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 there is a dragon in the enchanted forest, and he must defeat it. He sees Elana as the Enchantress from the Stars who has come to test him, to prove he is worthy. One of the few science fiction books to win a Newbery Honor, this novel will enthrall teenage and adult readers.
Although originally published in 1970, Enchantress from the Stars has a surprisingly modern feel to it. Aside for the book cover, it would fit right in with today’s books. Enchantress from the Stars is a unique mix of science fiction meets fantasy. Engdahl seamlessly combines a technologically advanced alien race with a world set in a medieval era while creating a story that is timeless and appealing to all ages.
A destructive alien race called the Imperials have settled on the planet of Andrecia to exploit it’s resources and displace it’s less advanced people. This isn’t the first time this race has invaded other planets and their actions have attracted the attention of another alien race even more advanced than they are. To stop the Imperials, a team of agents from this advanced race is sent to Andrecia to reverse the Imperials’ invasion without harm to all sides. Only the team cannot stop the Imperials themselves, they have to work with the natives to stop save Andrecia. The book alternates perspectives giving you an understanding of all sides; Andrecian, Imperial, and the team of Agents.
The main character and primary narrator is Elana, a current student at the Academy learning about Youngling planets. She naively stows away on a spaceship to be apart of her father’s mission to save the planet of Andrecia. Her lack of training is a problem and against the rules but the team has to make the mission work with Elana. Along with her father and her boyfriend, Evrick, the team works together to find a native or natives suited for the job of stopping the Imperials.
Georwyn, Terwyn, and their brothers are young native men walking through the enchanted forest on a mission to slay the dragon (which is actually an Imperial machine that mines the planet’s resources). They seek the reward that the King offers in return for slaying the dragon. While hunting the dragon, they encounter an old man with magical abilities and an enchantress who offers advice in slaying the dragon. Of all the brothers, Georwyn proves himself to be wise beyond his years and well suited for the challenge of slaying the dragon.
Jeral is a medic for the Imperials and after his coworkers kill and imprison natives, he starts to second guess his mission. He’s been told that the natives of Andrecia are not really human and therefore their actions to take over the planet are justified. As the mission goes on, he sees more in more that the people of this planet are human and he no longer wants anything to do with the mission.
Enchantress from the Stars is a well written, original, and heartwarming story. In addition, the audiobook narrator told this story beautifully. It’s even a won a few awards. With that said, I have to say that I didn’t love it but also I didn’t hate it. It isn’t a book that pulls you in and never lets you go but more so an enjoyable read that you can easily put down and pick up again later. Overall, I really to do recommend others give Enchantress from the Stars a try.