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The Enchanted tells a unique story of a prison, a dark and deeply disturbing place, yet through the power of imagination and Denfeld’s poetic writing it is also a place that can offer redemption and escape. A place of brutish and monstrous inmates and corrupt guards, haunting pasts and the dreary present, with death awaiting many of the death row inmates trapped in the dungeons.
The story unfolds through the eyes of the narrator who introduces us to the Lady, York, The Fallen Priest and various other secondary but gripping characters. The Lady is an investigator who is researching the past of York, a death row inmate, to help his attorneys appeal his death sentence. What she uncovers is a horrific story of neglect, crime and the collective social complicity and apathy that led to shaping York’s life. York’s life strangely reflects the Lady’s own past.
The story also offers great insight into life in a prison. The daily power struggles, the abuse, the complete dehumanisation of the inmates.
The true strength of the novel however is the lyrical writing and the imagination of the narrator who finds escape from the dark world he occupies, through the flibber -gibbets and the golden horses under ground. Though it tells tales that are dark and disturbing, The Enchanted, also offers hope and redemption through the power of imagination to transcend.
The novel is largely reflective of Rene Denfeld’s own work as an investigator working for death row inmates. A quick read that will cast a spell on the reader.