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A Well-Timed Enchantment (Magic Carpet Books) Paperback – June 1, 2006
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"Vande Velde has created an intriguing story, using familiar facts about the Middle Ages and [her usual] sly humor."--Library Talk
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Top Customer Reviews
"'...turns out since Leonard lost so badly, he figures his lady must be a real dog, so he wants to replace her with me.' Oliver stopped and stared at her. 'Leonard is marrying a dog?'"
Oliver also has trouble adjusting to a new diet of human food after all those years of mice. Anyway, if this review hasn't convinced you that this book is either adventurous, romantic, or funny, you probably wouldn't enjoy it. I'd say for ages 8-14.
Luckily, she's got a companion to help her. Her cat-turned-human, Oliver. But a cat? Against a not-so-wicked wizard, a couple of bumbling knights and a lady who is infatuated with Oliver?? You bet. Filled with numerous puns, fractured fairy tales and a medieval setting, A Well-Timed Enchantment is a light and fun read.
The story starts when Deanna, a fifteen-year-old spending the summer with her mom in France, drops her Mickey Mouse watch down a well. Turns out the well isn't your average well: it's magic. To make matters worse, Deanna didn't drop her watch into the well, she dropped it into medieval France. Now she has to get the watch back before things get really out of hand. Deanna gets some help in the form of Oliver, the black cat she befriended back in modern France. Except now Oliver is a human.
I first read this book when I was sixteen. I loved it so much I read it twice back to back. A Well-Timed Enchantment is one of those books that never get old. You can read it again and again and the story is still just as good as the first time.
Vande Velde's narrative style here is similar to her other "fairy tale" books (like The Rumpelstiltskin Problem or Heir Apparent) with a blend of traditional story telling and her inimitably modern sensibility. The novel is written with a third person narration that follows Deanna's perspective.
This novel combines a lot of different elements to great effect. One of the best characters (in any of) Vande Velde's work is Oliver. Turns out cats don't see things the same way humans do. I don't know how convincingly anyone can write in the voice of a cat-turned-human but Vande Velde seems to do a good job of it.
The story is quick and fairly simple. There are a lot of things that older readers can enjoy and comment on, but the story is straight-forward enough that younger readers can also keep up.Read more ›
What I particularly like about several of Vande Velde's other works is that in addition to the basic storyline, the characters of her more impressive novels are also working through problems of their own--absent mothers, bad fathers, etc. This book had none of that, just the straight-forward march of girl meets boy--er, cat--girl falls in love, things work out for the best.
Having said that, there is nothing about this book that would stop me from recommending it to my much younger sister, who would probably enjoy it thoroughly. While it is not one I will reread several times (like Companions of the Night, also by Vande Velde), it was an amusing way to spend an evening.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fun and quick read. Young teens could definitely enjoy it, and so, apparently, can 20+ year olds. Vivian Vande Velde writes books that are pure and simple fun.Published on March 14, 2014 by Darleen Frank
I am actually a fan of Vande Velde and one of my favorite books is Heir Apparent but I felt this did not have the usual Vande Velde " magic."Published on May 19, 2013 by Patricia B.
A Well-Timed Enchantment puts some fun into fairytales. The characters are interesting and humorous, particularly Oliver who can be so knowledgeable about certain things and yet... Read morePublished on March 18, 2012 by Bramble
My 11 year old loves this Author. She loves her writing style. Great christmas present. would love to get more of her work.Published on January 28, 2012 by Kate
This book was really good and entertaining! It moved at a quick smooth pace and yet had really good character development. Read more
i have always loved her male romantic interest characters because she makes them so mysterious and cool. i liked oliver in this book even though he was a cat originally. Read morePublished on March 28, 2010 by Amazon Customer
A very cute story with a good mix of magic and adventure.
Meant for the younger reader but enjoyable to all.
It's been a long time since I read this book, so I can't vouch for its quality, but I do remember that I was completely engrossed in it, particularly with the character of Oliver. Read morePublished on December 26, 2005 by Myrrhine Trelayne