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Paperback Enchantress from the Stars Book

ISBN: 1681196131

ISBN13: 9781681196138

Enchantress from the Stars

(Book #1 in the Elana Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Rediscover this beloved Newbery Honor-winning classic, Featuring a brand-new cover and a foreword by Lois Lowry Elana, a member of an interstellar civilization on a mission to a medieval planet, becomes the key to a dangerous plan to turn back an invasion. How can she help the Andrecians, who still believe in magic and superstition, without revealing her own alien powers? At the same time, Georyn, the son of an Andrecian woodcutter, knows only that...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

I will remember this book until I die.

Like much good science fiction, this book makes you think. While it is an adventure story, it's not a slam-bang action thriller. I didn't race through it, but rather read it a chapter or two a day and then spent some time thinking about each chapter that I read. I was glad to pass it on to my teenagers, because I want them to read about altruism and sacrifice and the great examples of love in this book: the love between father and daughter; an innocent romantic love; and the multiple examples of "agápe" love (this term not used by the author - my interpretation). It's also a book that gives you hope for humanity even in the midst of atrocities, by taking a long view of human progress over thousands of years. It's not a Christian book, but when I told my wife (who is a Catechist) all about it, she remarked on how much in common it has with themes of Catholic theology. I don't think I want to read the next book by this author because I don't want to spoil the feeling I got from this one.

Ethics vs. morality with a touch of philosophy for spice

Science fiction and fantasy rarely interact well with one another. A story that begins by uttering factual possibilities (as science fiction does) will not fare well in the face of fantastical elements. And then you read a miraculous story like, "Enchantress From the Stars" and it all goes higgledy-piddledy out the window. Sylvia Louise Engdahl's 1970 classic isn't just well written. It is also a deeply moving work that seeks to answer questions we may have about our own innate morality and future prospects.In this story we meet our heroine Alana. Alana spells out clearly the three phases of humanity. In the first phase, people are superstitious and primitive. In the second, they are scientific and logical. In the third (and this is the phase to which Alana belongs) people remember the spiritual side to life and enter onto an entirely different plane from that of their forebears. Those planets and people in the universe who have advanced to the third phase have joined together to save those in the first phase from those in the second. In this particular story, Alana joins both her father and her lover on a planet not too different from that of Earth. Their goal is to save the planet's fledgling civilization from a group of colonizers from another planet. To do so, Alana must enlist the help of a man living in an age of chivalry and a man living in an age of science. As these three worlds intersect, the book thoroughly examines where it is humanity is heading and what we have to look forward to. In short, it is a book about faith.How easy it would have been for author Engdahl to screw up while writing this. She could have made it too long (and it's not a quick read at that). The pace could have dragged. The characters (and jumps between different people's perspectives) could have rung false. Instead, the book is nearly perfect. Alana has sworn an oath to protect the secret of her advanced world's existence from the people she interacts with. At the same time, however, she wonders if it is proper to question the oath's policy. When she asks her father this question he responds as such:"We are sworn to carry out Federation policy, yes, just as a policeman is bound to uphold the law; but that doesn't mean we suspend our own ethical judgement".So Engdahl smoothly works in questions of ethics vs. morality as well. The book goes far beyond the normal sci-fi/fantasy literature it has been so unfortunately paired with. Rather, it is a deeply moving and deeply felt story that reaches for the Big Questions and, on top of that, is an enjoyable read. It is probably the most enjoyable philosophical book written for young adults that I have ever had the pleasure to read. A nearly forgotten, marvelous, wonderful book.

A thrilling combination of science fiction and fantasy

In her novel Enchantress from the Stars, Sylvia Louise Engdahl combines science fiction and fantasy to weave together an intricate plot and tell an entertaining and interesting story. The time in which this story takes place is not clear. When the book begins, it seems as if Engdahl is writing of the future. As the story progresses, it seems as if she is writing of the past. In the end of the book, the two times intertwine so that it seems as if time does not exist at all. The plot is set on the planet of Andrecia, home to a poverty-stricken, primitive society in which the people live in small rural villages and are governed by a monarchy. In one of the poor Andrecian villages, at the edge of the dreaded Enchanted Forest, lives a woodcutter with his four sons, all of whom dream of better, brighter futures. While the three eldest brothers wish for power, gold, and treasure, the youngest, Georyn, wants only wisdom equal to that of his King. Thus, when word travels to them that the person who slays the dragon inhabiting the Enchanted Forest will receive from the King whatever reward he desires, all four brothers are eager to set out at once. However, the dragon is actually a giant machine, or rockchewer, built by a far more technologically-advanced society, the Imperials. The Imperials, who are planning to take over the planet, have created the rockchewer to clear the land so they can build a colony. As the Andrecians appear one by one to Òslay the dragon,Ó they are paralyzed by the ImperialÕs stun-guns, making them defenseless captives. Another society of people, even more advanced than the Imperials, is determined to stop them from taking over the planet. Elana and Evrek, two teenagers, and ElanaÕs father journey to Andrecia to help the native Andrecians revolt against the Imperials and scare them off the planet. ElanaÕs people have the unique ability to move objects with their minds and to communicate telepathically. As a result, Georyn and his brothers believe Elana to be an Enchantress. Through many tests and a developing friendship, she teaches Georyn how to control the movement of objects and prepares him for his face-off with the dragon."Enchantress From the Stars" is an engrossing book that keeps the reader on their toes from the very first chapter. Weaving together two different genres allows Engdahl to interest readers of all kinds. "Enchantress" is not only a story about dragons and spaceships, it is also about testing the true strength of love. A definite must read!

You don't have to be a sci-fi fan to love this book!

I was somewhat reluctant to read this book because I am not a big fan of science fiction. However, I am so glad I read it! This is a very captivating story full of excitement and adventure, but also full of so much more. I found this book to be loaded with very deep meaning about life, humanity, and faith. The author was definitely trying to convey some interesting ideas about humanity and society, and I found those ideas to be fascinating and full of some important truths. This book opened my mind and really got me thinking about a lot of things.This book will grab you right from the beginning, but I did find it to get just a little confusing in some places towards the end. However, overall I would definitely say it is a page-turner and well worth your time, not just for the entertainment value but also for the ideas that it contains. I highly recommend this book, even if you are not a fan of science fiction. Read it -- I feel confident that you will be glad you did!

A masterpiece of scifi-fantasy

Only a very few people are capable of combining science fiction and fantasy, and even fewer can make it something that captures you as this book does.The book starts off with a young woman on a planetary anthropological mission, on a world called Andrecia. Andrecia is medieval and primitive, and in no way capable of handling the knowledge that advanced, spacefaring societies exist beyond their world. But the heroine, Elana, soon becomes involved in a plot concerning the potential invasion of Andrecia. But it is near-impossible for her to save the Andrecians, superstitious and magic-believers, from an invasion.Nearby is also a medical guy, Jarel, who feels remorse at the intentions of the Exploration Corps. They do not consider the population of Andrecia to be sentient and worthy of their notice, and promise to bring destruction down on Andrecia. There is also the son of an Andrecian woodcutter named Georyn, who identifies Elana as the Enchantress of the Stars. He believes that she has come for the purpose of testing him, if he can defeat a fearsome dragon in the forests.This clash of the sophisticated and the simple is well-drawn and almost saddening at times. Georyn's faith in Elana's "magic" is truly touching, without making him appear ignorant or dumb. Elana is an excellent, intelligent heroine who captures your sympathy and does not let go. Her struggles with integrity and truth do not transcend the reader, but are ones that you feel as much as she does.Too often in books there is a clash between magic and science, but in this particular book there is no clash. Perhaps that is partly due to the writing style -- half the magic seems to be in the otherworldly descriptions, interspersed with more grounded prose in the right places. (And Engdahl definitely knows how to write a beginning that will suck you in) Though some things like "Imperial Corps" and "Federation" imply a pseudo-Star-Trekkian space opera, this is none of the kind. This is a thoughtful work, filled with intelligent questions that will stimulate as it entertains.This goes on the shelf beside Tolkien and the Riddlemaster trilogy.

An absolutely delightful surprise!

What do you do when you get a glowing recommendation for an obscure book by an unprolific author you've never heard of? Well, if you're like me, you react skeptically, yet with fascination. So I jumped at the chance to get "Enchantress from the Stars", knowing it was rare. It's one thing to read a book *knowing* it will be good and it turns out so. It's something more special to go into a book with no expectations and to be totally blown away by it. That was what happened to me when reading this book. The lines of science fiction and fantasy blur here thanks to some very clever storytelling. It all takes place on the planet of Andrecia, the natives of which are analogous to those of Mediaeval Europe. Their planet is being invaded by a scientifically-oriented spacefaring culture. A small number of field agents from a culture further advanced than either of the aforementioned (and posessing psychic and telekinetic powers) arrives with intent to get the invaders to leave the planet to the natives. They go about this by telling a young native man named Georyn and his brother that they are sorcerers and that they will endow them with special powers that will make the invaders leave. The story goes beyond the standard "good vs. evil" plotlines in such stories, and posesses a refreshing sense of humanity that reminds me slightly of Ursula Le Guin. To say this is an excellent book doesn't begin to describe its majesty and emotional power.
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