Enchantress from the Stars

Enchantress from the Stars Elana Is A Member Of A Supremely Advanced Interstellar Civilization, On A Mission To The Medieval Planet Andrecia To Her Shock, She Becomes The Key To A Dangerous Plan To Turn Back An Invasion By An Aggressive, Space Faring Youngling Species How Can She Possibly Help The Andrecians, Who Still Believe In Magic And Superstition, Without Revealing Her Alien Powers Apprentice Medical Officer Jarel Knows That The Imperial Exploration Corps Doesn T Consider The Andrecians To Be Human, And He Has Seen The Atrocious Treatment The Natives Get From His People How Can Jarel Make A Difference, When He Alone Regrets The Destruction His People Bring Georyn, Son Of An Andrecian Woodcutter, Knows Only That There Is A Dragon On The Other Side Of The Enchanted Forest, And He Is Prepared To Do Whatever It Takes To Defeat It To Him, Elana Is The Enchantress From The Stars Who Has Come To Test Him, To Prove His Is Worthy

Sylvia Engdahl is the author of ten science fiction novels, six of which, including the Newbery Honor book Enchantress from the Stars, are YA books also enjoyed by many adults Although she is best known as an author for Young Adults, her most recent novels, the Hidden Flame duology Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame and the Rising Flame duology Defender of the Flame and Herald of

[PDF / Epub] ★ Enchantress from the Stars  ✈ Sylvia Engdahl – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Enchantress from the Stars
  • Sylvia Engdahl
  • English
  • 21 May 2019
  • 9780142500378

10 thoughts on “Enchantress from the Stars

  1. says:

    This is my best known novel Though often given to children as young as the 6th grade because it was a Newbery Honor book, it is really intended for teens and is also enjoyed by many adults.

  2. says:

    When I was a young teen I found this book in the early 70s, in the shipboard library on the USS Woodrow Wilson I was utterly enthralled, and saved up until I could buy my own copy my very first hardback fiction purchase I still have that volume, which introduced me to SF and probably got me where I am today Yes, it s that good

  3. says:

    Your feelings for a person who has come to mean something to you colors all your memories, so that you can t describe them effectively Elana, Enchantress from the Stars , PP 68 69 If we don t approach this with warmth and compassion and faith in these people as human beings, we haven t a chance of succeeding Elana s father, Enchantress from the Stras , P 72 I find myself stunned into near disbelief by just how enormously powerful and incredibly good is this book Enchantress from the Stars builds slowly but with sure intent, melding together flawlessly into a taut, suspenseful story that had me leafing forward like crazy, going on for hundreds of pages without even the slightest break in my attention The plot is completely immersing and fiercely gripping, keeping the reader on edge with almost intolerably suspenseful action and feeling But a light now waxed within him at the knowledge that such wonders as he had been shown could exist Enchantress from the Stars, P 96 Must a man then live as his fellows live, and never reach beyond Georyn, Enchantress from the Stars , P 98 The first book I read that really gave me an exceedingly high view of the potentials in the science fiction genre was Nancy Farmer s The House of the Scorpion , and I am saying an awful lot when I state that I would place Enchantress from the Stars in the same company Sylvia Louise Engdahl broaches complicated and ethically challenging subjects with marvelous accessibility, pointing out very plainly in her writing that while circumstances might change, and with those circumstances the views of people, nevertheless the emotions and mentality and basic needs of people stay the same, which to me is the idea that makes terrific science fiction into what it is The emotional consequences of the interaction between Elana, Georyn, Jarel, Evrek and still others is wrenching and starkly painful, painting pictures of such powerful resonance that the reader cannot help but be drawn in, and become a part of this future world It has been a long time since I have read such a soul stirringly striking novel The human mind is incredible It can do nothing without belief, yet practically anything with it Elana s father, P 101 It would be a poor enchantment indeed that had no price Georyn, P 105 No one ever has all the facts All a person can do is to choose a goal that seems worthwhile and commit himself to it Elana s father, PP 110 111 What is it, I wonder, that makes two people suddenly become important to each other So important that everything else around them just fades away Elana, P 121 Enchantress from the Stars tackles issues of both ethical and emotional nature with equal skill, entwining the two important concepts into one narrative that flows forth as well as any story that I have ever read Constructed along very realistic feeling lines, the story thread weaves and turns unexpectedly and takes the reader into surprising places, never faltering in its drive The result is one of the most amazing books of any kind that I have ever read, and one that I could not recommend highly enough Enchantress from the Stars is one of THOSE books, the ones that add another dimension to one s life and affect one s thoughts and personal considerations forever I cannot say enough good things about this book People who love each other can no keep from communicating than from breathing Elana, P 124 It is the only happiness now possible to me, to know that all is well with you Georyn, P 270

  4. says:

    I really enjoyed this older YA SF, and will again when it comes up in the Newbery club in the Children s Books group Sure, there was an awful lot of discussion and not a whole heck of a lot of action, but that s fine by me because I do read SF for the what if exploration of ideas Definitely a good fit, as it happens, for fans of Star Trek, with its exploration of a prime directive and for fans of Star Wars, with a mysterious force in this case, telepathy and psychokinesis But than that Also, it s appropriate that Lois Lowry, author of The Giver, would write the intro to the reprint Engdahl s perspective voice have much in common with Lowry s and fans of her Newbery winning SF would probably like this, too.Should generate a good discussion in the club would probably lead to even richer conversations in a teen reading group.Only a couple of quotes, because most of the book isn t pithy This first can be read as defense of faith, or of belief in magic, or even as encouragement to do science what a context you will enjoy Why, if nobody believed anything except what they understood, how limited we d be And consider, do you agree with Georyn For it is better to know of what exists than not to know I would rather be helpless than blind.

  5. says:

    I actually have two editions of this This book is one I like to reread I like the language, and the raising of issues about who qualifies as human for example.But I often don t agree with the arguments I don t accept that loyalty and adherence to irrevocable commitments are good behavior It s taken me a lot of wrestling with my conscience to get to this point This book made me reconsider and I came to the same conclusion, after seriously considering the arguments Loyalty, by definition, is not sticking with ideas and people when you agree with them If you agree with them, you don t NEED loyalty, since your own conscience and reason support you It s when you DISagree with them that you need loyalty and you can t afford it then You can t give away your need to make independent decisions EVERY TIME It s not acceptable to use the excuse of it s an emergency, and we have no other choice but between two evils so we have to decide which is lesser No oath can absolve you of the responsibility to think things through, and not to do terrible things Even if I could accept that the oath is just binding you to do what you d decide to if you thought things through and I can t , I can t accept the notion that you can make decisions ahead of time, or that you EVER have the right not to think things through It s like the notion that, in the field, you can t take time for mourning You MUST make time for mourning Eating and sleeping can be sacrificed easily than dealing with your emotional needs while on assignment If you don t take the time to mourn, the questions raised by a loss don t get properly dealt with and you ll make bad decisions about later matters.I don t agree that ANY suffering is necessary If people only advance through suffering, then progress is, in fact, an immoral thing I don t WANT to believe that present suffering is the price of future benefits I d MUCH rather believe that suffering is pointless, and that all sacrifices are in vain so that I ll feel free to help people in need I recall Miep Gies commenting that the only way to decide to help people instead of abandoning them or worse yet, helping hurt them was never to believe that anyone deserves what happens to them.I don t agree that the Andrecians have no technology If the advanced societies don t regard the technical solutions the Andrecians have as technology, then they have a mistaken definition of technology The Andrecians may not have such things as gunpowder or they may, and it s not widespread They certainly don t have spaceships But they DO have technology, though we don t see much of it We do see the products of it, however They have looms of some sort because they wear cloth They have wine making technology They have metalworking technology They have woodcarving technology They can almost certainly make charcoal To define these things as not technology , because they don t involve science in the way it s been re defined since the Enlightenment is perhaps not surprising for the Imperials but the advanced Federation members should have escaped that pitfall at some point Qualifying the term technology with the adjective mechanized doesn t really resolve anything There were mechanized technologies in many ancient civilizations It s not an accident that the early factories were described as mills A mill is a mechanism, by definition Adding an engine steam or otherwise to the works doesn t substantially change how it works.Further, there s a tendency to argue that feudal systems are previous to civilized ones, in a dependable and progressive history It was not so in Europe on Earth, and it may not have been so anywhere on Earth One of the exercises we had in archaeology class was to put artifacts in chronological order We all made the same mistake One society was considerably less advanced that another Mississippian and Hopewell, for those who are keeping score On any standard of life wide ranging trade, health, food securityyou name it , the agricultural Mississippians were worse off than the hunting and gathering Hopewell who preceded them chronologically.In Europe, feudal societies developed in areas where the preceding CIVILIZED societies had collapsed Many later spread to other areas which had been inhabited by barbarians but many of the barbarian societies had actually been incorporated into the empires that collapsed Note, for example, that in most versions of Arthurian lore, the people of Camelot are trying to REestablish or conserve the remains of ROMAN Britain They aren t harking back to pre Roman times, but to a period when most places south of what s now the Danelaw were part of a client state of the Roman Empire.Whether a feudal state COULD be developed in the absence of the villas for the villages to cluster around is not clear It may be that the prior civilization is an essential prerequisite At least one of my anthropology teachers argued that a main reason for the collapse of the Roman empire was actually a progressive technological development A new type of plow was developed that made it possible to plow areas that were previously not cultivable The local people thus became less dependent on the redistribution systems of the empire and so were able to send the tax collectors away without starving the next bad year.Of course, the Roman Empire was quite long lasting Though it ebbed and flowed for centuries, it s unlikely that there was any one reason for its final collapse So to test whether feudal societies would develop naturally in the absence of the ruins of empire, it would be necessary to examine agricultural societies that never DID develop any sort of feudal society, and never had been incorporated in empires.The Domesday book demonstrates some of the processes by which a society that had been only semi feudal if that much so developed into fully feudal societies, with few to no pockets of freeholders who could go where they would But, for example, Pueblo societies which, after Anasazi times, were mostly NOT agricultural, but rather horticultural stubbornly resisted this sort of hierarchical structure to such a degree that when the Conquistadores tried to impose it, the nonviolent Pueblos rose in revolt against them You can argue that the Pueblos were an isolated case, and not typical of responses to feudalization Perhaps But too many people forget that the old expression that the exception proves the rule uses an old sense of the word prove , which is the EXACT SAME word as the word probe The exception TESTS the rule, and often the rule fails the test.The Andrecian natives in this book are not immature in any sense The idea that societies go through stages similar to the development of human children is a fallacious one It s also dangerous, because it leads to the notion that people who don t have technology in the narrow sense that s used aren t fully human.It s a pity, really The book is a good one, and the issues that are raised in it are important A little thought would make it a truly great book But in its present state, the resolution doesn t live up to the youthful promise It s not just that people s lives are ruined, and they don t get the rewards they have a right to hope for It s also that NO reward would repay the mischief that s inflicted or ANY imposed or natural suffering And is suffering to deserve happiness REALLY a model we want to encourage Federation societies are essentially undescribed in this book The Academy is explicitly distinguished from the ordinary societies but it s not very thoroughly described, either In a sense, there s mostly definition by exclusion There s a lot description of what the Federation is NOT than about what it IS.The Federation in James White s books is much realistic Very different peoples live and work together in a somewhat fractious Pax Galactica But they don t pretend to be superior to planet bound cultures And they re very far from having solved all their problems They ve tried to balance protection from dangers with maximal freedom but they often fail sometimes in silly ways Why should you have to order a century s supply of nutmeg to avoid questions, for example Still, their attempts are concrete and steel, and composites and individualistic than the nebulous Federation sketched in this book.

  6. says:

    I first read this book when I was in the sixth grade, and it changed my life Not only was this the first science fiction story I d ever read, it was my introduction to the idea that where you come from shapes how you see and interpret the world.The story is presented as an intersection of fairy tale and sci fi adventure, with the medieval residents of the planet Andrecia interpreting the high tech tools of an advanced civilization as a dragon Elana, the story s heroine, is a somewhat rash but deeply principled young woman who accepts the consequences for all her actions and who faces the conflicts between heart and duty with a clear vision The two other two p.o.v characters share her idealistic qualities, each expressing them through the lense of his own unique background.

  7. says:

    Read as a youth, and remembered as a short story until I ran into Cheryl s review thanks again Picked it up from the library and took out the book for a second spin.The overarching structure is quite clever the tripartite narrative of a medieval native of a planet, an advanced alien invader, and another, far advanced alien the titular Enchantress who is trying to get the second group of aliens to give up their attempt to settle the planet while not letting either group know who she really is.Unfortunately, the creativity of the structure wasn t matched by the creativity of the content This was serviceable at best, and also full of a whole bunch of tropes with which, as a child, I was perfectly fine, but now find annoying everybody chock full of psychic powers that just need a special push to come out, wuv, Trek y Prime Directives, etc Interesting to read after such a long delay Past Me and Present Me got to have a great chat about each others literary tastes There s a sequel also read when I was young but I think I will leave it be What I won t leave be is Engdahl s website It s remarkably content rich she s very active for an author in her mid eighties.

  8. says:

    This sci fi book is simultaneously incredibly na ve and incredibly arrogant It describes a clash of three cultures, each in a different stage of social and scientific development The Federation is a highly evolved, space faring civilization They re so evolved, they are telepathic They don t wage war or conquer the less developed societies Instead, they travel among the populated worlds and study them The protagonist, a student Elana, belongs to this society of peaceful explorers Their mandate dictates that they can t interfere in the others progress, to the point of rather dying than disclosing information.The second on the scale of techno development is the Empire They are just starting to explore the stars and they are quite military, set on colonization of as many planets as possible Everyone less developed than they are is considered sub human One of the characters, Jarel, is a young medical officer with the Empire expedition, launched onto the planet of Andrecia He is the doubting type he isn t sure species less developed should be considered sub human but he isn t openly rebellious either He is just brooding most of the pages dedicated to him And then there is Andrecia Its society is feudal, with no technology For them, the machines the Empire employs to clear the land for their colony are dragons, driven by evil Perhaps their point of view is not too far off Some Earth citizens think so too One of the protagonists, Georyn, belongs to this civilization He resolves to perform a heroic deed kill the dragon and Elana and her crew are set on helping him to drive the dragon aka the Empire colonists off Andrecia for the good of Andrecia, I presume.But what methods could they use without revealing themselves They decide to utilize Georyn s belief in magic to outwit the Empire, to hoax the new colonists into leaving this particular planet The Federation explorers are also pretty willing to sacrifice anyone, from their own society or from any other, to achieve their goals Lives are worthless to them compared to their lofty principles.They pull Georyn s strings like experienced puppeteers, and even Elana, who is falling in love with the young man, obeys her captain s decrees and plays the role of an enchantress from the stars , granting Georyn some magical wishes and assigning him pretty harrying tasks He is a pawn to her commands, but the poor schmuck believes in her magic anyway There are no nice persons in this story, except maybe Georyn, although he is described as a pretty dense yokel who accepts as absolute dictum anything his beloved enchantress tells him He doesn t question her pronouncements He doesn t try to discover the truth His side of the story resembles an original fairy tale the youngest son of a poor woodcutter, Disney style The enchantress says jump he jumps.Elana does have doubts, kudos to her, but they are growing pangs than a serious disagreement with her elders Deep inside, she s convinced that her Federation is the only one that s right and good She is ready to die for her society doctrines I m not sure I agree with the Federation and their haughty, idealistic views of the lesser civilizations That s why I don t think I like Elana much I think she is a silly girl, ready to become a martyr for silly reasons The Empire representatives also act surprisingly silly, almost senseless Why would they believe the Federation s childish trickery, played by Georyn It s unexplainable to me They shouldn t have, and they wouldn t in reality Their behavior is illogical from start to end, playing to the author s ideology instead of the realistic worldview.I know the book was written in 1970, but its year of publication doesn t excuse its primitive political ideas or the simplicity of its characters The writing is good though, beautiful And the story is probably okay, if its readers are 13 or about But for me, a jaded reader, it feels slightly out of whack.

  9. says:

    This was the first pick of my new book club, surprising me because I hadn t thought of it in years I read and loved it as a teen because it was so different and challenged the notion of the separation between magic and science Told from three different viewpoints, this story of members of an advanced civilization trying to protect a fledgling society from being conquered by another race of starfarers gets at the heart of what it means to be civilized.Each character comes from a race at different stages of development Georyn s people are at what we d call a medieval level of society, Elana is a member of an extremely advanced civilization that has moved past war and conquest, and Jarel s society is technologically advanced but still trying to conquer other worlds Elana s people have developed psychic talents to go along with their technology, Jarel s people are advanced enough for space flight, and Georyn s are still fighting with swords and see the world through the lens of superstition Elana is the main character, but Georyn s and Jarel s perspectives are used often enough that we see how each event becomes different when seen through their eyes The scenes from Georyn s point of view also have a different narrative style that sounds semi medieval and makes those sections feel like a quest story It s an interesting approach that gives the book emotional weight than the relatively simple story would otherwise have.The members of Elana s race take the Prime Directive a whole lot seriously than Captain Kirk ever did, to the point that they re willing to die rather than reveal the truth of their existence to any civilization not far enough advanced to handle the knowledge Elana, who is too young to have taken oath as one of her people s advance anthropological agents, is pressed into service when a member of the expedition is killed horribly for exactly that reason Elana starts out as a relatively self centered young woman, na ve despite her education, and the book is on one level about her growth through her role in saving the natives of Andrecia from the conquering forces, as well as through her relationship with Georyn, one of said natives It s young love that s doomed from the start, since we know there s no way the two can stay together, but Elana doesn t realize the implications or the danger until it s too late.The plan Elana s expedition comes up with depends heavily on Clarke s law that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, though in this case the technology is psychic ability The way the plan plays out reminded me strongly of what Diana Wynne Jones did with Power of Three, though not as tightly limited in perspective I can t say I was emotionally connected to this book so much as I admired what Engdahl attempted, but it was as enjoyable as I remembered despite its age The copy I own is a battered first edition signed by the author, though not inscribed to me, and I found it in a little fantasy book store in Eugene, Oregon that s no longer there That s the sort of thing I find memorable.

  10. says:

    As someone who has watched way too much Star Trek, this book is basically an exposition on the Prime Directive Elena is a trainee about to enter the service which protects younger civilizations from self destruction or domination by other species She becomes entangled in a tricky situation where she must teach Georyn to use his innate psychokinetic powers to fight off the dragon of another humanoid species without revealing her true nature They of course fall in love, which is what gives Georyn the strength to finally complete his quest At the end Elena must leave Georyn behind to protect his species.The story is good, and the book is well written I ve never liked books written in the first person, and the dominant story line is told in the first person I might have given it 4 stars, if it weren t in the first person.

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