Summary: Lucinda Chapdelaine’s parents died in a tragic accident ten years ago and ever since she has worked as a servant in the jewelry shop of her uncle and cruel stepaunt. She has no hope of a better life until the day the Amaranth Witch visits the shop, bringing with her a magical jewel that can control the fate of the country. When the jewel disappears, Lucinda must retrieve it in order to reclaim her birthright.
Review: Berry strives for originality and depth in this retelling of “Cinderella,” but ultimately fails to bring anything new to the story. A few changes in detail suffice to give the tale a twist: Lucinda lives with her evil stepaunt rather than her evil stepmother; she drops her shoe, but reflects on the consequences of running barefoot and decides to retrieve it; etc. The work contains more than a few stock characters and cliche situations, which some readers may excuse in a fairy tale retold or as a result of a first publication attempt. However, with so many retellings currently on the market, the failure either to utilize or to subvert those conventions so as to shed light on a new aspect of the story does not give readers any reason to choose Berry over another author. Even more troubling is the lack of motivation behind the plot, which threatens to disengage readers from the work; it becomes difficult to invest one’s self in a story when the author so often does not explain the actions of the characters. The Amaranth Enchantment does make for an enjoyable afternoon’s read, especially if one loves fairy tales, but it never raises itself above a merely pleasant story.