Although originally published in 1970, Enchantress from the Stars has a surprisingly modern feel to it. Aside for the book cover, it would fit right in with today’s books. Enchantress from the Stars is a unique mix of science fiction meets fantasy. Engdahl seamlessly combines a technologically advanced alien race with a world set in a medieval era while creating a story that is timeless and appealing to all ages.
A destructive alien race called the Imperials have settled on the planet of Andrecia to exploit it’s resources and displace it’s less advanced people. This isn’t the first time this race has invaded other planets and their actions have attracted the attention of another alien race even more advanced than they are. To stop the Imperials, a team of agents from this advanced race is sent to Andrecia to reverse the Imperials’ invasion without harm to all sides. Only the team cannot stop the Imperials themselves, they have to work with the natives to stop save Andrecia. The book alternates perspectives giving you an understanding of all sides; Andrecian, Imperial, and the team of Agents.
The main character and primary narrator is Elana, a current student at the Academy learning about Youngling planets. She naively stows away on a spaceship to be apart of her father’s mission to save the planet of Andrecia. Her lack of training is a problem and against the rules but the team has to make the mission work with Elana. Along with her father and her boyfriend, Evrick, the team works together to find a native or natives suited for the job of stopping the Imperials.
Georwyn, Terwyn, and their brothers are young native men walking through the enchanted forest on a mission to slay the dragon (which is actually an Imperial machine that mines the planet’s resources). They seek the reward that the King offers in return for slaying the dragon. While hunting the dragon, they encounter an old man with magical abilities and an enchantress who offers advice in slaying the dragon. Of all the brothers, Georwyn proves himself to be wise beyond his years and well suited for the challenge of slaying the dragon.
Jeral is a medic for the Imperials and after his coworkers kill and imprison natives, he starts to second guess his mission. He’s been told that the natives of Andrecia are not really human and therefore their actions to take over the planet are justified. As the mission goes on, he sees more in more that the people of this planet are human and he no longer wants anything to do with the mission.
Enchantress from the Stars is a well written, original, and heartwarming story. In addition, the audiobook narrator told this story beautifully. It’s even a won a few awards. With that said, I have to say that I didn’t love it but also I didn’t hate it. It isn’t a book that pulls you in and never lets you go but more so an enjoyable read that you can easily put down and pick up again later. Overall, I really to do recommend others give Enchantress from the Stars a try.
Engdahl went on to write a second book featuring Elana called The Far Side of Evil, which takes places on a completely different planet and has a completely different feel.
Pandemonium had a completely different feel than Delirium, the first book in the series. The story, all told from Lena’s perspective, alternates between different times. This was a little jarring to me in the beginning but I eventually got the hang of it. That aside, I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. Ate it up with a spoon. It Leaves you on a total cliffhanger too. The kind that makes you scream, “WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE?! AHH!” So. Good.
Contrary to Delirium, Lena is a little more rough around the edges in Pandemonium. After escaping from the police in Delirium, she is now on the run and fighting for her survival in the ‘wilds,’ as it’s called in the series. On top of that, she is recovering from the abrupt separation from Alex, the boy she loved so much that she ran away from everything she knew. She meets up with a resistance group living in the wilds. The story switches between Lena finding her way to the group and living with them to a future time when she is a member of the resistance.
Pandemonium is definitely grittier than Delirium. There is way more action and conflict. Alternating from Lena’s past and present kept the pace moving and made the book completely unpredictable. I really had no idea what was going to happen and this made the book difficult to put down. Out of the two books, I still think I liked Delirium more, but Pandemonium is still fantastic. It’s just different than the first.
I will leave this review short and simple because I know readers of Delirium will pick up Pandemonium at break neck speed. I know I did. If you haven’t read Delirium, you should.
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