Book of Enchantments

by Patricia C. Wrede

Paperback, 2005

Call number

JF WRE

Publication

HMH Books for Young Readers (2005), Edition: First, 256 pages

Description

Ten stories of wizards, princesses, unicorns, enchanted roses, and other people and things that exist in the realm of magic.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
Collection of fantasy short stories by Wrede:

Rikiki and the Wizard
A sweet story about a greedy wizard and his kind and beautiful daughter.

The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn (Enchanted Forest)
The middle princess from a kingdom where nothing is quite as it "should" be goes out to seek her
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fortune. The palace cat goes with her and they meet a haughty unicorn. Cute and funny.

Roses by Moonlight
An older sister meets an unusual woman and takes a walk through a unique garden. This story is different in that not a whole lot actually happens, and yet at the end, it still feels as though it did. I love this story.

The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd
An Arabian Nights type story with a wizard-monarch who curses everyone who makes him angry. Funny.

Earthwitch
This is a dark, sad story of love and war. I never feel like I've quite understood it, but it's moving nonetheless.

The Sword-Seller
Classic good-vs-evil high fantasy, with a few twists. Dark and dramatic.

The Lorelei
Some students on a school trip to Germany make an unexpected stop at the Lorelei cliffs. A great story and I love the main character.

Stronger Than Time
Sleeping Beauty gone awry. The end is unexpected.

Cruel Sisters
A beautiful and sharp retelling of an old ballad.

Utensile Strength (Enchanted Forest)
Queen Cimorene and King Mendanbar must find the wielder for a powerful enchanted weapon. Absolutely hilarious. Recipe included.
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LibraryThing member Mialro
While I am not familiar with Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles, I enjoyed this anthology of short fantasy stories. Only a couple of stories had ties to the Enchanted forest. Some were dark in tone, and some were light and written in that carefree bouncy style of many more modern
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fairytales (think E. Nesbit, but not turn-of-the-century). Some of the stories felt like they were part of a longer novel and should have been turned into one instead of leaving the reader with so many answers. It was often hard to tell the ages of the characters. One story had high school characters, but they seemed to act and be much younger. All of the characters seemed to exhibit the same (often) insouciant agelessness. All in all, I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy.
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LibraryThing member cmbohn
Some great short stories in here, including my favorite epic weapon ever, The Frying Pan of Doom. I've never tried the recipe, but it sounds yummy.
LibraryThing member the1butterfly
These stories are funny and clever, deep and thoughtful, and often romantic. There is a retelling of sleeping beauty, and retelling of the story of the harp of bones, but also telling of tales that aren't retellings exactly, but show a strong understanding of traditional tales. Like all of Wrede's
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work, they are worth reading.
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LibraryThing member norabelle414
Rikiki and the Wizard - An asshole wizard tries to trade his daughter to the gods for fame and fortune. It backfires . . . surprise! The only god that shows up is a blue chipmunk that doesn't want the daughter . . . unless she has chestnuts.
The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn - Poor Princess
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Elyssa's life is pretty decent. She gets along with her older and younger sisters, and her step-mother is really nice. So she decides to run off and seek her fortune (how scandalous, since that is usually the job of Youngest Princesses), with her parents' blessings. She'll be just fine, because she takes her trusty cat with her. OH WAIT, cats aren't trusty . . . .
Roses by Moonlight - unlike most of Wrede's work, this story has a modern setting. Adrian has banished herself from her younger sister's party, because she doesn't like her sister's friends, or her sister's music, or her sister. While outside smoking and contemplating her hatred, Adrian meets a woman who gives her the opportunity to choose her own future. This one has a true science fiction ending (the kind which doesn't actually end), which I love.
The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd - The Caliph is an impetuous man, and every time someone angers him, annoys him, or brings him bad news, he curses them and their immediate family. He has a list of 62 curses, and he uses them in order on each person who bothers him. (Curse 1 for the first time a person bothers him, Curse 2 for the second time that person bothers him, etc.) For the Caliph's subjects, this is just the way of life. But when the grand vizier and his family are the first people to reach Curse 48, something goes wrong.
Earthwitch - A warrior king pays a visit to the Earthwitch, to get her to help save his kingdom from invaders. After a grueling trek up the mountain, the king realizes that he and the Earthwitch know each other . . .
The Sword-seller - A mercenary visits a shop to buy a sword and is offered a suspiciously nice one for free. He takes it but insists on paying. However, the sword comes with more baggage than the mercenary had counted on.
The Lorelei - Another modern story. A group of American school students are on a trip to Germany. Their bus breaks down near the Lorelei cliff, and they learn the legend of the Lorelei. She is the German version of a Siren, who sings to distract sailors from the rocky outcropings on the Rhine and thus wreck their ships.
Stronger Than Time - A sleeping beauty retelling, with a twist. The prince missed his chance to release Sleeping Beauty's spell, so now he has to find another way.
Cruel Sisters - A haunting tale of jealousy and malice between two sisters, from the viewpoint of a third sister who watches from the sidelines.
Utensile Strength - Cimorene!!!! This is a companion story to the Dealing with Dragons series, and features some beloved characters from it. Cimorene and Mendanbar obtain a magical Frying Pan of Doom, and must hold a tournament to find the knight that this powerful weapon is meant for. A tournament with a bake-off, obviously.
Quick After-Battle Triple Chocolate Cake - Surprise!! This is the award-winning recipe from the bake-off, which Wrede has kindly translated from its original Barbarian.
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LibraryThing member wealhtheowwylfing
Disappointing short fantasy stories. I love PCW, but this is far from her usual standard.
LibraryThing member et.carole
Delightful. A set of fairy tales, some new, some imagined, in which cleverness is not limited by age or gender or magical ability or even the border of death, and in which courage and nobility are similarly free. Probably recommended for middle grade readers but a charming interlude for anyone, I
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should think.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Ten short stories, some funny, some more serious, but all featuring Wrede's clever and engaging writing. I reread this to see which books would work best for reading to a group of 3rd-5th graders, and found two that did ("The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn" and "The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph
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Arenschadd"). But, you know, I had to read the whole collection, just to be sure...
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Awards

Minnesota Book Awards (Finalist — Young Adult Fiction — 1997)

Pages

256

ISBN

0152055088 / 9780152055080

Lexile

810L
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