Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books
Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone
Source: E-ARC from NetGalley
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Website
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?
In Enchanted when Sunday Woodcutter encounters a charmed/cursed frog, she finds a friend. Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, and although she loves her family, she doesn't always understand their storied history, or her place with them. Sunday is a romantic who quickly finds herself falling for her frog, for Sunday knows that he was once a man, and wistfully aches to know that man. Sunday and Grumble (the frog) become fast friends and confidantes; with Grumble, Sunday has someone who wants to know her secrets and hear her writings, and someone she can trust. Grumble disappears one night, leaving the tender-hearted Sunday worse for the wear.
Alethea Kontis masterfully draws the reader into Sunday's world - her longing for love, for happiness. All her other sisters have their own places in the family - Monday is the prodigal daughter, Wednesday the dreamer, Friday the seamstress, Saturday the hard worker, Thursday the nomadic wife of a Pirate King. Sunday is lost amidst her whimsical family, and unaware that the Prince Rumbold, former frog Grumble, is returned to himself and desperate to find her. Rumbold is an interesting addition to Enchanted, and watching his transformation from frog back to human was at once endearing and a bit confusing. As far as the other characters, I was drawn to both Sunday and to her ethereal sister, Wednesday, and to the spirited and wild Trix, one of Sunday's brothers. I wish Alethea Kontis had given us a bit more insight into those characters, and Monday as well. I feel that the family had some untapped potential, though overall they were all nicely developed.
Enchanted is an adorable novel in its entirety. From the Woodcutter family to the royal family, sinister secrets and magics abound, and I could not seem to stop turning the pages, driven by a need to know what happened next. As lead characters, Sunday and Rumbold were a charming duo, and I enjoyed seeing both of their points of view. I thought the conflicts keeping them apart were really well done, both internally, as Rumbold wondered if Sunday could love him due to their tangled histories, and externally, with threats from various magical sources. The threats to their happiness felt real, which made the climax of Enchanted that much more breathless and awesome.
Overall Enchanted lived up to my excitement. I read it as a fantasy, and that way, I enjoyed it greatly. Sunday and Rumbold's relationship did read as a bit too insta-love for my taste but again, when I thought of Enchanted as a fairy tale, I went along with it all, and really enjoyed the story as a whole.