My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Directly off the semi-high of 'Darkness Becomes Her' I decided that something light and frilly was just what I needed. So sitting directly by a fire,-because it is like 56 degrees in the house- armed with a wine glass full of cranberry juice, country oldies playing off my I-Phone and a notepad cradled on my left knee; I snugged in under my black faux fur blanket for a nice and pleasant morning. Because I am one of those nocturnal weirdos that spends their time not sleeping at 3:06am but... *gasp*... Reading!
If ever there was a time that I was aching for a sweet fairy tale it would be now, and Julie Berry, well she spun a wondrous tale of feather-y lightness and intrigue with her debut novel The Amaranth Enchantment.
Her writing style I adore, it is fleetingly sweet and matches the exactitude of the time period/era Berry has set her characters in. The way the words read makes it seem as if you'd have become the story, it's easy going lightness mingles with its straightforward lyricism. I wouldn't go as far as to say it is prose because in that aspect it doesn't mesh at all, but it is smooth as honey.
Miss Evelyn, known as Evie has a reputation in the village, as a remarkable healer she is sought after as a midwife for every to-be mother. Evie herself holds no desire to wed, her heart and head lies stuffed inside a book, she loves her schoolwork and is terrified for when it comes to an end. That is of course until the Royal King visits her village with a sick tax collector, after having proved herself as an intelligent medic the king offers Evie a scholarship to the Royal University. While at a festival in her village a gypsy woman grips onto Evie and proclaims she has saved charms just for her. Out of a tangled web of woven threads and charms Evie picks a love charm, a luck charm, and a protection charm, a charm that provides protection against snakebites. Ironic seeing as how just the day before she was bit on the lip by one.
Evie sets off on a grand adventure to the epic city of Chaceldon, only things go wrong. There's love abound, sinking ships, even more snakes, and filthy bandits. Oh my! If only that were all... When Evie does finally reach Chaceldon, penniless and without grantee of University she sets out for the palace, bent on a letter allowing her acceptance to the university, what she find instead is something entirely enthralling.