In Enchantment, Orson Scott Card works his magic as never before, transforming the timeless story of Sleeping Beauty into an original fantasy brimming with romance and adventure.
The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred and sent the ten-year-old Ivan scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek's farm.
Now, years later, Ivan is an American graduate student, engaged to be married. Yet he cannot forget that long-ago day in the forest—or convince himself it was merely a frightened boy’s fantasy. Compelled to return to his native land, Ivan finds the clearing just as he left it.
This time he does not run. This time he awakens the beauty with a kiss . . . and steps into a world that vanished a thousand years ago.
A rich tapestry of clashing worlds and cultures, Enchantment is a powerfully original novel of a love and destiny that transcend centuries . . . and the dark force that stalks them across the ages.
Intertwining the story of Sleeping Beauty with Russian mythology, Card (Homebody, etc.) creates an appealing though not potent fairy tale. Ten-year-old Ivan is terrified by, yet drawn to, a beautiful woman frozen in time in the middle of the primordial forest of Russia. More than a decade later, he returns and uses his prowess as a track-and-field star and a promise of marriage to rescue this princess. Echoes of Narnia sound (including some slightly preachy undertones) as Ivan is drawn back into the princess's time. He finds that he has no skills useful in the ninth century, and yet must find a way to defeat the witch Baba Yaga, who has harnessed the power of a god to take over Princess Katerina's kingdom. Ivan brings his betrothed into the modern world to keep her from Yaga's clutches and the pair learn to understand not only each other, but each other's powers and weapons. By the time they return to the fairy-tale world, they are armed with modern-day knowledge and aided by Ivan's relatives, who turn out to be minor Russian deities and witches. In an apparent desire to make his tale believable, Card leaches it of some of its magic, offering up the extraordinary as matter of fact, and his characters lack some of the depth that usually makes his writing so rewarding. His new look at a classic tale is clever, however, adding attractive whimsical twists and cultural confluences to a familiar story. Author tour. FYI: Card has won four Hugos, two Nebulas and one World Fantasy Award.
I first read this book after finding a dusty, tattered copy on my mother's bookshelf when I was in eighth grade. It is now a yearly read, and moved with me both to college and my own apartment. Wonderful for any age, and answers the age old question about what happens after the fairy tales end.
I loved this book...it got me interested in reading more Card books. It was truly a fantastic book you could read over and over again.