5.0 out of 5 stars A BEDTIME STORY FOR ADULTS...
This is simply a terrific book! A time traveling tale of adventure, magic, and romance, mixed in with the age old battle of good and evil, gives rise to a story that is totally engaging. A take off on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, the author has given it a very definite Russian twist with the injection of Baba Yaga as the wicked witch.
Our erstwhile prince,...
Published on Feb 24 2008 by Lawyeraau
3.0 out of 5 stars Unenchanted...
Orson Scott Card is a fine writer, with beautiful descritpions who brings forth a fresh look to the familiar and (often hard to re-tell) story of Sleeping Beauty.
The story starts out following Ivan, born in Russia during the height of communism a ten-year-old Ivan stumbles upon a beautiful maiden sleeping frozen in time on a stone slab in the midst of an ancient forest...
Published on Jan 10 2004 by Jade Kith
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5.0 out of 5 stars A BEDTIME STORY FOR ADULTS...,
Our erstwhile prince, an Ukranian born graduate student living in America, goes home to visit his relatives. He also seeks to find a magical place he remembers from when he was a young boy, where a young woman lay sleeping in the forest. When he finds it, he will enter a world that will be beyond his wildest imaginings.
Well-written, highly imaginative, and peppered with memorable characters and sly humor, this is a book to remember. Bravo!
3.0 out of 5 stars Unenchanted...,
The story starts out following Ivan, born in Russia during the height of communism a ten-year-old Ivan stumbles upon a beautiful maiden sleeping frozen in time on a stone slab in the midst of an ancient forest in the heart of Russia.
Years later after Ivan and his parents have long since departed Russia and have raised their son in America. A grown up Ivan returns to Russia only to rediscover an unspoken promise made to the sleeping maiden to rescue her and marry her. Only Ivan's very much in love and engaged to another woman back home in America! Stumbling between a very ancient Russia held under the thumb of the mythical witch Baba Yaga and her ensnared god-husband a gigantic Bear the spirit of Russia. Ivan must become the right man to marry the sleeping Princess and ultimately battle Baba Yaga herself.
While no one can deny Card is a beautiful story teller, with a knack for decscription that neither weighs one down but also gives the reader the impression there are right there in the middle of Russia traversing with Ivan. Where Orson fails ultimately is characterization and giving us rather realistically drawn characters but also realistic in their unappeal.
Ivan often comes off as whiny, unsympathetic and bit of a push-over, it's unbelievable how Ivan lets others around him litterally push him from one adventure to the next without putting up a fight. A constant angsty "Me-against the world" teenaged battle isn't desired but some kind of character backbone is wished for by this reader. Ivan puts up some what of a fight when he learns that by simply stumbling upon the sleeping princess Katarina he unintentionally made a promise to her, but later simply grudgingly accepts his fate and rather sadly and promptly forgets his fiance back at home.
Whilst Card paints an excellent view of mideval Russia. Perhaps a bit better and clearer then a communist U.S.S.R and post comunist Russia. He fails to deliver any sympathy for the people of ancient Russia or the mighty princess that Ivan and everyone are supposed to be so enchanted by.
Katarina is probably what ruined the book upon this reader, she is once selfish, demanding, close-minded, horribly stubborn yet (as Card practically shoves upon us) a good ruler who cares for her all people and also (as he constantly shoves in our faces, even by Ivan) that's she's very very beautiful and innocent looking. So of course, because she's so beautiful we must instantly be enchanted by her. Her semi-spoiled behavior is understandable as she is a princess who is doated upon by her Father and her rather frustrating behavor and reaction to Ivan when he crosses over to Ancient Russia, as he comes from a time (and a place) very much removed from the fuedal era people around him. But this is where Card fails, he fails to "Show" on the part of Katarina, instead he tells. Instead of showing what a wonderful ruler she is or why we should truely support her throughout the novel he simply tells us. She is redeemed slightly when she travels to American with Ivan and starts to cool down on her constant critism of him but still fails to capture this readers attention or sympathy.
Baba Yaga and her husband however, though obviously the antagonists of the story are beautifully done. Despite Baba Yaga being painted as "EVIL EVIL EVIL", she manages to capture this readers interest and hold it throughout. Even after the end.
Other characters in this novel, like a cliched Hallmark movie have their own special "quirks" but lack some enderaing qualities that truely make them stick out in this readers mind. Even the news that *SPOILER* that Ivan's Uncle is in fact an ancient Russian god himself *SPOILER*. Failed to really endure him or his wife or the rest of his family onto this reader.
Whilest Card does a spelnded job bringing a new and fresh light to the old fairy tale Sleeping Beauty (This readers personal favorite). He fails on the part of creating enduring characters to really prop this book up to the Five stars it should deserve.
Since finding a truely good Sleeping Beauty retelling is hard to find, while this book sticks out better then some it's still not quite the best that it could be. This reader, herself was decidedly UN-enchanted by Enchantment.
5.0 out of 5 stars love it!,
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book!,
This review is from: Enchantment Enchantment (School & Library Binding)It has been so long since I read this book, but I highly recommend it. In fact, instead of loaning it out to people like normal, I actually bought it for two of my friends that I knew would appreciate it as well. This is a modern day "Sleeping Beauty", but it is so well written. I was first introduced to Orson Scott Card in college with "Ender's Game", which was an excellent book and then read "Lost Boys", which I did not feel was as good, but still worth the read. This book and perhaps "Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst would definitely be two I would like to have on a deserted island.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THE best books I've ever read,
While this book does have a great love story, it's actually not JUST a love story. It's very lighthearted-even the violent parts tended towards being satiric.
The characters are AMAZING. The're extremely likeable, yet not "phony" like so many of the books I've read (A compliment that has thus far only been reserved for the Master himself, Stephen King). Even the villans were likable, you didn't want them to win, but it doesn't it seem such a shame to destroy them?
Overall, I found myself laughing out loud many times. It's really hilarious.
I think this book really reveals a new depth to Orson Scott Card (for me, at least). The Ender's series tended towards being serious. I didn't even know he was capable of this kind of work! It may disappoint hard core sci-fi fans, but anyone who likes bestsellers or fantasy or romance should throughly enjoy it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanted by Enchantment,
I enjoyed this book very much. With witty humor, exciting plot twists and intriging characters, this book gave me an inside look at the world of Russia fairy tales. It was also full of sarcasim and difficult situations(such as when Ivan must explain to his former fiance, Ruthie, that he has married someone else) that kept it interesting. My only complaint is hat the book was very long and took a while to get started. I recommend this book to people who enjoy fantasy and who like books with a sense of humor.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Card's best,
Here Card takes the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and turns it into a touching and epic Fantasy tale, based firmly in Russian history.
As a fairly traditional Fantasy story, this novel would have succeeded swimmingly. Card deftly unfolds a story of epic proportions without losing the focus on the individual characters caught up in it, and that story is concluded perfectly.
But what takes Enchantment out of the category of "light Fantasy fun" and puts it into a higher level of literature is how expertly Card handles the love story between the two main characters of the novel. This is what the story is really about, despite being filled with enough traditional adventure to keep any "ack! Romance!" reader from shying away. The love story between Ivan and Katerina has a ring of truth to it seldom found in fiction of any genre (especially Romance), and readers will find that this is what really touches them as they read this story.
So pick up this novel. There's something in it for everyone, and it's one of Orson Scott Card's finest novels.
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic and Realistic,
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchantment,
This is the beginning of Orson Scott Card's Enchantment. When Ivan first sees this woman, he runs away. When next he returns from America to the same place -- a college student, a track star, and engaged to be married -- he faces his fear and does not run. Instead he wakes up Katerina, Princess of a place called Taina that existed over 10 centuries ago. Unwittingly, Ivan has stepped into the Russian Sleeping Beauty and has found that it isn't a fairy tale after all.
Enchantment tells of how Ivan, unsuited to the time and culture of Taina, knowing only the language from his studies in college, and Katerina, Princess of Taina, overcome Baba Yaga, the witch who wants to end the Taina way of life and rule the country.
On Ivan and Katerina's side is knowledge and eventually love. The two travel to Ivan's time to prepare for the upcoming battle with Baba Yaga. They have advanced weapons, loyal people, and Ivan's mother, who is a witch herself.
But Baba Yaga has fear on her side; the power of a spellbound god; sorcery, hatred, trickery. She will give them no easy victory.
Enchantment is a captivating story; a fairy tale so original it can hardly be recognized as a retelling. The writing is powerful; the characters are real; the issues are close to home no matter where home may be. This is a wonderful read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchantment,
This was my first Card book and I love it. Retold fairy tales are a particular favorite of mine, and this one did not disappoint. Baba Yaga is truly evil and the little interludes from her point of view are monstrous fun. Her relationship with Bear is comical and engaging. I absolutely fell in love with Ivan. He is caring and sensitive to others' needs. He's not a pushover, really, he just doesn't like to hurt people. His consideration for Katerina is heroic and achingly sweet when you see how she treats him. When it is called for, though, he stands up for himself. Katerina is less likeable. She treats Ivan with barely concealed contempt because he has trouble living in her world and living up to her idea of manhood. Still, that is to be expected considering that she is a princess and the ninth century is very different from today. Ivan and Katerina's journey into love is believable and incredibly romantic. All of the secondary characters are very well-fleshed out. The story is captivating and rarely slow. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good fairy tale, romance, or adventure.
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Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (Audio CD - May 1 2010)
Used & New from: CDN$ 185.80