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The novel “Enchantress from the Stars,” by Sylvia Engdahl, is an astonishing story with many and important themes. One theme in particular is “risk and sacrifice”. Many of the characters in the novel have to sacrifice and risk something.
An example from the story that shows the theme is when Ilura risks and sacrifices her life to the Imperials. She does this so they don’t discover the Federation’s ship. She knows how dangerous it would be if the Imperials found out about their being more advanced civilizations that they never knew about. Jarel says that Kevan was the one who killed Ilura with the vaporizer. This is on page 25, “What excuse is there for taking off on an unauthorized jaunt into the woods and coming back more proud than sorry to have killed a “savage” native woman?” The “savage” native woman was Ilura when she jumped in front of Kevan.
A second example illustrating the theme of risk and sacrifice is when Jarel sacrifices his career in order to save Georyn. He knows what the consequences are for stunning someone of his own people, yet he still stuns Kevan. He was willing to do this just to help Georyn and Elana. “Then, without hesitating, he pulled out his own stunner and fired. Not at Georyn, but at the man who in the next instant would have dealt with this strange and unwelcoming phenomenon by vaporizing the native responsible for it” Page 240.
The third and final example from the story that explains the theme is near the end of the book when Elana tries to sacrifice herself to the dragon rather than be exposed for whom and what she really is. She would rather have died than let the Imperials find out she was from a different and more civilized people then both the Andrecians and themselves. On page 251 Jarel states, “She had expected to die. Yet she had not been in despair; she had done what she did not out of rebellion against a horrifying fate, but solely out of concern for the keeping of her secret.”
I have dealt with sacrifice and risk in my life as well. I had never thought anything like this would have ever happened to me or anyone I knew. At the beginning of freshmen year, I was in gymnastics and I had started to learn a new skill on the trampoline. I had lost all control of my body and had come tumbling down on my tibia, right on the metal edge of the trampoline. I had broken my leg and I had to be in a cast for a very long time. I risked something every time I was at gymnastics. It was not until my leg was broken that I had no choice but to sacrifice the many things I liked and could not do now that I had had a broken leg.
Risk and sacrifice are usually not thought about until something bad happens or until it is too late. The novel “Enchantress from the Stars” has several great themes and the examples of these themes. The novel has a very complex and interesting way of showing these themes, and the theme of risk and sacrifice. Many people, including myself at times, rarely think of sacrifice and the risk in our lives. Hopefully, everyone stops and thinks about the risks and the sacrifices they might have to one day make.

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