By Alethea Kontis
Harcourt, $16.99, 308 pages

Sunday is the seventh daughter of a woodcutter and his wife. She and her family (most of them, anyway), live in a cottage in the woods and are reasonably happy. Sunday, though, feels different from her other siblings. Sunday writes family stories and spends most of her spare time alone in the woods. Her life changes when she meets a frog named Grumble (really a man cursed by a fairy).  When Sunday’s kiss releases him from his curse, the former frog must once again win Sunday’s heart. Fans of fairy tale novels will likely be eagerly anticipating the release of Althea Kontis’ book, Enchanted, and with good reason. When the books are done well (think Robin McKinley or most recently Ron Koertge), they are absolutely spellbinding. Unfortunately, Kontis’ book doesn’t quite cast a spell on the reader and in general feels like a hodgepodge of classic fairy tales rather than something new or exciting. The writing is good and the moral of the story is nice but the book mostly just feels stale. Regardless, younger fans of fairy tale fiction will still enjoy this novel.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern