"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Enchantment



Enchantment is the story of a modern day Jewish Ukranian boy who stumbles upon a sleeping young woman covered by a lake of leaves while on an extended visit to a cousin’s farm. The boy ends up leaving to America with his parents, his father a professor of some note and his mother, a mysterious and loving woman.

The boy grows to manhood in America, a scholar like his father with a love of running. He loves running and while his parents find it strange, he finds it suits him and joins track and field. He is haunted though by his dreams of the young woman sleeping in the forest and embarks on a trip back to the Ukraine to work on his thesis of folk tales.

He returns to his cousin’s farm and one day goes to where he believes he dreamed the young beauty sleeping in the forest. To his surprise he finds her and battles a bear to get to her. It is Sleeping Beauty and he wakes her with a kiss and a promise of marriage even though he is engaged and has left his fiancée behind in America.

What follows is a remarkable tale in which Ivan and his princess travel back in time to old Russia and battle Baba Yaga herself. It is a charming and stunning re-telling of an old fairy tale. I was completely entranced by this spell binding tale and quite surprised even though I am a long time fan of Orson Scott Card. I encourage everyone to read this incredible tale which mixes magic, time travel, folk tales and modernity. If you’re a fan of Orson Scott Card you’ll love it and if you’ve never read him, this is the book to start with.

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