The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Pub. Date : March 3, 2009
Lucinda Chapdelaine was orphaned as a young child when her parents left for a royal ball and never returned. Ever since, she has toiled away in her uncle's lonely jewelry shop under the cruel hand of her step-aunt. But now, all at once, Lucinda's lot is about to change. A mysterious woman, a handsome young gentleman, and an unusual gem all enter the shop on the very same day. the woman is none other than the dreaded Amaranth Witch, and she has a daring task to offer. If Lucinda succeeds, she will not only reclaim all that is rightfully hers, but she will discover a true friend—and perhaps true love. Family secrets, magical surprises, and another royal ball will test her, but Lucinda is determined to find her own happily ever after.
The cover began this lovely little fairy tale. It was just like a fairy tale I expected it to be. It wasn't a phenomenal novel, but it was such a lovable little story, and I was enchanted with it. To begin with, I loved the mix of traditional fairy tales and the twist Julie Berry spun on the originals. It was a Cinderella meets Aladdin meets Rapunzel, except for they all believe this woman is a witch in the beginning instead of find it out at the end.
To make it a truly incredible book, I wanted a little bit more out of it. It wouldn't have been as lighthearted of a tale, but I wish there would have been more motives portrayed behind the characters that were evil. I wasn't happy with simply being told that they were bad and that they killed people. I wanted to know what drove them. I also wanted Lucinda to not fall so quickly into the old woman's plan. She jumped on board way too quickly without any hesitation, and it sort of made Lucinda's actual human quality go away. I no longer believed her, and thought "oh, okay, so here we go, in a Disney movie, prancing along after exciting-sounding things!"
I loved Peter. He was Lucinda's street friend who taught her all about the art of stealing and hiding (the Aladdin-esque bit of the book). He was such a sarcastic and lovable fellow, and I was so disappointed by the ending. I absolutely loved Peter, and thought he deserved more show time rather than being put on the back burner and not really thought about a whole lot.
Overall though, it was such a cute fictional tale that was so much fun and light to read for the summer time. This is a perfect tanning-on-the-back-deck-with-a-lemonade book.