Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Review: Dearest by Alethea Kontis

Dearest (The Woodcutter Sisters, book 3)
Alethea Kontis
HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition
Pub Date
February 2, 2016
Purchased hardcover via Amazon

Friday Woodcutter is as simple and as complicated as her infamous patchwork skirt. She loves truly, feels deeply, and cares passionately--and these are all very different things. And she may be the key to saving the bespelled princess and her seven brothers, including Friday's dearest…

Publisher’s Description:

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

What I liked

I really love the characters in the Woodcutter family tales! Not just the sisters, although every one of them is wonderful, and I cannot wait for all their stories. But their mother and father, their brothers Trix and mysterious Jack, and so many secondary characters -- Alethea does a terrific job of bringing them to life in quick, vivid ways. And the weaving of so many classic fairy tale elements throughout the stories themselves. Friday is the most unlikely "hero" of the sisters so far, and her own self-doubt and discovery make the story feel personal and meaningful.

One of my favorite scenes is when Friday falls off the tower…

The descriptions and characterizations of the brothers as swans are wonderful, bringing them to life in a way the fairy tales never do.

What I didn’t like

To be honest, this story didn't have the depth of Enchanted or Hero, but it is also much shorter book. You have to pay attention to the quickly-swapping POV characters, or you can lose track of what's happening. There are a lot of threads being woven into this tapestry!


If you already know (and love) the Woodcutter family, then Dearest will be another charming adventure with them. I would advise picking up Enchanted or Hero before this one, though, so you don't get lost in the cast of characters. I've already continued with Trix, and I cannot wait for more Woodcutter tales!

I give Dearest 4 out of five “sparks”.


And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s my favorite:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.