The Darkened Enchantment

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
361 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Darkened Enchantment is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure genres, aimed at the young adult reading audience. Penned by author M.C. Ryder, this fascinating novel intertwines the lives of Lily Epler, a firefighter leading a double life with her vampire mom and weredog dad, and Cleo Hedera, a high schooler finding solace in plants amidst social struggles. Their worlds collide after tragedy strikes, testing their resilience as they navigate chaos together, questioning if their bond can withstand the upheaval. Ryder utilizes a real knack for creating immediately likable, quirky characters to craft a rollercoaster of emotions with a brilliant central bond as its core focus.

Lily's dual existence was captivating right away, and her unwavering loyalty to family is sure to be an endearing and relatable quality for YA fans. Cleo's struggle with acceptance mirrors the universal themes of identity and belonging bubbling away under the surface, and both characters are described with tenderness and close narration for readers to get into their heads. The collision of their worlds felt inevitable yet gripping, each chapter unraveling new complexities with a plot that was cleverly paced to never leave readers waiting long for a new twist. Ryder’s portrayal of friendship amidst times of turmoil was both poignant and empowering, and there were plenty of strong, memorable moments where both characters found strength in one another. As their stories converged into a brilliantly penned conclusion, I found myself immersed in a tale of courage, friendship, and the strength found in unexpected connections. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Darkened Enchantment to fans of well-penned fantasy with strong, lovable characters.