I just finished reading Alethea Kontis’ Enchanted. She tells s a tale utilizing all sorts of familiar fairy tales, but with her own spin. Sunday Woodcutter, the heroine of the story, tells us a story of family and growing up, of magic and adventure, of love and heartbreak. She’s the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, with more power than she knows. It’s a coming of age story that readers of all ages can enjoy. Even better, the princess of the story is just as capable as the prince. Rather than write a regular old review, I shall use her book and the characters Kontis crafted to illustrate this month’s theme of characterization. ***Spoilers*** Sunday Woodcutter comes from a large family. At the beginning of the story she tells her friend Grumble about her siblings and parents. Even so, it isn’t the stories she reads Grumble that bring each character to life. As any good writer is told, “show, don’t tell”. Sunday tells us that she is closest to her brother Trix, but it is her interactions with him which illustrate this. While attempting to spin wool into gold, she chats with her brother. She spins him a tale to cheer both of them up and then her fey brother rushes to prick his finger immediately after she purposely pricks hers on the spinning wheel, just in case it happens to be a cursed spinning wheel. “Why did you do that?” “If you fall asleep for a hundred years, then so will I.” That short exchange illustrates perfectly the love Trix has for his sister Sunday. When Sunday presses their two bleeding fingers together and declares they are brother and sister, no matter what, that too shows us how deeply she cares. Later on Trix tunnels from his dreams to hers to make them better. What more could one ask from a brother? When we meet Rumbold, the hero of the story, we discover him bit by bit through his interactions with others. Through kind actions, playful jests, foolhardy choices, and selfless acts Rumbold demonstrates his character far more than any typical fairytale prince. Kontis’ tale, while filled with magic and mystery, is an excellent example of a character driven story and one I endorse as an enjoyable read for readers of all ages.
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