The Amaranth Enchantment

( 90 )

Overview

When a mysterious piece of jewelry and a strange visitor arrive in the jewelry shop where she works for her evil aunt, Lucinda's course takes a surprising turn. With the help of the Amaranth Witch, a young (and harmless) con-artist, and a prince, Lucinda uncovers secrets about her own royal past. A strong seller in hardcover, this original fairytale marks an exciting debut from a lyrical new voice

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The Amaranth Enchantment

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Overview

When a mysterious piece of jewelry and a strange visitor arrive in the jewelry shop where she works for her evil aunt, Lucinda's course takes a surprising turn. With the help of the Amaranth Witch, a young (and harmless) con-artist, and a prince, Lucinda uncovers secrets about her own royal past. A strong seller in hardcover, this original fairytale marks an exciting debut from a lyrical new voice

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Berry's enticing debut novel teems with romance, danger and suspense. Lucinda, a 15-year-old orphan, leads a miserable existence as a servant until she gains possession of an unusual stone belonging to Beryl, a reputed witch. As luck would have it, the gem is stolen and sold to a prince before Lucinda even realizes it is gone. Most of the plot centers on Lucinda's adventures trying to retrieve the stone from the prince, with whom she predictably falls in love. Fantasy buffs will delight in the author's playful use of fairy tale conventions-unlike Cinderella, Lucinda has the good sense to retrieve her lost slipper after attending a ball ("I considered leaving it there, but one footfall in my stocking feet on the cold granite changed my mind"). But the book's main appeal comes from the revelations of many secrets and unexpected twists, including the truth about Beryl. Lucinda has to work harder than most such heroines to acquire her happily-ever-after ending, but her efforts eventually pay off, while leaving readers with enough unanswered questions to set imaginations spinning. Ages 10-14. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Susan Hampe
As a child, Lucinda Chapdelaine was left orphaned after her parents died in a terrible accident. Taken in by her uncle, a goldsmith, and his wife, who is her step aunt, she grows up penniless as an unpaid servant. When the dreaded Amaranth Witch visits the small shop, Lucinda comes into possession of a stone that will send her world spinning. She is offered the chance to reclaim her family's possessions and takes up the task determined to succeed. It will take every bit of her strength and wit, along with the help of her faithful goat named Dog and a street thief named Peter, to overcome the obstacles that stand between her and happily ever after. Berry crafts a beautiful fairy tale in her debut novel. Readers will find themselves swept away by the action and captivated by the suspense, while the many twists advance the plot superbly and keep the reader's imagination spinning. Lucinda is an enchanting young woman with a charming wit and inspiring determination—a refreshing fairy-tale heroine willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve her much deserved goals. Like a blooming flower, her story is delightfully surprising novel. Reviewer: Susan Hampe
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

In a fairy-tale kingdom, orphaned 15-year-old Lucinda toils for her uncle and his spiteful wife in their jewelry shop. During the opening chapters, the shop is visited by a mysterious woman wanting an enormous gem reset, the prince of the kingdom searching for a suitable gift for his betrothed, and a common street urchin who is an accomplished thief. These characters play significant roles in the breakneck adventure cum romance that ensues as the gem changes hands and Lucinda is almost hanged. Berry plays with elements of traditional folklore-the poor orphan deprived of her birthright, the desirable woman who flees the prince after a few bewitching dances, royals disguised as indigents, and greed run amok. Romantics and fantasy lovers will happily devour this debut novel.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews
A lively, quick, stylish, engaging first novel with some lovely, familiar fairy-tale elements. Lucinda lives with her uncle and step-aunt, her parents having been killed horribly in a coach accident after a royal ball. Her aunt is downright vicious, and when her uncle dies, Lucinda is on her own. Beryl, an otherworldly customer of her uncle's jewel shop, leads her to the house that belonged to her parents. She needs to return the large, pale jewel Beryl had brought to be set, but finds it missing from her pocket. Beryl, the jewel, an outrageous young pickpocket known all too well to the prince of the kingdom and all the wild threads that connect them to one other and to Lucinda's parents and past will enthrall young readers-who probably won't care that some of the magic is a little wobbly or that the elysian flower of the title comes from Milton. There's also a goat named Dog, who figures mightily in the action and may or may not have a few magicks himself. (Fantasy. 9-14)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Orphaned by a tragic accident and raised as a servant in her uncle's goldsmith shop, 15-year-old Lucinda is accustomed to hard work and neglect. Following her relative's sudden death, Lucinda finds herself out on the street, homeless and clutching a mysterious gem that must be returned to its owner. Thus begins Lucinda's fantastic fairy-tale journey, complete with an unlikely friend, a handsome prince, an evil villain, a kindly enchantress, and an animal with peculiar talents. Julie Berry's tale (Bloomsbury, 2009) deftly weaves the lives and fates of several characters, Celeste Ciulla's narration drags the text down at some points, giving light-hearted phrases undue weight and making some of the longer conversations wander on interminably. Although the story is delightful, the audiobook is only for serious fantasy collections and fans of titles like Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997).—Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599903347
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 3/3/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 625,732
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Berry

Julie Berry grew up in western New York. She holds a BS in communications from Rensselaer and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her husband and four young sons, and works as a director of software sales and marketing for a technology startup. This is her first book.

www.julieberrybooks.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 90 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(49)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Cinderella Story

    You will immediately recognize the theme in this story. While all the characters seem slightly more cynical, it still makes for a very good read. There is a slight supernatural twist to it, and a little more danger. If you like Cinderella stories, you will like this book. I would also recommend "Just Ella" by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It is an interesting deviation from the Happily Ever After version from the fairy tales, and rather realistic. "Summers at Castle Auburn" is somewhat of a Cinderella story, with a little of the magic that is typical of all Sharon Shinn's books (very good author, by the way).

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Original retelling of Cinderella

    Although it's not an exact Cinderella retelling, there are a lot of plot turns that make you realize it's supposed to be a Cinderella story. I didn't think her "otherworldly" fairy godmother isn't as unbelievable as one of the reviewers claimed -- I thought it fit right in with the story. It's a wonderful story and is sure to delight young teenage girls!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Kaitlin

    I read this book for a school project, and I usually hate fantasies. This book was different. It had a mystery twisted inside. The one night I started reading on pg. 60 and that night I read fir 5 hours until i finished it. This book was amazing. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy or mysteries. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enchanted by Book

    I enjoyed reading this book. The intrigue in it was very interesting. There are lots of twists and turns to move the story along. Younger teens will enjoy this book. It is on the 2012 Oklahoma Intermediate Sequoyah reading list. I also see that Berry has another book out. I will probably also get that one for my library.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Could have been amazing...

    This book reminded me of the book Ella Enchanted. It is a twist on a cinderella fairytale. The characters are enjoyable to read about, the overall story is good, and the setting is magical. There is only one problem... Near the middle of the book we are introduced to a (suppossed) witch. That is not the problem. The problem is this women is from another world. Yes, another world. Not only is she from another world but she is also a higher being (whatever that means) and there are other creatures from the other world who are after her (the bad guys) and have a big role in the ending of this story. This book was good but it could have been amazing.It was wierd in some parts, mainly the end. - One thing parents might need to be cationed on is that the main character of this story allows a boy to sleep in her room. He is found in her bed and tells her that she can either sleep with him or not sleep with him, he doesn't care either way. He ends up on the floor in the end, and she ends up in the bed. I thought it would be good to mention anyway.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review from The Neverending Shelf

    I am a HUGE fairy tale fan so when I randomly found this book, I had to give it a chance. Plus the cover is gorgeous!! I just could not tell this book no. It was like it was calling to me. While the basic story line is Cinderella, there are loads of new elements that will keep the reader's interest.

    What I liked: I really enjoyed the twist Berry did on the "fairy godmother." It was a welcome, and needed change to set this book apart from other fairy tale retelling books. The witch/godmother, Beryl, made this book for me. I loved her back story-- I personally think she was the glue that held this book together. I also liked the interactions between Lucinda and the prince. They were really cute.

    What I did not like: While I like Peter's character (he was funny), I did not care for what happened to him. He gets his happily ever after, allowing for everything else work out in the plot; however, I felt like the author just took the easy way out... I really cannot say more because it might give too much away. I also would have liked to learn more about Beryl and her world. It bothered me that the reader keeps getting hints about said world, and when we finally have the chance to delve into it, the author does not take the opportunity to properly explore it.

    Flaws aside, this is a beautifully written, fun, imaginative tale. There are many twists to this book that make it less Cinderella-ish and more original. I highly recommend for any Cinderella fan wanting a change of pace, or anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An enjoyable debut

    There are some really good elements in this book---strong characters, an interesting cityscape, a touch of magic and romance---and the fact that it's a quick and easy read will appeal to much of its teen audience. But The Amaranth Enchantment is also very definitely a first novel. The story's pacing is at times jerky and uneven, and Berry introduces several characters and plot elements that seem more convenient than purposeful. Overall, I found a few too many coincidences when I was hoping for a bit of mystery or complexity, and yet when I desperately wanted an answer or a resolution, not a coincidence was in sight. An enjoyable effort, but not really one of my favorites. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing how Berry's talent progresses.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Great

    Awesome!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    great

    a great book!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Well...

    I enjoyed, and very much understood the plot and characters of this book, but I still feel something was missing. Still, Julie Berry's characters and development of the storyline was very nice, and well done, don't get me wrong. I just feel that this book was hardly fantasy, but more like a feelings (people dealing with feelings) sort of book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

    Lucinda Chapdelaine has been an orphan ever since her parents left for a ball and never returned. She was taken in by her uncle at his jewelry shop, and must endure her wicked step-aunt.

    And then a woman named Beryl came into the shop. Since then, Lucinda's life has changed forever.

    All in the same day that she saw Beryl, the Prince comes to the shop, and a thief boy sneaks into Lucinda's room and stays the night. Peter, the thief, steals something from Lucinda, and she must find him to get it back to Beryl, the rightful owner.

    But she isn't the only one looking for it.

    When she finally finds the thief, he has sold it - to the Prince for his betrothed.

    What will Lucinda do to get it back to Beryl? What other twists and turns will she get herself into along the way?

    This story, overall, was very interesting. It kept me guessing and that made it hard to put down. My favorite character was Peter, the young thief, because he was fun and sarcastic. The only thing I wasn't happy with was the ending. It was very abrupt, and it gives you hardly a hint as to what happens to all of the characters.

    Other than that, the story was well-written, and I really enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!

    I LOV THI BOOK!!!!!!! In school we ead this like a play and i was Beryl and i loved it it's an amazeing book if you havent read this read it! And if you have READ T AGAIN!!!!!!!!! I RATE THIS WITH INFINITY STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!

    This book is one of my favs ever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    It was o...k...

    ?.

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  • Posted July 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A sweet re-telling of the Cinderella story with a few twists. L

    A sweet re-telling of the Cinderella story with a few twists. Lucinda is an orphan being raised in her Aunt and Uncle's jewelry store. Her Aunt (the wicked step mother) treats her horribly and Lucinda dreams of the days she remembers of living with her parents, who died when she was very young. When a strange women arrives with a magnificent pearl, everything begins to change.

    Lucinda is a sweet girl that is perfect as a Cinderella role. She is just innocent enough without getting overly sappy and washing out her personality. She doesn't always make the right choices, but tries her best to make up for the mistakes she makes along the way. With the Amaranth Witch to help guide her to a better future, Lucinda may just find a new and better place for herself in the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Great

    Loved the book! Cant wait to see more by the author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Great book

    This book was great but i wish she had married peter

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Ehhh....

    It was too short for me. And the ending was horrible

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Little Cinderella,A Little Not

    What's better than a traditional Cinderella story? One that steals elements from the tale, but forges its own path. The Amaranth Enchantment is about a girl named Lucinda whose parents died in a horrible accident the night of a ball. She goes to live with her uncle and step-aunt, a woman who treats her like a servant. A magical woman-the book's version of a fairy godmother-is the catalyst for Lucinda leaving to make it on her own. Following the elements of a fairy tale, she falls in love with a prince and winds up at his ball, but that's where the similarities end. In a way, the novel reminds me of a Disney movie because memorable characters include a lovable thief named Peter and a pet goat named Dog (why Dog, idk, but it's cute!).

    The Amaranth Enchantment might read like a fairy tale, but it also has some sci-fi tendencies. The "godmother," Beryl, is from another planet and has a special stone that gives her magical abilities. This stone is so valuable that an evil man wants it and will stop at nothing to get it back. Beryl begs Lucinda for help, offering to restore everything she lost if she can retrieve the stone, which was stolen by a thief named Peter and sold to the Crown Prince. This is one place where The Amaranth Enchantment succeeds: Lucinda doesn't wait around for a man to save the day. She pulls it together and takes charge herself despite the consequences. She was the opposite of Beryl, who wasn't able to solve her own problems.

    My favorite character was Peter, the thief. He was the most animated, and stole every scene. He had surprises up his sleeve that I never saw coming, too. I felt he was the most well-developed of all the characters. While I admired Lucinda's spunk, I felt she was a little too naïve at times and often found herself in bad situations due to this. I also wish Prince Gregor was a little more fleshed-out. There weren't as many romance scenes as I would have liked, but I'm hoping to see more in Berry's future novels. For a debut novel, The Amaranth Enchantment had many good ideas, and the story was still fun to read. There were twists and turns I never saw coming, and I loved the fact that despite the Cinderella influence, Lucinda was her own heroine, and not a reincarnation of anyone else.

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  • Posted April 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I highly recommend this book. ..

    ... and have actually done so to all my friends.

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