Excerpt from Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


By Alethea Kontis

  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: May 2012,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: May 2013,
    320 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

He sighed and rubbed his shoulder, which worried Sunday. Storyless days happened, when the weather was foul or the work had been troublesome. Most days, however, he brought her a little something: a tale or a trinket. His eyes would get bright, and there would be mischief and laughter in his voice. For that brief moment, Papa was happy, and he was all hers. Not that anything could dim the happiness that still shone inside her from making a new friend, but a story from Papa would have been the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Papa sat back and rested his hands on the table. He looked at Sunday thoughtfully, for a long time. And then he smiled. Sunday caught it and grinned right back at him, for in that smile was a story.

"We went deep into the Wood today." He leaned forward to whisper the words to her, as if they were a secret between the two of them. "Deep into the Wood, where the trees are so tall and the leaves are so thick that no sunlight touches the dark ground."

"Were you scared?" Sunday whispered back.

"A little," he admitted. "I told Peter and Saturday to stay at the edge of the Wood."

"You told Saturday to do something and she obeyed?" The only orders Sunday had ever seen her sister obey were Mama's. Everyone always did what Mama said. Every time.

"Well, no," admitted Papa. "I gave her a very large task and told her she could join me when she'd finished."

"Did she finish?"

"Not yet. It was a very, very large task."

"You are a clever Papa."

"I am a Papa with much experience keeping his mischievous children out of harm's way," he said. "The edge is the safest, but deep in the Wood is where one finds the best trees. The old trees. I never take more than one at a time, and I always wait several moons before I take another one. The lumber from that tree will always fetch the highest price. It will be the most beautiful, and it will last forever. No mortal fire can burn Elder Wood."

"Did you take an Elder Wood tree today?"

"I did. I asked the gods' permission and begged the tree's forgiveness before I forced it to give its life. And since no one was around, I did not yell 'timber' before its fall."

Sunday gasped. Anyone who had ever lived near the Wood knew the importance of yelling to announce a treefall. Silence had dangerous consequences.

"The tree came down with a spectacular crash! And when the Wood became silent again, I heard a yelping."

"Did you hurt someone?" She was afraid to know the answer. It was clear that Mama wasn't worried; she continued to busy herself in the kitchen as if she hadn't heard a word of Papa's tale.

"Very nearly. It took me a long time to get to the other side of the tree. When I did, I found a leprechaun hopping around."

"A leprechaun? Wasn't that lucky," Sunday remarked skeptically. "Luckier for him! He was still alive to be hopping around," Papa said. "Trapped by his beard, he was, and mighty put out about it, too." Sunday laughed.

"I hope you asked for his gold," Mama's voice echoed from inside the oven as she retrieved the bread.

"Of course I did, woman! What kind of man do you take me for?"

"A fool, most days," Mama murmured. She wiped her hands on her apron and picked up a knife to cut the loaf. "Go on, "finish your story."

" Thank you, wife." Papa leaned forward again and took up his storytelling tone once more. "The leprechaun pleaded with me to set him free."

"And did you?"

"I asked for his gold first." Papa glanced at Mama, but she did not show that she had heard his comment. "He promised it all to me. Told me if I used my ax to chop him free he would lead me to it." Mama clucked her tongue. She was listening. "Of course I didn't believe him," Papa said loudly. "I said I wanted proof. He told me he had three gold coins in his pocket. He would give them to me as a down payment, so if he ran away, I wouldn't be left with nothing for my trouble."

Excerpted from Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. Copyright © 2012 by Alethea Kontis. Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Andrew Lang's Fairy Books

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.