Unpopular Opinion: Fantasia Reviews Enchantress


Enchantress by James Maxwell
Published 7/29/2014
Ages 14+

51jrsopcz-l“After losing their parents in the last doomed uprising, two siblings will find themselves at the center of an epic struggle for power.
When Ella witnesses an enchanter saving her brother’s life, she knows what she wants to be. But the elite Academy expects tuition fees and knowledge. Meanwhile her brother, Miro, dreams of becoming one of the world’s finest swordsmen, wielding his nation’s powerful enchanted weapons in defense of his homeland.
After Miro departs for war, the void he leaves in Ella’s life is filled by a mysterious foreigner, Killian. But Killian has a secret, and Ella’s actions will determine the fate of her brother, her homeland, and the world” – From Amazon

Story –fullstar Uninspired

Mister Maxwell has created a world that feels just too familiar, with a story we have seen too many times before. His heavy reliance on traditional fantasy clichés and tropes only adds to plot lines that feel not only easily recognizable but also derived. The only times we felt we saw anything unexpected, it felt contrived and mismanaged. The story was a disappointment for us.

“A passerby would have assumed she was older than she was – it was something about the depths in her emerald-green eyes. But if she smiled, then they would have seen her youth. She was slight of build and clad in a simple tunic, such as a farmer’s daughter might wear. She wore her pale blonde hair long.”

Style and Formatting –fullstarfullstar Needs improvement

While the formatting is superb, it cannot save the writing of the story, which just contains some descriptions that seem downright bizarre. The earliest example, displayed above, shows a character’s youthfulness in a smile. Now, we may be nitpicking, but we find people generally appear older when they smile – not younger. In a way, we feel like the writing misses the mark, in an attempt to be artistic and playful; we find the use of language to be lackluster in this work.

“With a sigh, she activated a nightlamp, its light stretching just far enough to create a haven within the fog. Eventually, Ella felt refreshed, and she began to get restless; the fog was going nowhere. Having an idea, she rummaged around in her satchel.”

Literary Value –fullstarhalfstar Lacking

What is the central theme of this book? If you figure it out, let us know. While there were glimpses of little things here and there, there was nothing in the writing that made us think, nothing that pushed us further than we needed to go. In the end, there was nothing here with the substance necessary to hook us in and make us think the novel was any more introspective than the cliché characters that inhabit its world.

“He sighed. He was still ignorant as to his past. What he really was and why he was different. The old man had explained his plan, and now here Killian was.”

Overall –fullstarhalfstar1.5, Pointless

There was no reason to read this book. There was hope, in the beginning, that something great was going to come from this – as the ratings would have lead one to believe. Are we overly critical? No, we are not. A central measure of a book’s greatness, for us, is the originality of the ideas that went into its creation, and we just do not see that here; it is tried, derivative, contrived, and quite frankly annoying.
Do you want to read Enchantress? It is available on Amazon.