Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

Book Cover and Synopsis:
When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe—just maybe—capture the heart of a prince.

My source for book: Personal Library
My Thoughts:
This one is marketed as YA fiction, but the appeal certainly isn't limited to younger readers! (I'm mid-20's and I read it!) The story has some very light Cinderella tones, and the stone/gem sort of reminded me of the ring from Lord of the Rings. (Two odd stories to pair together, for sure, but it does work rather well!) The author has some interesting ideas about other worlds, and she manages to paint an intriguing picture of these places, and of the beings--much like us, but not exactly--that live there.

Something that I really liked was the goat that acted like a dog. In my experience goats don't act anything like this, so the stark contrast to normal behavior made it unique and added to the fairy tale feel. Unless I missed something, there wasn't any explanation for the goat's intelligence or how he always managed to show up when Lucinda most needed him...but this really didn't matter. He was a fun addition, and he conveniently managed to get Lucinda out of several scrapes.

For those who are wondering about the content or appropriateness of the story: it's actually quite clean. The only possible issue I can remember is an instance where Lucinda saw some fancily-dressed ladies on the street late at night and she "realized what they were", but it was not taken any further. The language is mild overall. There were a handful of instances where God's name was misused, but otherwise I can't remember anything that might be offensive.

Though I don't think the book will be extremely memorable for me in the long run, I did enjoy it while reading it. It's not the genre that I normally read, but it actually did keep my attention without wavering. The ending is somewhat bittersweet, but overall I was fairly happy with the outcome. It features a large twist that I never saw coming, but it was ultimately good because it paved the way for a future happily-ever-after which otherwise probably wouldn't have been possible. And of course you know, happily-ever-after's are always a good thing! :)

My Rating: 4 stars

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