Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review: Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey

Sunlight and Shadow
by Cameron Dokey
YA, Fairy Tale
208 pages
published: 2004
4 of 5 stars


A retelling of The Magic Flute (which I knew nothing about, and now know is an opera. I don't actually know if it is/was a fairy tale, but it is part of the Once Upon a Time series so I'm not going to stress about the classification.

In a time when the world was young and many things were quite commonplace that are now entirely forgotten, Sarastro, Mage of the Day, wed Pamina, the Queen of the Night. And in this way was the world complete, for light was joined to dark. For all time would they be joined together. Only the ending of the world could tear them apart. In other words, in the days in which my parents married, there was no such thing as divorce....
Thus begins the tale of Mina, a girl-child born on the longest night of the darkest month of the year. When her father looked at her, all he saw was what he feared: By birth, by name, by nature, she belonged to the Dark. So when Mina turned sixteen, her father took her away from shadow and brought her into sunlight.
In retaliation, her mother lured a handsome prince into a deadly agreement: If he frees Mina, he can claim her as his bride.
Now Mina and her prince must endure deadly trials -- of love and fate and family -- before they can truly live happily ever after....  - from Goodreads


I enjoyed this one from start to finish. I loved how it had a mythological feel and tone, speaking of the beginnings of the earth and godlike jobs and powers. I enjoyed the dynamic of a marriage that wasn't working but had to work. I appreciated that my suspicions of who I would like/dislike were proven wrong. But most of all, I loved that this one had humor. There were two characters, in fact, who had a sense of humor, the wit, and the guts to be funny. This was a quick read, lyrical, mythical, comical at times, and enjoyable. Happy endings sometimes are so yummy. This was another book where the secondary characters made the story. I loved Gayna, Lapin, and Tern. But perhaps I loved the Queen of the Night best. Confident, understated power is...appealing.

If I had to split hairs, I'd mention that the romance was sudden and the trials passed through melodramatic. But who wants to split hairs?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review! I love fairy tale retellings and you've convinced me to try this one!