Monday, September 9, 2013

A Vintage Reads Review: Enchantress from the Stars

Enchantress from the Stars (Elana, 1) by Sylvia Engdahl, February 24, 2003 (originally published in 1970). 304 pages. Published by Firebird. Source: Bought.
Elana, a member of an interstellar civilization on a mission to a medieval planet, becomes the key to a dangerous plan to turn back an invasion. How can she help the Andrecians, who still believe in magic and superstition, without revealing her own alien powers? At the same time, Georyn, the son of an Andrecian woodcutter, knows only that there is a dragon in the enchanted forest, and he must defeat it. He sees Elana as the Enchantress from the Stars who has come to test him, to prove he is worthy. One of the few science fiction books to win a Newbery Honor, this novel will enthrall teenage and adult readers.
First Sentence:
The planet shines below us, cloud-flecked, dazzling against the dark backdrop of space.
Enchantress from the Stars is one book that I have always considered reading, yet had never picked up until this year. So, did this classic fantasy story knock my socks off? It blew them away with its awesomeness.

Okay, so what really made Enchantress from the Stars so brilliant is the writing. Lately, it has been taking  a lot to impress me when it comes to writing, so, what really made Ms. Engdahl's writing stand out from some of the books I've read recently? Well, in my opinion, it would have to be because the world she created was so well thought out and had so many layers that you could spend hours re-reading certain pages to see the story within the story. Seriously, the layering of the world and characters' notions on right, wrong, and morality were pretty mind-blowing.
   I know, that I'm am not doing this book justice nor is there any way I could, but I just want y'all to know how amazing the Enchantress from the Stars is.

Alright, while I loved the writing, my favorite part of the book would have to be the relationship between Elana and her father. What really made their relationship so interesting was to see how he treated her as an equal and prepared her for the challenges that she would be facing as they tried to save the primitives of the planet. Theirs, was definitely the strongest familiar relationship that I have seen in a young adult book in ages-really since the last time I read a Madeleine L'Engle novel-which was really quite refreshing since it gets boring to always read about dysfunctional families.

While I highly enjoyed Sylvia Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars, I admit that there is one aspect of the book I did not like. I was not too sold on some of the relationships, like, the one between Elana and Everek. It's hard to describe why I didn't really care for their relationship since it was a nice may have just been that by the time the book ends Elana is so different that it feels like they are moving in opposite directions.

Final Verdict: Enchantress from the Stars- I loved the depth of the story line and how there was a whole moral scope to the plot. It was really refreshing to find a science fiction book that had such a personal feel.

Enchantress from the Stars earns 5 out of 5 pineapples. 


  1. Like you, it's taking a lot more to impress me with the writing. I think that's because there are so many small presses and indie-published authors out there that they aren't taking the time to edit the novels. This one sounds really good.

    My friend keeps suggesting the Malazan series to me. Apparently it's just as layered and full of history. Have you read that one yet?

    1. I have not read the Malazan series, but will definitely look into it. Do you know who the author is?

      Yes, I think authors and publishers may need to take a little more time with the books o they can get the love they need and be completely ready for readers to sink their teeth into.


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