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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King. "This is an enchanted place. Others don’t see it, but I do." The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life. Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer n…

The Enchanted: A Novel

by Rene Denfeld

Overall Book Review:

The cover of this book is intriguing. It reminds me of something medieval or mythological. So, although I didn’t have the slightest idea what The Enchanted was about, I was hopeful it would be good. I was delighted to find my wish granted. This book was unlike any other book I have read. It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly makes it so unique, but of all the hundreds of books I have read in my lifetime, this one was really different–and in a good way.

This book chronicles the stories of an unnamed inmate in a high-security prison. Though the reader isn’t told what got this man here in the first place, throughout the story little tidbits of information are thrown at the reader, giving puzzle-pieces to a picture that quickly starts to form. We learn several intimate details about this prisoner as time goes on, and several of them are surprising. I almost felt as if I were inside the character’s mind, and seeing life from his perspective.

Though this book has a story that is haunting, and at times horrifying, I didn’t feel like I was reading a horror story. The language Rene Denfeld writes in is gentle and fierce all at once, and left me wanting more long after I finished this short book. Even if the synopsis doesn’t sound like your thing, give this book a try. It might surprise you, and be just what you were looking for.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  3 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 4 scatological words; 7 anatomical terms; 3 F-Word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Violent crimes committed, briefly described and mentioned; prisoners are mentioned to be given the death penalty; miscarriages are mentioned with no detail; child abuse is mentioned briefly; prison violence, including rape, is mentioned with no detail; suicide is mentioned with one brief non-descriptive scene.

Sex/Nudity:  Clinical depiction of nudity; sex is referred to several times; a woman is pregnant and unmarried.

Mature Subject Matter:

Crime and illegal activities, death, suicide.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink; heroin use mentioned; drug use mentioned.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.