The Amaranth Enchantment is a breathtakingly-fairytalesque story that I gobbled up in under 24 hours. Julie Berry’s debut novel caught my attention while browsing at the library with its understated cover and Victorian looking girl.
The inside flap sounded like my kinda book a dash of love story, a generous scoop of fairy-tale, sprinkling of magic, and a stronger than she realizes heroine.
Amazon.com summarizes it best:
When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe—just maybe—capture the heart of a prince.
Lucinda does not disappoint as she muddles through, rising to meet every adventure and misadventure.
The supporting cast are well-rounded out with the mysterious possible witch (Beryl), the pickpocket with a devilishly disarming personality (Peter), the cruel step-aunt, and the playful dreamer with a good heart prince (Gregor). And of course there is Dog, the goat that becomes Lucinda’s stanchest ally.
The plot is well crafted and I found the ending surprising. Everything tied together tightly and I had the oh-so-that’s-what-that-meant moment. I am going to order a copy of the book to keep.
The pacing is good with each chapter starting and ending with a hook that carries you through it and into the next chapter. I found myself reading until the wee hours last night.
This is not a lightning fast book like Heist Society, but it shouldn’t be. This book is meant to be read a bit slower and savored. But the story moves and I never found myself contemplating doing laundry.
I really appreciate it when the cover flap is what the story is actually about. Leaves me feeling immensely satisfied as a reader.
Another great YA where love was an element but not the only element. The story was about friendship, family, fighting for yourself and those you love. And yes, there’s a cute prince but we aren’t forced to swoon over him for hundreds of pages.