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Book of Enchantments (1996)

by Patricia C. Wrede

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (short stories)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1961112,249 (3.92)36
This witty and charming collection of ten short fantasies includes a new story set in the Enchanted Forest about Queen Cimorene’s Frying Pan of Doom, a zany story about a magical blue chipmunk with a passion for chestnuts, and an eerie tale of a caliph who turns his vizier’s daughter into a wolf. “A well-crafted anthology with several selections suited for reading aloud.”--Booklist… (more)
  1. 30
    Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories by Garth Nix (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: More well-written, diverse, and original fairy-tale-esque short stories.
  2. 10
    The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the frying pan as an armament.
  3. 00
    Liavek 1 by Will Shetterly (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: The short story Rikiki and the Wizard is set in the city of Liavek, a shared setting created by Wrede and other members of her writing group, the Scribblies. Check out the Liavek series of anthologies for more stories by Wrede and others in this setting.… (more)
  4. 00
    Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories by Megan Whalen Turner (foggidawn)

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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Nice collection of easy-to-read short stories. While I felt that some of them would have made fantastic full-length novels, and some of them I just really wanted to go on for another 5 pages, they were quite good by themselves. I especially enjoyed the references to the other books she's written, but not at all necessary to enjoy the stories. ( )
  schufman | Jul 20, 2019 |
After finishing [book: Talking to Dragons] it only seemed right that I turn to the [book: Book of Enchantments]. I remember very clearly my initial excitement at picking up this collection up when I found it in the library. I was knee deep into fantasy as a kid, and this book tickled that sensibility well with "Utensil Strength" and "The Sixty Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd" and, of course, the first story. Some of the other stories, though, such as "Cruel Sisters," "Roses By Moonlight," and "Stronger Than Time" were lost on me at a young age. It seems only fitting how thoroughly I adored those stories on this read through.

This is more firmly YA than a children's collection, if only because a few of the stories have more mature themes than the bulk of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. "Roses By Moonlight," for instance, deals with the repercussions of not considering another person's point of view. "Stronger Than Time" considers what might befall a kingdom if a Prince was too hasty in his attempts to break a curse, and "Cruel Sisters"... well. Some conflicts you need to speak up about.

This is a great collection. It's good as a stepping stone towards more serious fiction, and seems to showcase [author: Patricia C. Wrede]'s writing far better than, say, [book: Talking With Dragons] tended to. The ending Author's Note in which she addresses the myriad of ways she comes across her ideas is also enlightening, especially to a young aspiring author.

Getting ideas is the easy part, it's writing them down that's difficult... ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer   Synopsis A collection of 10 short stories by Patricia Wrede. Most were written for other anthologies but she gathered them all together and added 1 or 2 new ones and made them into a book.   My Thoughts I have a real awkward relationship with books of short stories. On one hand, I love the idea. A whole book of boiled down, stripped to the raw, quintessence of ideas. On the other hand, it rarely seems to be done right and most authors seem to throw their favorite ideas into it without the work.  And then you get the dreaded "loved 1 or 2 of them, but the rest were trash" syndrome.   Thankfully, I loved this collection and didn't have any problems with it. To be honest too, I've enjoyed just about anything from Wrede [except her Lyra books], so I am not an unbiased reader.   This ran the gamut from silly fantasy of The Frying Pan of Doom to the sad story about an older sister who is going to start living her life, tomorrow.  One thing I really did like was that Wrede wrote an appendice like thing where she explains where each of the stories came from. I find things like that fascinating for some reason.   Highly recommended to anyone who loves Wrede's works already.   Rating: 4 of 5 Stars   Author: Patricia Wrede " ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Disappointing short fantasy stories. I love PCW, but this is far from her usual standard.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Rikiki and the Wizard - An asshole wizard tries to trade his daughter to the gods for fame and fortune. It backfires . . . surprise! The only god that shows up is a blue chipmunk that doesn't want the daughter . . . unless she has chestnuts.
The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn - Poor Princess Elyssa's life is pretty decent. She gets along with her older and younger sisters, and her step-mother is really nice. So she decides to run off and seek her fortune (how scandalous, since that is usually the job of Youngest Princesses), with her parents' blessings. She'll be just fine, because she takes her trusty cat with her. OH WAIT, cats aren't trusty . . . .
Roses by Moonlight - unlike most of Wrede's work, this story has a modern setting. Adrian has banished herself from her younger sister's party, because she doesn't like her sister's friends, or her sister's music, or her sister. While outside smoking and contemplating her hatred, Adrian meets a woman who gives her the opportunity to choose her own future. This one has a true science fiction ending (the kind which doesn't actually end), which I love.
The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd - The Caliph is an impetuous man, and every time someone angers him, annoys him, or brings him bad news, he curses them and their immediate family. He has a list of 62 curses, and he uses them in order on each person who bothers him. (Curse 1 for the first time a person bothers him, Curse 2 for the second time that person bothers him, etc.) For the Caliph's subjects, this is just the way of life. But when the grand vizier and his family are the first people to reach Curse 48, something goes wrong.
Earthwitch - A warrior king pays a visit to the Earthwitch, to get her to help save his kingdom from invaders. After a grueling trek up the mountain, the king realizes that he and the Earthwitch know each other . . .
The Sword-seller - A mercenary visits a shop to buy a sword and is offered a suspiciously nice one for free. He takes it but insists on paying. However, the sword comes with more baggage than the mercenary had counted on.
The Lorelei - Another modern story. A group of American school students are on a trip to Germany. Their bus breaks down near the Lorelei cliff, and they learn the legend of the Lorelei. She is the German version of a Siren, who sings to distract sailors from the rocky outcropings on the Rhine and thus wreck their ships.
Stronger Than Time - A sleeping beauty retelling, with a twist. The prince missed his chance to release Sleeping Beauty's spell, so now he has to find another way.
Cruel Sisters - A haunting tale of jealousy and malice between two sisters, from the viewpoint of a third sister who watches from the sidelines.
Utensile Strength - Cimorene!!!! This is a companion story to the Dealing with Dragons series, and features some beloved characters from it. Cimorene and Mendanbar obtain a magical Frying Pan of Doom, and must hold a tournament to find the knight that this powerful weapon is meant for. A tournament with a bake-off, obviously.
Quick After-Battle Triple Chocolate Cake - Surprise!! This is the award-winning recipe from the bake-off, which Wrede has kindly translated from its original Barbarian. ( )
  norabelle414 | Sep 28, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia C. Wredeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eismann, KellyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seve, Peter deCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the people who urged me
to try writing short:
Jane Yolen and the denizens
of Fidonet WRITING echo
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Once there was a wizard whose luck time was three days long.
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This witty and charming collection of ten short fantasies includes a new story set in the Enchanted Forest about Queen Cimorene’s Frying Pan of Doom, a zany story about a magical blue chipmunk with a passion for chestnuts, and an eerie tale of a caliph who turns his vizier’s daughter into a wolf. “A well-crafted anthology with several selections suited for reading aloud.”--Booklist

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