Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (audio)

Enchanted - Alethea Kontis, Katherine Kellgren

This story was as charming as it was frustrating. The narrator does a beautiful job with her lovely, lilting fairytale-like accent but the material has issues even a skilled narrator can’t overcome.

A beautiful young lady named Sunday falls truly, madly, deeply in love with a frog. A talking frog, mind you, but a slimy frog nonetheless. Now don’t get me wrong, I like frogs well enough. We didn’t open our pool this past summer and a frog moved in on the little pond that was created on our pool cover. He stayed the entire summer and he would croak hello at me every time I ventured out back with my dogs. He would then stare at me like he had more to say or perhaps he was secretly wishing me dead for invading his space. One day he left our “pond” without a goodbye and I kind of missed seeing him. But that was as far as things went with me and my frog. Now that I think about it, perhaps I’ve missed my chance at ruling a kingdom. Damn. Anyway, this beauty named Sunday falls in love with her frog so deeply and so truly that she breaks a curse with her love.

You know that shit is for real when it breaks a curse, right?

This is a kinda sorta retelling of The Frog Prince with a whole bunch of other things thrown in to confuse my tired brain. And I’m not kidding about the “whole bunch of other things". Back in ye olden times of reviewing we would call this type of thing a “Kitchen Sink” book because the author throws everything in but the kitchen sink. Here are just a few of the things:

1. The frog is a cursed Prince, of course, but the curse is a muddled and complicated thing that I can’t explain and he really can’t either. Something about Sunday’s deceased brother and two fairy godmothers who have it out for each other.
2. The prince awakens with fuzzy, partial memories so not only am I confused but so is he.
3. One day Sunday is madly in love with her froggy and I’m feeling for her because he suddenly goes missing without a goodbye. Tragedy, no? But then, oh but then, a scrawny prince asks her to dance and she is wooed and declares herself in insta-love with him! She has no idea he was her true love the frog at this point because he’s too chicken to tell her because of #1. Or something. Sheesh, I guess true love for her means if I don’t see ya for a few days I’m on to the next one!
4. Sunday is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter and do you know what that means? That means that she is magical! It also means that there are hordes of siblings all with complicated but not very well fleshed out stories of their own going on here and I could remember none of them. Her sisters were all named for days of the week. I couldn’t remember who was who and often mixed up Sunday with Saturday. My brain was not up for this.
5. There are tons of pieces of fairy tales sprinkled in here. I enjoyed that at first but after a while it felt a little like overkill.
6. The King declares he is in insta-love with one of Sunday’s sisters (please don’t ask me which one) and will take her as his bride whether she wants him or not. But the prince discovers a dark and terrible secret that sets off another subplot.
7. At some point the prince is running around town with a shoe that will only fit his true love. Wait a minute. What? I thought he already knew who his true love was. They’ve been dancing at balls and he’s only had googly eyes for her. I thought that was truly the only thing he was sure about but perhaps I wasn't really paying attention.

I guess it’s here that my brain ran out of power so none of this may be right. Don’t count on this review for any kind of accuracy.

This story would’ve been adorable if it hadn’t become so overly convoluted that it’s nearly impossible to follow. I never felt any sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters. Terrible things happen to some of them and I felt a whole bunch of nothing because of the breezy way things were handled and because of the way things just keep speeding along. Why bother add in backstory if you’re not going to knock your readers out with the emotional impact? I don’t get it. It’s a real shame because the writing is lyrical in many parts and there was so much promise.

It just didn’t work for me and I have to wonder why I finished the audio at all. I guess my only reason is that I was too lazy to start something else and the writing was very lovely at times. I was also hoping that the confusing bits would eventually be fleshed out and explained. Some of them were but many of them weren’t and now I’m left feeling a little brain hurt.

Not really recommended.