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Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

Review by noire

bear with me, i'm going to try and do this one as a "formal" review...

THE WORLD:
Russia, 1975 - Modern times (US and the Ukraine) and an imaginary kingdom in a time before Christianity has spread through Europe and prior to the Rus' domination of the land.

THE CHARACTERS:
Ivan, a russian boy who grows up in america only to rescue sleeping beauty and awaken her with a kiss. And now has to marry her and live on her terms.
Katerina, a princess who was ensorcered and now has to marry an inept stranger to save her country from an evil witch, and yet how can she marry a man who knows nothing of what it is to be a king or a man?
the Widow, an evil witch who wants to conquer the land and will stop at nothing to do so...

THE PLOT:
It starts off in Russia in the mid '70s where Ivan and his family are trying to move to America. Along the way they stay with a distant relative in what (if i remember correctly becomes the Ukraine) and, while running in the woods one day, Ivan comes across a beautiful princess lying asleep in the middle of a field of leaves guarded by some sort of monster. Being 10 years old and terrified he takes off and never speaks of it. Then, in the present he finds himself back in his native country and then back at his uncles farm and eventually back at the clearing in the forest. Awakening the sleeping Princess he finds himself in a land as alien to him as only an ancient world that you have studied and yet have no real, practical knowledge of can be, playing by rules he doesn't know with an entire kingdom at the stake

THE GRADE:
Orson Scott Card is truly a gifted story teller. I felt this story was aptly named as I found it quite enchanting. It's a great story about relationships and the importance of open communication, and a clever take on an old fairy tale. Unfortunately, the carry-through of some plot developments falls short of the novel's potential. But the complications rang true and the solutions were believable. I especially liked the fruits of OSC's research into a small regions ancient culture that has been mostly forgotten in the "greater scheme of things." My only real complaint is that the Widow doesn't get the development she deservest. In a vibrant fairy tale she's still a two dimensional papercut villanese. I give it 3 out of 5 amulets.


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