Sunday, December 15, 2013


by Alethea Kontis

Grade: 3 1/2 stars
Story summary: Sequel to Enchanted, this time about the second youngest Woodcutter daughter, Saturday. She is the sister who has never been magically special, who spent her time chopping wood in the forest with her father and her brother. But everything changes when disaster strikes, and Saturday is off on the adventure she always wanted. Except this adventure, of course, ends up quite differently than she expected.

Thoughts: Strangely enough, for a book where the heroine decries romance, and wishes it didn't always have to "be part of the adventure", I actually liked the romance more than anything else. It was a highly unusual romance, which I tend to quite enjoy*. This was especially true in the case of Peregrine, the "hero". There are a fair many other books out there nowadays with slightly more masculine heroines such as Saturday. But rarely is anybody willing to go the other way and make their hero slightly more feminine. (Note, it can be interesting discussing gender as a Catholic (or as anything, of course), as the Church's thought and teachings differ both from modern day "traditionalists" and "progressives". But it seems to me (on quite limited analysis) that Saturday's "masculinity" and Peregrine's "femininity" are of the sort to be accepted by the more "traditional" and the more "progressive" alike.**)

The rest was quite enjoyable as well--it had a slightly less confusing plot with less random fairy tale references than Enchanted, and it had more of Thursday. (More Thursday makes everything better.) I think Kontis is a terrific "story-teller", meaning the books are best enjoyed if you don't try to fit everything together and understand everything, but delight in the strange events and interesting people and romance. Much like the original fairy tales.

Since Saturday was my favourite sister besides Thursday, I'm hoping I'll still like all the sequels as much as this book. Though I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being my favourite of Kontis's books. (Unless perhaps it's Thursday's book. I hope to goodness there's a Thursday book some day. Did I mention I love her?)

*See The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer for another set of male and female protagonists (brother and sister this time) who are unusual in a somewhat  similar fashion.

**Sorry for the ridiculous amount of quotation marks I've used in this review. It seemed necessary--none of these words are the exactly the ones I want to use, but I'm not sure how else to put some of these things.

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