The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

amaranth-enchantmentI’ve been meaning to read this for well over a year now.  Each time I see the cover of the girl holding the beautiful, magical flower, I’ve thought “hmm, maybe later.” Then finally, that day came.  While this novel is firmly rooted in YA fantasy (with some of the usual characteristics), I would classify it as a sub-genre of fairy tale.

We have a heroine, a handsome prince, and a “witch”. There’s a conflict that separates them being together and the witch helps the heroine overcome the obstacles, yada yada yada. It’s a faraway kingdom that doesn’t exist in our modern world (typical fairy tale setting).

What I find so fascinating about this book is that it’s not really a Cinderella retelling (although there is some tongue-in-cheek nods to it).  The witch isn’t really a fairy godmother either.  My local library actually has this classified under “extraterrestrials” in the database, believe it or not, which made me do a double-take.

The Amaranth Enchantment is a stand-alone title. It’s the first book by Julie Berry that I’ve read and I’m not sure what else is out there that she’s done but I liked this well enough that I’d give another one a try.

The plot breaks away from the helpless heroine mold and Lucinda Chapdelaine resorts to unusual methods to try to restore some of her former life.  Without giving it away, there are a few characters that appear early in the book who “steal the show” and it’s their personalities that bring such wonderful color to Lucinda’s story.  In that sense, Lucinda is the straight man to their antics.

The tone of the book is pretty light with elements of humor.  There are some moments that transcend the ‘lightness’ to have an almost spiritual, ethereal beauty but those moments are few and far between.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, it’s worth a reading through once, and it’s introduced me to the author who I would definitely read some of her other material.  That aside, this probably won’t be a repeat read for me but if Berry releases a follow-up on Lucinda’s adventures, I’ll probably check that out at some point.

Rating: 3 stars

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