Author: Alethea Kontis
Series: Woodcutter Sisters, Book 1
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Duration: 7 hours, 46 minutes
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
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?
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
*I downloaded this title from Audiobook Sync during their summer program*
Sunday Woodcutter lives in a unique family that is involved with a lot of magical nonsense. Her aunts are fairy godmothers (though, one of them is not quite good), her sisters each have a special talent or gift, and her adopted brother is part fae. So, it’s not quite a surprise when she meets a human-turned-frog and develops a friendship with him. Eventually, they end up falling in love and she kisses him, not realizing that he’d turn human and that her dear friend Grumble is, in fact, Prince Rumbold. The man who the family blames for the death of Sunday’s older brother — talk about a tense situation.
However, the two eventually come together to face the evil of Rumbold’s seemingly ageless father and his lover, Sunday’s evil fairy-godmother-aunt. They find out that not everything is as it seems in Arilland, and some events have been grossly misrepresented. In order to set things right, Sunday, her family, Rumbold, and his loyal friends come together to find out the truth about what’s been going on in the kingdom for so long.
I’m a sucker for fairy tales — even more so when they’re re-imagined and put together in a new way. (Just ask about my Once Upon a Time addiction.) For a fairy-tale lover like me, Enchanted is the perfect book to escape to for a little while.
The first thing I noticed was that Kontis weaved some folk superstition into the fairy tale format. For example, Sunday is a seventh child of a seventh child, and that means she has a bit of extra magic in her. Though most of her family is magical, there are frequent mentions of Sunday’s special magical abilities, though I’m not sure that those really played a huge part in the story. I’m hoping it’ll be developed further in sequels. But I really liked this amalgamation of superstition from our world into this fairy tale world Kontis created — for me, it made the story unique and interesting.
Generally, I enjoyed the progression of this story. There are quite a few twists and turns throughout the plot, and the characters are lovely. While Sunday and Rumbold are interesting in and of themselves, I loved the minor characters and hope that we get to learn more about them. (Or maybe some of them can get their own books! I vote for Sunday’s sister, Thursday!)
Near the end of the middle, I scrounged for excuses to keep on listening. Everything came together so nicely, and I just needed to know what was going to happen next. I mean, what was Sunday’s fairy godmother playing at? And would they save Sunday’s sister from the king? And what about Sunday and Rumbold? Would they love each other again? A lot of questions, because there was a lot of drama going on. However, while I like having resolutions, the ending seemed a bit too rushed and tidy. A few things were left open to continue the series, but some things that the characters were making a huge deal about abruptly resolved themselves in an instant. Yes, this is a fairy tale retelling and those sorts of things happen in fairy tales, but I wanted a bit more build-up before getting that full resolution.
As for the format, Kellgren is one of the best narrators I’ve ever heard. She is incredibly expressive with her voice, and I think that I would have enjoyed this story far less if I had read it in print. There were quite a few times where she said a line with a bit of irony and sarcasm that I don’t think I would have caught or put into the words if I’d been reading it myself. As a result, I thought this to be a fairly funny story, and I laughed out loud quite a bit. If you have an option to listen to the audio — do so. It is excellent.
Overall, I would say this is good for light, fun reading. It’s full of drama, fairy tale references, and has quite a bit of humor. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. Or, better yet, listening to it as an audiobook. I hope they’ve got Katherine Kellgren again!