Monday, September 30, 2013

Review - Enchanted by Alethea Kontis on the Fairy Tale Adventure Tour #PrismBookTours #Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Setting Sail on a Fairy Tale Adventure*
*Family Welcome

Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)Hero
by Alethea Kontis
Hardcover, 304 Pages
To be published October 1st, 2013 by Harcourt Books

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. 

Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" 

As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published May 8, 2012

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

My Review:

Oh, sweetness! What a deliciously fairy tale filling read… with just enough light-hearted fun, deeply dark antagonists, magic straight out of real fairy-tale-dom with real fairy god mothers… and characters that carry their faults around like real people that accidentally fell into the story. Add buried gems of really great writing tucked through-out the whole… and it’s all magical. I’m in love with the Woodcutter family and Kontis’ story weaving!

The fairy tales. So many fairy tales are folded into the story in unsuspecting layers. The Princess and the Frog is actually romantic and beautiful, amazingly. The Princess and the Pea is ironically funny and yet, a little big hollow and sudden. The hint of Snow White continues to crack me up, giving just the right evil feel to the appropriate character. The Sleeping Beauty story is intertwined the best, I think, slipped in with a dump-load of foreboding, but not overbearing, either. Then there’s Jack and the Beanstalk, which hides the best secrets as well as reveals one of my favorite characters in the story, brother Trix. There’s more, too… Cinderella appears for a few brief, entertaining connections. The Old Woman’s Shoe, a Pirate Queen, high towers… and fairy godmothers.

The characters. Sunday is wonderfully deep, recognizing her own discontent, being frustrated with herself and so deliciously transparent and connected to her own feelings. She is fun as the main perspective. I really enjoyed the Prince, too. His past adds depth. The one thing that bothered me about him, his weakness, has horrible roots that turned into the most touching moments in the story. (Yes, I had tears. It is the perfect shadow to the perfect story!) Sundays parents – the Woodcutter! Ha! And Seven, her mother. They have so many layers, too, secrets that they hold for their own, very powerful reasons. Sunday’s family is the best. At first, they feel just like a busy family crammed into a situation that didn’t fit them quite right. But as all the relatives share their secrets, this family turns into the most exciting, most destined, most colorful family ever, their bonds growing with each moment of acceptance and forgiveness. One of my favorite lines was Sunday’s thought about her aunt’s “confounded tea”. Lol. She’s frustrated with her aunt, and yet accepts her, too, with all her secrets. Each character in this story – from the older generation to the younger – have their own story to tell, sharing hints of fascinating details.

The story. I loved the story. Even knowing all the fairy tales that were pulled into the story, I had no idea where it would go. When I tried to guess, I was wrong, which… made me love the story even more!

The writing. Delicious! I highlighted quotes all over my Nook specifically to capture the way the words are combined to create something new and refreshing:
Pg 39 – “Rivulets of blood wept from scratches in his skin and cracks in his desiccated lips.”
Blood is a theme that comes up again and again, related with power.
Pg 58 – “No pale glow of moonlight fell from the heavens to light false paths in the darkness.”This is a poetic picture of how the story feels. It could go any way and that path might not be the one it appeared to be, afterall.
Pg 86 – “He could not change the man he had been, but these hands would make him the man he could be.”
 Every character has this choice in front of them. Many characters choose wisely.
Pg 89 – “Rumbold found himself in his father’s shadow and smirked at the irony.” 
Pg 92 – “One small laugh from one small girl would never change the course of the universe and was therefore not worth the effort.”
The weight of the seriousness… the sorrow of loss… I love this small expression of what it feels like to face the loss of hope and the idea of failing.
Pg 148 – “His voice carried on the cool night air down to the water, the Wood, and the next kingdom.”
 Power. Too far.  Too cold.
Pg 170 – “The whispered voices around her were an anonymous cloak of soft noise that settled around her shoulders, echoing the manic thoughts in her mind.”
A cloak of whispers?
Pg 184 – “He lost himself a moment there, and did not miss his aching soul.”
*sigh*  Just keep writing, please Ms Kontis. These words were meant to be all together in this order, they just didn’t know it before!

Alethea Kontis

Alethea KontisNew York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a goddess, a force of nature, and a mess. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, turning garden gnomes into mad scientists, and making sense out of fairy tales.

Alethea is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, and penned the AlphaOops series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, includingThe Wonderland Alphabet and Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome. Her debut YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and was nominated for both the Andre Norton Award and the Audie Award in 2013.
Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea now lives in Northern Virginia with her Fairy Godfamily. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Tour-Wide Giveaway
Sept 22 - Oct 17

Fairy Tale Gift Bundle: Signed copies of both Enchantment and Hero by Alethea Kontis plus swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sail Away on the 
Fairy Tale Adventure Tour*
*Family Welcome

Sept 22 - LAUNCH
Sept 23 - The Missing Piece at Alethea Kontis
 - Review on Debz Bookshelf
 - Celebration on Deal Sharing Aunt
Sept 24 - Interview with Miss Print
Sept 25 - Interview with Carina Books
 - The Grandfather Pirate on Living a Goddess Life
 - Meet the Inspiration on The Wonderings of One Person
Sept 26 - Review on Shannon's Blog
 - Meet the Inspiration continued on Bookmarks
Sept 27 - Meet the Sister on Leeana Me
Sept 30 - USA Today Happy Ever After Interview
 - Review of Enchantment on Colorimetry
 - Release Day at Waterworld Mermaids
 - My Favorite Bit (with Cat Valente) at Mary Robinette Kowal
 - Review at Library of a Book Witch
 - Interview & Review at Tressa's Wishful Endings
Oct 2 - Video Rant at
 - The Big Idea at John Scalzi's Blog
 - My Bookshelf on Mel's Shelves
 - Did You See? on Cu's eBook Giveaways
Oct 3 - The Missing Piece on I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
 - Review at Books for Kids
Oct 4 - Podcast with Bennet Pomeranz
 - Review of Hero on Colorimetry
Oct 5 - Hero LAUNCH PARTY at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA
Oct 7 - Character interview with Saturday Woodcutter at I Smell Sheep
Oct 8 - A Twist in the Tail at A Backwards Story
 - Review at JL Mbewe
Oct 9 - Enchanted Inkspot
 - Deleted Scene at Fragments of Life