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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Enchantress from the Stars was originally published in 1970 and became a Newbery Honor Book. Luckily for me, Engdahl's thoughtful and enjoyable story has been republished for a whole new generation to discover. The story has a subtle allegorical premise that is still valid even after all this time. Engdahl successfully weaves a beautiful story from the perspectives of three distinct civilizations at three different levels of technological maturity.
Elana's family are members of the Federation Anthropological Service. Federation members have a lifelong obligation to not let themselves be discovered as aliens on the worlds they visit. Elana is a stowaway during her father's mission to stop a space-faring civilization from colonizing the planet on which the primitive Andrecian live. When a field agent is killed in the line of duty, young Elana takes her vows into the Federation and joins her father in the field. What follows is the young girl's realization that her actions could have drastic effects on the other two civilizations.
Other perspectives come from Jarel, a sensitive medic who joined the Imperial Exploration Corps that plans on colonizing Andrecia. He was excited to help his people expand their glorious civilization, until he saw that his people treated the natives like animals. Georyn is a native Andrecian whose people view the Imperial colonists as evil trespassers.
Elana comes to learn that, even though these people are more primitive than she is, they need to be dealt with on their own terms. This novel is both an enchanting coming-of-age story and a compelling moral lesson that teaches respect for other cultures. (Sierra Phillips)