Friday, June 19, 2009

Enchantress from the Stars

Sylvia Louise Engdahl
Antheneum, 1970

I first picked this book up in the early 1980's, during my 7th grade fantasy only phase, when if it didn't have a dragon in it I didn't want to read it.

This one has a dragon in it, but it wasn't the sort of dragon I was looking for.

Enchantress from the Stars may have been the first real science fiction novel I ever read. In it, a young girl from a highly advanced space-faring society joins her father on a dangerous mission to protect an infant civilization from being overrun by less enlightened space colonists. This collision of three worlds plays out as a fantastic fairy tale for the woodcutter's son Geyorn, as a science fiction adventure for colonist Jarel, and a magnificent coming of age story for Elara the young enchantress/anthropologist from the stars.

Deftly weaving together these three points of view, Engdahl explores deeply relevant questions about prejudice, technology, and human love. Classic, classic science fiction. Not to be missed. For readers 10 and up.

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