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. (Goodreads)
Review by Valette M.
I thought the cover was beautiful, though unassuming, but after reading the blurb above, you see why I had to follow my hunch and pick up this book. Turned out, my hunch was completely right! This isn't really the type of book you rave about (however I may rave--as that is what I do with books )it's more the variety that leaves you thinking and makes a lasting impression.
The characters were well thought through. And though I felt Elana (main character) acted a little young for her age, by the end I could see clearly how she'd matured to view life in a better way. Georyn came through as the slightly wide-eyed innocent he was meant to be. And the interactions between them felt utterly natural.
And what a wonder-full/mysterious plot! An interesting mix between Sci-Fi and Fantasy that Sylvia Engdahl pulled off marvelously! It was a cohesive story that represented a section in Elana's life. And I recognized that this was only a very small portion of something much bigger. The fate of a world did rest on her shoulders, but it was refreshing to read a story about growing better and fighting for what is right, even in the little things.
Switching between first-person POW with Elana and a classic rendition of Georyn's side of things, it was quite enjoyable to discover how they each viewed different phenomena--such as the giant machine that Georyn sees as a horrendous, fire-breathing dragon. Pushing Elana through difficulties she'd never before considered, and showing how those choices apply to life in general, was extremely thought-provoking and gave more hope for the future.