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Book of Enchantments

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  5,501 Ratings  ·  203 Reviews
This witty and charming collection of ten short fantasies includes a story, set in the Enchanted Forest, about Queen Cimorene's Frying Pan of Doom; a zany yarn about a magical blue chipmunk with a passion for chestnuts; and an eerie tale of a caliph who turns his vizier's daughter into a wolf.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1988)
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Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a general rule of thumb, I don't like wizards and I dislike books that are simply a collection of short stories. I do love Patricia C. Wrede though and especially The Enchanted Forest Chronicles so when I found this book at our library, I couldn't resist.
And I'm glad I didn't!
Wrede is a delightful writer with funny characters and delightful plots you can't help liking. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the collection of short stories and the variations I found in them.
Ten stories, eac
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short fairy-tale type stories, some of which take place in the Enchanted Forest. In some ways, a meatier version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Very clever.
1. Rikiki and the Wizard: ****
A vain but lucky wizard tries to auction his daughter off for fame and fortune, but things don't go as planned. Fun and clever. My favorite story of the bunch.
2. The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn: ****
A middle child princess from an off-beat kingdom decides to take a journey accompanied by the castle cat.
I think, perhaps, that I am too old to read these stories. I can feel that they have a certain kind of magic about them that, due to cynicism or age, I cannot connect with. I do not say that these are bad stories, quite the opposite. These are the stories that you should read your daughters and be proud of the women they will grow up to be. These are fractured fairy tales at the very best. Stories with strong, cunning, self reliant women who triumph not because they are beautiful, but because th ...more
This enjoyable fantasy collection is comprised of 10 stories that vary widely in tone and setting. Some are laced with humor, while others have melancholy overtones. The ten stories included are the following:

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

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

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

In this collectio
Apr 05, 2009 added it
Shelves: fantasy, mg, ya
Love this one.

This is a collection of fantasy short stories by Patricia Wrede, author of the Enchanted Forest series (Calling on Dragons, etc.). While there is an Enchanted Forest series story in this one (Frying Pan of Doom), the real gems are the stand-alones. A story about a group of high schoolers encountering the Lorelei (my favorite!!), a story about a magical rose garden you can only experience once, a story about a selfish Caliph. These really are enchanting stories--but also vividly rea
Mary Catelli
A collection of short stories. All fantasy.

Other than that -- some contemporary, some in other worlds -- some in shared worlds, or the Enchanted Forest. Some lightsome and merry, others rather dark. Retold tales, with a twist, and originals. Most of them strong stories.

Involving chestnuts, a scullery maid, a statue of the Lorelei, a spiteful little sister who tells lies, a wood cutter, a reunion, a girl talking back to the caliph, in various ones.

There's also a recipe at the back of the book
Aidan Blake
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book when I was younger, it's a Young Adult book by an author whose other books I had also read. This book has some short stories set in her normal universe and some that are quite separate. I remember really enjoying this collection and it's variety when I was a young reader, and would recommend it to other young fans of SciFi/Fantasy.
Apr 25, 2009 rated it liked it
This collection of short quirky stories was a fun, quick read. This would be a good book to read at Halloween with some of the haunting fable-type stories in the collection.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Disappointing short fantasy stories. I love PCW, but this is far from her usual standard.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
I don't know when I first read this book -- a long time ago -- but it's one that I re-read every couple of years and this year 2018 was one of them. (Probably re-read it or at least parts of it 4 or 5 times now?)

I feel like I get something different out of it each time. Some stories resonate more, some less, some details I notice and wonder about. I really enjoyed reading the author's note at the end this time around, for whatever reason -- the stories behind the stories.

This re-read made me wan
Carole B
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Delightful. A set of fairy tales, some new, some imagined, in which cleverness is not limited by age or gender or magical ability or even the border of death, and in which courage and nobility are similarly free. Probably recommended for middle grade readers but a charming interlude for anyone, I should think.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly wonderful collection of funny, clever, and thought-provoking stories. Each world Wrede paints is both imaginative and vividly real, and I never knew what to expect next! There were only a couple stories that didn't quite grab me, but the others were so captivating I can't even notch this down a star for that. I want to read these again sometime.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Book of Enchantments is a collection of short stories, most of which are not set in the universe of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. However, the stories are excellent, and I would highly reccomend the collection. I particularly liked Roses By Moonlight, The Lorelei, Stronger Than Time, and Cruel Sisters.
An enchanting collection of myths and fairy tales, ranging from silly to dark, with lots of Wrede's trademark humor and feisty heroines turning custom and tradition on its head. Characters from her beloved Enchanted Forest series make an appearance in the final story, followed by a recipe for "Quick After-Battle Triple Chocolate Cake", to be enjoyed warm while counting loot.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading a childhood favorite! Wrede does a nice job with her shot stories, mixing in silly stories with more though provoking and ambiguous ones. I loved this book as a middle schooler, and feel like it still holds up! A fantastic collection for young readers who like not your average fantasy.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-fiction, reviews
A very very fun little book with short stories. One is from the Dealing With Dragon series and has its own little recipe. Quick read but worth it- don't forget the read the notes from the author for where she got her story ideas, super neat!
As others have noted, not all of these stories are from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The dedication hints strongly at this: "For the people who urged me to try writing short: Jane Yolen and the denizens of Fidonet WRITING echo."

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

Wrede has
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this when I was younger, so I picked it up again. I definitely still really enjoyed it, but perhaps not as fervently as I did in high school? I felt like several of the stories were a bit more predictable now that I've read more, and several ended a little quickly. I think it's probably a combination of the required length for a short story collection, and the fact that I love the Enchanted Forest Chronicles so I keep expecting additional development. :)

One thing I really wanted to under
Claire Hill
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a kid, reading Book of Enchantments was the first time I knew short stories could be fun.

All previous exposure to short stories had been for school, of the "literary" variety. I never knew that you could write short stories in the same style and tone of some of my favorite childhood books. My absolute favorite story in this collection is "The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn," about a middle princess who gets to go do non-traditional middle princess things like go on a quest, closely follo
Pamela D
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite series is the young adult series entitled the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. It is a collection of four books that chronicle the adventures of Princess Cimorene. Over the course of the series Cimorene fights wizards by dumping buckets of soapy water with a bit of lemon on them, making large quantities of cherries jubilee for dragons, and giving Rumpelstiltskin's great, great, great, great, great grandchild. The books are so fun and witty. When I cam across Book of Enchantments a ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Now this is the type of storytelling I was waiting for Wrede to display in her other works. Perhaps her skill lies with the shorter form: taking a snippet of an idea and twisting it into an intriguing, creative tale with just enough drama and humor to fill the pages, then leaving the reader hungry for more. There are two stories in this collection that I would have gladly seen as a full novel - "Earthwitch," which, interestingly, she'd been unable to sell on its own, and "The Sword-Seller," a li ...more
Rikki and the Wizard (4/5) - A greedy wizard calls Rikki, a blue chipmunk god who loves nuts, and adorableness ensues.

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

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

The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd (3/5) - A wizard has a list of curses for those who offend him, but does not think through the consequences of som
Each story is so exquisitely crafted that I couldn't put this book down! Wrede starts off with the problem, and the character, and it goes speedily from there. The concise format makes each sentence bold and irresistible. As I was reading, I could only daydream about how she got the story ideas. Incredibly, as if she had answered me personally, her author's note describes exactly that. I'm further thrilled to find that one short story was originally published by my editing hero, Michael Stearns, ...more
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alligator
After finishing Talking to Dragons it only seemed right that I turn to the Book of Enchantments. I remember very clearly my initial excitement at picking up this collection up when I found it in the library. I was knee deep into fantasy as a kid, and this book tickled that sensibility well with "Utensil Strength" and "The Sixty Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd" and, of course, the first story. Some of the other stories, though, such as "Cruel Sisters," "Roses By Moonlight," and "Stronger Than T ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This book is…interesting. It’s hard to look at it as a cohesive book because all the short stories are so different. And they’re all written for different age groups. Some are kids’ stories, some for older audiences. Some are very dark, some make no sense, and some are just fun. I must say that my favorite was the last one, the one that brought back Cimorene and the Enchanted Forest. But a couple of the ones about princesses were good too. These stories felt like snippets of a lot of different m ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, fantasy-worlds
Jane Yolen's short stories made me first love these kind of books. Retold and reimagined fairytales for modern readers, feminist readers, all sorts. I found this collection to have a good variety of cultural backdrops and inspirations, realistic and fantasy settings, and the tones varied from dark and morbid to light and fun.
My favorite stories were:
1. The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn
What I liked best about this story was how it flipped a lot of fairytales tropes on its head. Instead of t
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

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

My review today is going to be a bit short because, from a reading standpoint, this is one of those books that
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the author of one of my favourite series (Cimorene is such a great princess) comes a short story collection that I didn't even know existed! I like her smart, at-times-funny style and this didn't disappoint. The inclusion of the two Enchanted Forest stories just rounded the whole thing out for me.

What surprised me was the dark edge that some of the stories took. It's been a long time since I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles but I remember being quite young. Some of these stories struck
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, shorts
I really had nostalgic feelings for this collection, which seemed to be a reference point as I was growing up. On reread, the only truly memorable short is the opening story "Rifiki and the Wizard," which features a blue squirrel god and the complications therein.

That it's heads above the rest probably speaks to Wrede's skill foremost at irreverent humor. As in her most famous book, Dealing with Dragons, Wrede is most comfortable mining such humor from her takes of the old fairy-tale tropes; "Th
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Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede

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

"It's a very ugly rug," Mendanbar said. "That's why we put it in the entry hall.”
“I refuse to let him hire a princess in disguise who's hoping to sneak into the next ball wearing a dress as shining as the stars so that Daystar will fall in love with her. Princesses are very persuasive, but most of them aren't much use in the kitchen."

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

"Try and convince a princess of that.”
More quotes…