I’ve only read one other book by OSC, an author recommended to me by an acquaintance. It pained me to persevere reading that book, like I was giving it a chance and seeing it through, which bored me a lot and it didn’t catch my interest until the last chapter. Some strategy, considering that it was the first book in a series.
This one, Enchantment, was a standalone book which captured my interest the moment I read its blurb. I love fantasy stories, science fiction and fairy tales included. Once I have gotten past the relatively dry first 2 chapters, which serve as the introduction that sets the background for the story, I was hooked and almost couldn’t put it down.
Much of the story takes place in Russia, and the period before it was Russia, about what happens after Sleeping Beauty is kissed and wakes up. Personally I love stories where the lead female character, in this case, a beautiful princess who lay asleep in the forest, is not just a damsel in distress waiting for a knight in shining armour to rescue her. She is a smart, kind, humble and independent woman, loved by her people. The hero here is far from being a knight, and his strength is simply running. They carry themselves with admirable courtesy, tact, wisdom and responsibility.
OSC is truly a master storyteller who can be serious and funny at the same time. The perspective from different characters makes us more involved in the story. A thick book but a rapid pace. Character development is excellent, so are the locations and histories, making this tale believable. But with its complexities, it is hard to imagine if an adaptation to the big screen can do justice to the story. Maybe that’s the beauty of it.
This is a fairy tale meets modern culture, fantasy meets reality, magic and logic, good vs evil, love and war, and a whole lot of adventure. It pretty much encompasses all the elements that can engage virtually all readers who can give this book a chance with an open mind and a touch of imagination.
Apart from knowing that good always triumphs over evil, there are many lessons that can be learnt from this story too, such as the relationship between husband and wife that needs a careful balance of trust, understanding and compromise with lots of love; and that everyone, able-bodied or disabled, has its own part to play because, most important of all, everything happens for a reason, and support from family and friends as well as faith in God can help us see through even the toughest of life’s challenges.
Overall rating: 80%
(See disclaimer here.)