The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

The Enchanted by Rene DenfeldThe Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Published by Harper Collins on 3/13/2014
Source: TLC Book Tours
Pages: 288
Buy from IndieBound

Set deep in the death row block of an ancient prison, The Enchanted is told from the perspective of a mute inmate who carefully listens from his cell. Though everyone around him is sentenced to die, some have the opportunity at a second chance. The Lady is hired to investigate specific cases, searching for evidence that might stay their executions, and comes to the prison in hopes of saving York, the only death row prisoner determined to die. 

Denfeld’s debut stands out not only for its lyrical prose, but her choice of perspective. Rather than viewing the novel’s events through the eyes of York and The Lady, the characters central to much of the book’s story, readers are taken inside the head of another inmate. It is through this narrator that The Enchanted’s prison reveals its secrets and magic. 

“Since I came to the dungeon, time has lost all meaning. I cannot tell you exactly how long I have been down here. The lightbulb in the metal cage above me flickers on at what I think is morning, and it turns off at what I guess is night, but unless I were to mark the walls, I have no way of knowing how many years have passed. I could tell you about the books I have read, and I could tell you of the times when the horses have run—with every execution it seems—and of the random times when these halls fill with pain. But I cannot tell you of time.”

Though the addition of a priest into the mix of characters seems an attempt to add unwarranted drama to an already gutwrenching novel, The Enchanted is a wonderfully conceived and beautifully written debut. Readers across all genres will find something to love in Rene Denfeld’s first novel, filled with mystery, crime, history, and ultimately, humanity.