I read this book back in middle-school, so probably it's juvenile fiction. I vaguely recall that the cover was blue, maybe with a woman looking up towards the stars.

Three explorers crash onto a planet. There is a woman, her father and what seems to be her intended? While they are trying to fix their ship the woman meets a man whose people have been enslaved. She helps him to unlock his brain's ability to use telekinesis, which he believes to be magic. He then uses this to defeat the "dragon," which is really just some sort of machine.


1 Answer 1


Is this Enchantress from the Stars (1970) by Sylvia Engdahl...?

Elana, though still a first-year student at the academy of the interstellar Anthopological Service, is elated by the chance to take part in her father's perilous mission to the medieval planet Andrecia, which is being invaded by colonists from a young starfaring Empire. How can they drive the Imperials away without revealing their own alien origin? The key to the plan is a woodcutter's son named Georyn, who believes the menace beyond the forest to be a dragon. To him, Elana is an enchantress who can give him magical powers that will enable him to defeat it. But she soon finds that this role is no mere pretense and that her feeling for Georyn is deeper than she ever expected it could become.

From Wikipedia:

Elana belongs to a peaceful, technologically advanced, space-faring civilization called the "Federation", which monitors worlds which are still "maturing", allowing them to grow without any sort of contact or intervention. Elana stows away on a ship in order to accompany her father on a mission to Andrecia where intervention has been deemed necessary because a technologically advanced empire (The Imperial Exploration Corps) has invaded the planet in order to take advantage of its resources. In order to lead a young woodcutter (a native of that planet) against the Corps (without exposing him to the truth about either alien civilization), Elana takes on the role of an enchantress. She trains him and his brother in psychokinesis in an effort to get the Imperial Corps to leave Andrecia peacefully. She also gives him various tools, leading him to believe that they are magical.

Front cover of "Enchantress from the Stars" (1970) by Sylvia Engdahl.

  • 1
    This sounds like the book thank you! I'm going to have to read it to be 100%, but I think this is it. I read it back in 2005 give or take a year and have been frustrated for years that I couldn't remember the title.
    – Kimberly
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 11:57
  • If accepted, this will be a dupe of Story with multiple 'third planet' races like some other dupes. Don't worry, duping isn't a bad thing!
    – gowenfawr
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 15:06

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