Pirate Queen sister Thursday, or the grit of her hard-working sister Saturday. Also, this is also very much a pretty princess book - not that there's anything wrong with that! But it is a book about beautiful people dressing up in beautiful clothes and going to glamorous balls, and that sort of traditional, old school fairy tale. (This is fine, but in small doses - it's so much more fun when people aren't stunningly gorgeous and have to rely on other sorts of strengths and weaknesses to succeed.)

This said, I think there's so much potential for future adventures. Saturday, in particular, seems to have a tale to be told - but we shall see!

Recommended for a fun, sweetly romantic and delightfully charming fairy tale read.
Profile Image for Jammin Jenny.
1,344 reviews179 followers
September 12, 2019
I really enjoyed this fairytale retelling that wove so many fairy tales in one. I read it first because it was a retelling of the Princess and the Frog. But the Woodcutter family had many more tales. A Pirate Captain. A beanstalk. A beautiful gown and missing shoe. A giant. It was really a lot of fun to read.
Profile Image for Ceitidh.
297 reviews130 followers
September 13, 2016
Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads


"My name is Sunday Woodcutter, and I am doomed to a happy life." (Enchanted, Kontis, 2012, p.1)

Now, Readers are "Doomed" to a Happy Reading ❤

Books like Enchanted are the reason why I started my blog. This book is such a Dazzling Read that I NEED to tell everyone about it. Enchanted is a magical and wondrous story that will make readers forget about reality and transport them far away to a fascinating kingdom and to experience one of the most beautiful and spellbinding stories of the year!

I love this book so much! It is difficult to express how wonderful Enchanted is. From the moment I turned to the first page Kontis' beautiful writing immediately captivated me. Many times I found myself marveled by it and re-reading passages during the course of story just for pleasure of savoring the words again. Yes, it is that beautiful!

Enchanted is a faery tale that I will forever treasure on my shelf. Kontis did such a masterful job retelling and enhancing a classic tale that, I am sure, will take readers' breath away. Oh! and I must mention that It is the first time I meet such a nice frog! (not that I have ever talked to one) but I would have fallen in love with it myself if I had! Believe me, my favorite moments of the story were those times that Sunday (the lovely and innocent heroine) met Grumble (the froggy and charming prince) at the well. The exquisite dialogues made me smile, laugh, and sympathize with the characters. I loved them from the very first moment.

The name of the book itself says so much more than just a reminder of the wondrous classic faery tale. In fact, This story is highly enchanting from beginning to end, though not only because of the enchanted prince in waiting for a kiss, but for the delightful characters that vividly stand out of the pages and the amazing plot that consumed me until I reached the happily ever after.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis is a beautiful story that everyone should read. This is a tale that will make you feel like a child again. It will make you believe for 305 pages that rainbows' pot of gold and leprechauns are real, That spells, faeries and magic beans are real, and that maybe somewhere an enchanted prince is waiting for you in a well.
Profile Image for Lis.
164 reviews29 followers
June 2, 2012
Also Found On: A Book and A Record

Enchanted was, quite honestly the book I’ve been searching for. Lately my reading life has been a little bit “blah” as in no book sounds remotely good. Because of this I’ve been a little weary to pick anything new up, and have instead reverted back to oldie but goodie books that I can read over and over again. Luckily I stumbled upon Enchanted.

Enchanted is fairy-tale at its finest. Honestly, this would definitely have done any one of those Grimm Brother’s proud. The story is not only beautiful, lyrical, and incredibly sweet it is one that I could read over and over again. Sunday’s family is so incredible and amazing, as well as the wonderful supporting cast of Rumbold’s friends (Team Erik and Saturday!) The story was so well told and wove together such familiar stories making them at once beautiful and new.

Kontis’ world is so…magical…(sigh) I guess that’s really the only word for it. I know that it’s supposed to be magical, but somehow she has captured that truly timeless and eternal quality of magic that is hard to find in most – if not all – books that are similar to fairytales. It is truly one of the sweetest and best reads that I have had the joy of coming across and I am so glad that I did!

I honestly did NOT want Enchanted to end. I could stay in that world all day every day for the rest of my life. It was so beautiful and at times so mysterious. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a really really long time.

Enchanted is the book that you’re going to buy all of your friends for their birthdays or just because you’re a really awesome friend who feels that your friends deserve to be awesome too. Seriously, I just bought five copies of this and have them on stand by for the next birthday party I go to, and/or sudden urge I feel to spread the awesome. So my advice: go out and get Enchanted. (both literally and figuratively)
Profile Image for Elena.
819 reviews85 followers
July 12, 2012
Oh, Alethea Kontis. When I read "Sunday," the short story on which this novel is based, I was charmed. It was a lighthearted fairytale that didn't pretend to be weightier than it was, and it was just a really fun story.

However, the light, charming short story should never have become a novel. This story feels like it struggled to become a book. The plotline was disjointed and drawn out, and there were so many threads that never seemed to really connect, or didn't connect in a way that was emotionally resonant. I didn't like any of the characters except maybe Sunday's sister Saturday and Rumbold's friends, who don't get full-fledged subplots as I felt they ought. All the other characters, including protagonists Sunday and Rumbold, felt like archetypes rather than people.

This novel read like a short story writer's first attempt at a novel, and I would be surprised if this weren't the case. None of the characters were fully realized, plot threads weren't properly woven together, and it was just overall more of a parable than a book with characters who you could relate to and fall in love with. Enchanted is the sort of book that should have been tucked away somewhere and not shown to others, while the author went on to write a second book using the knowledge and skill gained on her first one. Someone, somewhere along the way, should have told Ms. Kontis that this novel just wasn't meant to be. But no one did, and that's a shame, because really, I'm confident that Ms. Kontis can do better.

If you read (or started) Enchanted and liked Kontis's ideas and her tone and approach to fairytales, I'd highly recommend you check out some of her short fiction. Her approach serves her much better in that medium than it did in this book.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,210 followers
May 10, 2017
Put every fairy tale in a bowl, add in nursery rhymes, bedtime stories, folklore, and fae magic, and you get this amazingly charming book that I loved, loved, loved!

It starts with the Woodcutter Family, whose daughters are named by the day of the week, which has a rhyme. Sunday meets a frog named Grumble who loves to hear her stories. Of course she kisses him at the end of each day, hoping to break his curse, but nothing happens. And, of course she falls in love with him.

Every character in the story is interesting, and there are all these fairy tales woven into their stories. But, it is always changed a little bit to make them more interesting or funny. It is brilliant how the author achieves this without any choppiness or muddling up of the story. It is just pure fun all the way through.
Profile Image for Jodi Meadows.
Author 23 books4,611 followers
September 8, 2013
This book and I are going to be together forever. FOREVER.

AND EVER.

(In case that isn't clear: I loved this book.)
Profile Image for Mel.
878 reviews340 followers
Shelved as 'not-for-me'
May 7, 2018
Dnf at page 85

I just couldn’t get into it. I started this last year and just ended up abandoning it. I came back to it and read a bit and it’s just not for me.

I’ll be keeping this book because it’s personalized to me with a special message and using my nickname from one of my best friends, but I won’t revisit this book again.
Profile Image for Amy.
2,542 reviews381 followers
July 22, 2012
Being an absolute lover of fairy tales, it took only a glimpse of the "Fairy Tales" genre pasted on this book to interest me. In fact, I might have read it based on the cover alone. Or the title. Or the author's name. Alethea? What a beautiful name.
Enchanted is the story of the Woodcutter family, particularly the youngest, Sunday. The seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and seventh son, Sunday is destined to be "blithe and bonny and good and gay" and do lots of wonderful things. She's innocent and beautiful etc. etc. and likes writing. Except that whatever she writes comes true...
One day she meets a frog and falls in love. She kisses him but leaves. The frog, an enchanted prince, turns human and is determined to win Sunday's love. Except that - as Prince Rumbold - he happens to be one of the people the Woodcutter's dislike the most.
Meanwhile, each of Sunday's sisters (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...etc.) have their own running threads that will come to a head at the balls hosted by Prince Rumbold...
A combination of the Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and like, Snow White Enchanted also has a few other fairy tale threads running through. Like Jack and the Beanstalk, The Princess and the Pea, and a few others that escape my memory. Its very creative, original book with a traditional Grimm feel...
And I didn't like it.
At all.
I liked the plot. I liked the idea of it. I even enjoyed some aspects of the characters. I appreciate the cleverness of the story. I just didn't like it.
Take Sunday for example. She made me want to gag. She is beautiful and innocent and oh-so-wonderful and naive and has all these wonderful gifts and means to do the best with them and...is a weak, irritating girl who falls in love with a frog. In three days. Like, passionately I-will-never-love-again sort of love.
In three days.
With a frog.
Except, she does fall in love. With Prince Rumbold...within the space of a dance. Or three days, give or take. She bemoans her fate when there seems to be little to bemoan. She complains about chores. She was weak and irritating. The only thing I liked about her was her relationship with her brother Trix. Perhaps I am getting to used to the modern idea of a kick-butt I-can-take-care-of-myself genre of heroine. Perhaps she isn't even supposed to be a heroine, but a damsel in distress. but she really isn't that either. I don't know. I didn't click with her character.
But it isn't just Sunday. Monday has a facinating story, but remains throughout mostly a nonentity whose marriage remains confusing. Tuesday, well, read the book for that. Wednesday...gosh, she made no sense. Thursday, don't know her. Friday, Saturday...
The problem is, these girls aren't heroines. They are weak. They have exciting powers and no personalities. Just, good character traits. Easily definable. They are about as deep as the silly rhyme about their births - "Monday's child is fair of face/Tuesday's child is full of grace/" etc.
So, insipid main characters.
And then there is Prince Rumbold! UGH. First you get the idea he was a quiet young man, with no friends, then suddenly he is a wild womanizer with a dreadful past he can't quite remember. And what the heck is with the balls? He shows up after being enchanted as a frog for nine months, and his first words are "lets throw a ball and invite every maiden"?! Wouldn't it be a bazzzillion times easier and cheaper for him to just go the Woodcutter's shoe/cottage/house thing and try wooing Sunday the good ole fashion way? I think I might have appreciated Prince Rumbold more if his character wasn't so confusing. His "voice" is muddled. What is supposed to be suspenseful or foreshadowing just mucks up the plot.
The whole King-Sorrow-Joy thing was bizzare and kind of confusing.
I liked Trix, Erik, and Velius.
Sort of. Trix most of all. There were to many weird insinuations about Velius, who otherwise had potential.
I just didn't like Enchanted. I didn't really appreciate any of the characters. The plot was clever, but got muddled and confusing and at times, boring. Poisoned combs and people falling asleep and shoes. And I love fairy tales! But somehow, this one just didn't do it for me.
Profile Image for Soumi.
Author 1 book378 followers
May 16, 2012

The child who was born on Sabbath Day, is blithe and bonny and good and gay

Seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Sunday Woodcutter is doomed to a happy life. One day she met an enchanted frog Grumble , befriends with him and soon they fall in love . One night kiss of her true love transformed Grumble back into Rumbold, crowned prince of Arilland. Now the prince is desperate to win Sunday’s love for the person he is now, not the frog she fell in love with.

Enchanted is wonderful makeover on “once upon a time” waving together all our favorite fairytales that we left behind our childhood days. An absolute beautiful and enchanting friary tale with grate combination of author's own creativity with my favorite tales of The Princess and the frog , Rumpelstiltskin, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty with a little touch of Cinderella

Reading the book felt like living a magical dream. I was completely bewitched by this enthralling fantasy that transitions well from light humorous moments to moments of dark magic. I was amazed to see how richly imaginative this fantasy world is, as well as its characters.

The Princess, The Frog and Their True Love Kiss

Words have power, be they names or stories, and no one knows this better than Sunday Woodcutter, seventh daughter of a seventh daughter.

Sunday Woodcutter is delicate like a flower, strong as marble, as well as passionate and empathetic. As seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, she is gifted with some extraordinary gift of writing and everything she writes come true. With her own view of life, she is also very expressive in poetic way. Destined for greater cause, she bears her own desire to find the love she has been looking for. Loving and caring, Sunday is absolutely adorable.

I was charmed by Rumbold ; dreamy and determine, he is a fairytale prince who is not so perfect . When he got the chance to start over life again, he was fragile, also unable to speak, incapable of recalling his memories as human and skills he acquired as a prince. But love conquers all; desperate to prove himself worthy for the girl he loves, he overcame everything stand in his way to win back Sunday. He is one of those few characters with potentials of their own.

“It’s me!” he wanted to scream. He wanted to laugh, to cry, to scoop her up in his feeble arm and take her back to the Wood, back to their well, back to where they had fallen in love. Where she given him one thing he had never known he was missing and had made him whole. Wher he had been born again. Where he had chosen life, for her. All for her.

One of the most romantic lines I have ever heard, so touching and heart rending. Romantic elements are not overdone and I find myself smiling at those sweet romantic moments. Both Sunday and Rumblod are descendent of such family that has no history of good relationship in past. Their love made me complete with joy as well as empty with sadness. Few moments I was absolutely worried, especially at royal ball when Sunday met Rumbold as prince with no sign of reorganization in her eyes. I love the way he slowly made his place in her heart. He never tried to bind her; he won her with love and patience.

Beautifully written, the lines are lyrical and the world building is phenomenal. It was an wonderful experience for me. An amazing story with grate flow, recommended for all young adult fantasy lover.
Profile Image for Jo-Jo.
140 reviews48 followers
October 2, 2015
Enchanted is utterly enchanting from start to finish. I love how the author weaves bits of different fairy tales into the book here and there but in each instance the fairy tale is never the same as the one we know but is done in such a way that we could all scratch our heads and wonder if it's possible that it could have happened that way and then got skewed to be the fairy tales we know along the way. Of course that isn't possible because this book came later...but the seamless way the author has done this makes it feel that it possibly could have truly happened the way she writes it. I just absolutely fell in love with the characters, every last one of them. While the story revolves around Sunday Woodcutter and Grumble(the frog she meets at a fairy well in the Wood), it is clear that Sunday's family is her life and through her stories and her day to day life we get to know all of them just as well as we get to know her. This story is full of magic, fairies, enchantments, and curses...it has every last thing a fairy tale should have. I didn't want the book to end and was sad when it did. Luckily I will get to continue in their story when I begin to read Hero, the book that revolves around Saturday Woodcutter, and the next in the series.
Profile Image for TL .
1,765 reviews35 followers
June 12, 2015
Started off okay, very charming and Sunday was adorable but after Aunt Joy came along, it started to go'meh' for me... The fairy stuff was semi-interesting but not enough for me to want to go on.

It's a cute idea but just not for me.

DNF at 41%
Profile Image for Paradoxical.
350 reviews34 followers
June 8, 2012
At once charming and hopelessly muddled, Enchanted takes old tales and tries to breath new life into them. Too bad that the story lines run into one another and you don't end up feeling anything other than "well, finally" at the end of the story.

The main character, Sunday, is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter/son (which, you know, in fairy tales means powerful things). She's a passable main character, but completely fails to be anything more than that. She's rather boring, actually, especially compared to the rest of her family, and it's such a shame. Sunday doesn't actually do much other than fall in love with the prince, Rumbold, and their love is both unbelievable (it happens over a couple of days. The guy is a frog when she first meets him. Right.) and rather dull. Which is unfortunate because their love story is a prominent part of the book.

The other parts of the book. Well. Muddled, as I said above. The author takes bits and pieces of fairy tales and instead of weaving them together to make something coherent, seems to just fling them at the wall in hope that something interesting sticks. It doesn't work. You'll probably get confused and the pacing is rather horrible overall. The beginning of the book wasn't actually all that terrible, but once you really got into it it just grew worse and worse until you just didn't care about what you're reading anymore.

What the author does do (somewhat) well is the familial aspect. And even that is subject for debate (even to me, who is a sucker for close knit families). You get a couple of family members popping out of nowhere, you have siblings who have apparently done amazing things (and where those siblings are now? Somewhere), but the ones left are rather... well, bland.

But what really killed me in the end, I suppose, was how Sunday didn't really do much of anything towards the resolution of the book. For a book that's centered on her, on her story, she is just another puzzle piece. If you want your main characters to have some agency, well, this isn't the book for you. I'd be hard pressed to say who this book would be for, honestly. It has a very rough feel, for all that the writing style is pretty palatable.

It's cute though (in a shallow way). It strives to be a feel good book that sort of lives up to that, but mostly just lets you down in the end. 1-2 stars.
Profile Image for Valerie.
249 reviews74 followers
July 16, 2014
Enchanted taps on a lot of fairy tales from the dancing princesses, jack in the bean stalk, cinderella of course, princess and the pea, to sleeping beauty. I might've actually missed some becuase I wasn't looking for them.

Sunday is the seventh daughter of a the seventh daughter. It's good that the sisters were named one after the other by days of the week starting with Monday; even though Sunday is the real start of the week. Every once in a while a sister is mentioned I don't remember the age or at least the order so that helped. Some of the sister didn't act older than others, like Friday acts younger than Sunday. I liked when the sisters showed up and I thought that each sister had there own personality. It would've been great if there was more with the sister's relationships. The father-daughter relationship was sweet too. I almost forgot her fairy brother Trix, always quick with a smile. He by far is her closest sibling.

The most promonant relationship is between Rumbold (aka frog/prince) and Sunday. I've gotta say the beginning is fast with the romance but just like another reviewer mentioned, I think it makes up for it in the later half. Sunday is a pretty good protagonist though at the end she does things slightly uncharacteristic. Rumbold is endearing and a somewhat tortured soul with his forgotten past. The first night Rumbold and Sunday meet after he is a man again was sweet.

Despite appearances there is more than just the romance to the book. There is a secret that two very powerful people are hiding, the king, and a fairy. While our two protagonists figure out what is going on, they find that someone's life is hanging in the balance.

At times things felt a bit abrupt and it was difficult for me to follow. This was minor however and didn't trouble me while reading too much. It makes sense later so that was good and the magical aspect gave this retelling a different feel.

One last compliant, the climax fell a little flat for me. It wasn't a poor execution but it seemed to stress things that I felt made the story lose momentum. Though I believe this is just me.
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