5 out of 5 stars
The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred and sent the ten-year-old Ivan scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek’s farm.
Now, years later, Ivan is an American graduate student, engaged to be married. Yet he cannot forget that long-ago day in the forest–or convince himself it was merely a frightened boy’s fantasy. Compelled to return to his native land, Ivan finds the clearing just as he left it.
This time he does not run. This time he awakens the beauty with a kiss . . . and steps into a world that vanished a thousand years ago.
A rich tapestry of clashing worlds and cultures, Enchantment is a powerfully original novel of a love and destiny that transcend centuries . . . and the dark force that stalks them across the ages.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card is a one of my all-time favorite “fairy tales retold”. I’m a fan of the genre in general, but in my opinion, this one is particularly well done.
This retelling is set in the Carpathian mountains and the United States. The first time our hero, Ivan, comes across the sleeping beauty in the forest, he’s only 10 and doesn’t know what to do. He runs away but yet throughout the years, he can’t forget the beauty. He has the opportunity to go back to the area as part of his graduate degree rework in obscure old Russian dialects. This time he wakes the beauty and is sucked into a world of magic, time travel and intrigue.
Bouncing between modern-day United States and medieval Russia, Mr. Card does a terrific job of interweaving Russian folklore with the Sleeping Beauty story and adding in modern day issues and settings.
I love re-reading it every few years because it’s such a wonderful retelling of the story. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairy tales retold in other formats/settings or loves the story of Sleeping Beauty.