Hardcover, 305 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Harcourt Children’s Books
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?
Enchanted starts off well. The Woodcutter family is diverse and magical and each family member is sufficiently intriguing. The trouble with this book is that the author tried to do too many things all at once. I think she had enough material in this one novel alone for four books and if she had only focused on one story – the frog prince story, for instance – the readers would have had a chance to immerse themselves completely in the magical world she created instead of feeling like they are getting scrambled glimpses of many stories all at once.
I would have liked there to be a slower progression to the prince’s story because there is so much that could have been done with it. I would have rather the author extricated the prince and Sunday from the narrative and start with them again – developing their characters more, showing the prince in his original incarnation so we can see the man he was and we can compare it to the man he becomes after the spell is broken. We would have been able to see Sunday as her own person and not in the shadow of her sister. She seems almost objectified in the story as this paragon of virtue and beauty – maybe this is because we see her so often from the prince’s perspective but we rarely get a chance to be in her head. Why is she so angry with the prince for not telling her he was the frog? Or for that matter, why does the spell break then and not when Sunday is present to witness it breaking?
Back to Sunday’s anger, it seems unwarranted because no matter what the back story, which itself is confused and a hodgepodge, I would think that first and foremost, Sunday would be happy that the man she loves has been restored to his man-shape. Then there are the other sisters who all have their own stories going on – the most confusing one being Monday – is she a princess? Who is her husband? Why is he present only in name? What country do they rule? Or is she a princess only in name? Then again, where is her husband?
The two godmothers are their own stories and then you throw in Wednesday and her arc – argh. Then the king. Then the fae brother whom I actually really liked – another story there altogether. The book is kind of exhausting, to be honest. There are so many threads of so many potentially good separate stories. The novel is not even long enough to accommodate all the stories it is trying to tell. I don’t know you guys. I think I would like to read whatever Kontis reads next because while I don’t doubt her ability to spin a tale, I think Enchanted does not do too good of a job in giving us an accurate glimpse of her true skill.