Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Classic fairy tales get new life in Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, a re-telling of “The Frog Prince” that is sprinkled with elements of countless other beloved stories. Kontis lovingly weaves in references to classics like “Jack & the Beanstalk,” “Cinderella,” “The Red Shoes,” and “The Princess & the Pea.”

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?

Kontis has lovingly incorporated all the elements of the classic fairy tale that are so beloved still today: magic, ball gowns, romance, a prince in disguise. Even her narrative voice is reminiscent of what you’d find in a beloved fairy tale anthology. The way she works in references to so many fairy tales is also charming and is a large part of this book’s appeal. I loved discovering how she’d weave in different stories!

However, that said, the mythology that holds this story and its world together can at times be a bit hard to follow. In many cases, it’s confusing to follow what’s exactly happening because there is so much magic and mythology at work. Though the world building seems complex, it’s not explained quite clearly enough to the reader. As a result, some of the plot and character development suffer.

Still, for fans of fairy tales, Enchanted offers a new way to read some of your old favorites. Kontis pays a fitting tribute to the classics, while weaving a new fairy tale romance for readers to fantasize about.

Enchanted is in stores May 8th.

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