Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey (no spoilers)

Book: Sunlight and Shadow
Author: Cameron Dokey
Publication: July 1st, 2004
Source: Inter-Library Loan
Read: May 19th- 22nd, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
A new spin on "The Magic Flute" by an acclaimed author! 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....
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My Thoughts:

I had the original cover of this novel, but the new cover is so beautiful so that is the one I will use. I usually do not enjoy covers with people on them, but I have to say I imagine Mina exactly like this except with lighter hair since she was said to look like her father. I also think the cover brings to much foreshadow to the book. I think it is a creative cover for the novel. 

In a time when the Earth was young Pamina, The Queen of the Night, and Sarastro, Mage of the Day were married Light was joined to the dark and only the end of the world could tear them apart. They bared a  beautiful daughter Lady Mina. A prophecy was made at Mina's birth that for the first 16 years she would dwell with her mother Panima, The Queen of the Night. Then on her 16th birthday she would be given to her father Sarastro, Mage of the Day who would find her a husband. As Sunlight and Shadow were once joined on the night of Mina's birth they lived separate lives. Then when the time comes Mina's father takes her out of the shadow and brings her into the sunlight. 

I do not know much about Mozart's "The Magic Flute" so I am not an accurate judge of whether the author stuck to the original tale or not. I will say that everything in this novel was so dramatic and beautiful. I'm glad the author often reminds the reader that her mother is Queen of the Night and her father is Mage of the Day. I got them confused a bit in the beginning. The writing style used for this novel was beautiful. I often had to go back and reread paragraphs to discover their full meaning. Many characters gave hints to the story, but I had to read slowly and reread to discover their foreshadowing. I think that is wonderful that the author can create words so beautiful. 

There were multiple perspectives telling the story. Of course all the characters were focused on Lady Mina and her journey. There was Gayna, the girl who was raised by Sarastro, Lapin, the boy who plays the bells that play what is in your heart, Tern, the prince who carves the magic flute and follows his heart to find his true love. I really loved all the characters, although Mina had to be my favorite, Lapin came in a close second. I loved Lapin's history of the bells from his grandmother and how he came to know Lady Mina. 

I loved how Lady Mina was strong minded, and brave. She reminded me of Merida from Brave in parts of the novel. "I am Merida and I will be shooting for my own hand." As per usual in fairy tales Tern and Mina fall in love almost at first sight. It didn't bother me with this novel because it just seemed like it fit. Mina's heart belonged to Tern. When Tern is challenged to prove his love for Mina by Lord Sarastro, Mage of the Day, Mina is not content to sit and wait, but insists to go along. Merida!?!  This is where the Bells and the Magic Flute are really brought into the story. I enjoyed ever minute. 

In the end everybody is given a clear ending except the character I could care less about Statos. You will see why when you pick up this novel. Lapin, Gayna, Mage of the Day, Queen of the Night, Lady Mina, and Tern are all given endings they deserve. I was very happy with the ending of the novel. I wish I could tell you how wonderful it is, but you will have to go pick up the novel for yourself. This novel was so beautiful and magical. I fell in love. 

Hosted by I'm Loving Books

This was my May Random Read. The first book I actually read in the month I picked it. I would say this one was a winner. It was magical and beautiful. I'm so glad I picked this one up. Could be a favorite random read for the year. 

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