Series: Woodcutter Sisters #1
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog in the Wood, their friendship blossoms into something more and soon her kiss has transformed him back into a man. Unfortunately, that man happens to be the Crown Prince Rumbold– a man her family despises. Rumbold hopes to make Sunday fall in love with him again as he is now, but more than an old family feud stands in their way. Something evil lurks in the palace and soon no one will be safe.
I looked forward to reading Kontis’s version of “The Frog Prince” since I saw its released announced, but now that I have, I feel mostly confused. On the one hand, I loved it. It is a fast-paced, magical story full of all the things I love–enchanted frogs, fairy godmothers, balls and ballgowns, and sisters who care about each other. On the other hand, I have to admit that most of it makes no sense. Sometimes disjointed and sometimes uneven, the story seemed as if it was missing parts. The parts that were there seemed contrived to move the plot forward and nothing more. Even for a fairy tale retelling, it stretched my belief.
It is difficult to discuss the problematic parts of any book without spoiling the plot, so I’ll have to keep my comments broad. In brief, I thought the whole story lacked a solid foundation. Basically, the protagonists fall in love within two days of knowing each other. The enchanted frog turns back into a man (the cover says as much, so I don’t consider this a spoiler) and then, for some reason, decides to go home without telling his true love about the transformation. He wants to make her love him, but decides not to reveal his identity and instead decides to woo her at a series of balls he throws. The balls seem to be there because he needs to find her, but he met her at her house, so I don’t really know what purpose the balls serve besides to add an element of “Cinderella” to the tale. Expected romantic confusion ensues as the girl feels strangely attracted to this prince she thinks she does not know, but it all could have been avoided with some honesty on his part.
The rest of the story gets more confusing as half-explained magical feuds and curses intertwine with the romance. The book keeps saying that our protagonist Sunday will be important and one might assume she will save the kingdom from all these rampant enchantments, but she doesn’t. The book also keeps suggesting (through the character of the “good” fairy godmother) that most of these events have been orchestrated for some purpose. I never saw it. In fact, I do not understand why most of the plot points happened and no amount of “I planned it this way” or “It was meant to be” can cover up the glaring plot holes.
Add to this the fact that most of the magic is never explained, the random discovery that all of Sunday’s family suddenly has magical powers, and the almost bizarre insertion of several fairy tales into Sunday’s life (strange mostly because other characters seem to live only one fairy tale, not five), and the plot gets harder and harder to swallow. My confusion was compounded by the writing, which seemed to assume parts that were not there. One second I’m reading about Prince Rumbold and the next Sunday is running out to save someone, but we don’t know why she’s doing so or how she knew to do so. It was a bit disorienting.
Strangely enough, however, I still kept reading with my eyes glued to the page. The romance was sweet, even if it did happen in one week. The family element was endearing, even if Sunday’s family all possess unexplained powers. I wanted to be with these characters and to learn more about them, even if nothing about their lives made any sense.
So I will be reading the sequel and presumably all the sequels that follow. I am attached to Sunday and her family and hope they will take me on more adventures. I just hope I can keep up.
*Read Briana’s take on Enchanted here!