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The Diamond Secret (Once upon a Time) Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 2009


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The Diamond Secret (Once upon a Time) + Violet Eyes (Once upon a Time) + The Night Dance: A Retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (Once upon a Time)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Once upon a Time
  • Mass Market Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416975306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416975304
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Suzanne Weyn
has written more than one hundred novels for children and young adults, and has had her work featured on the New York Times bestseller list. Her other Once upon a Time books include The Crimson Thread, Water Song, and The Night Dance. Suzanne lives in Putnam Valley, New York.

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Customer Reviews

I love retellings of fairy tales and very much enjoyed this one.
AB
To be honest if you feel the need to read this book I would just get it from the library IF they have it.
Bianca Vandenbos
I won't say I definitely would never re-read the book, as I didn't hate it.
J. Manifold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. Romance VINE VOICE on June 29, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you liked the animated movie, "Anastasia", then you'll like this book as well.

Ivan and Sergei are in search of the grand duchess Anastasia, so they can gain the reward that was offered for her return. In comes Nadya. Orphaned as a young girl with no recollection of her past, Nadya works as a waitress in a tavern after the asylum she was staying at was shut down. Ivan, who witnessed the death of the Romanov family, felt something familiar about this girl and knew he wanted her to play the role of Anastasia, despite her less than genteel appearance. So they worked and hitched their way towards France, dodging police and a scarred-face man.

There are a lot of similarities to the movie. However, the book doesn't have the magical factor and bats and the main characters are much younger. Despite the similarities, this book was very well written in its own right. I found Nadya to be a charming girl. She was cute and absolutely funny with all the little pranks she played on Ivan. Despite her rough upbringing, Nadya didn't let adversity get her down. Instead, she developed a strength and humor that was admirable. Ivan was an okay hero, with a huge chip on shoulder. Like most soldiers, he was idealistic but soon disillusioned with what he thought would be a brighter future for his country. During their travels, Ivan and Nadya started to develop feelings for each other. And of course, Ivan being Ivan, did his best to downplay his growing feelings. He was a frustrating character but one can't help but feel some empathy for. Sergei was more of a fatherly figure throughout the story. He mostly dispensed advice and helped move the story along. The ending worked out happily with all loose ends tied up.

The chapters were short and to the point. There were enough humor, drama and action that made the story readable. The characters were likable and endearing. Definitely another keeper from the `Once Upon a Time' series.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tint on June 5, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of retellings, especially if they're done right and the author brings something new to the table so to speak. And for that reason I can highly recommend all the books in the "Once Upon a Time" series from Simon Pulse. What I'm not a fan of is the new cover art. The older books have some of the most beautiful cover art and now they're being published with covers that remind me more of photographic "harlequin" romance novel covers. Yuck! So try not to judge these wonderful books by their cheesy covers....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rdbks212 on November 29, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up the book looking for just a quick light, slightly stupid read to give me something to do. I have read plenty of books that I put in the category of "bad but fun to read anyway" this book, sadly, didnt fall under that category. The writing (no offense suzanne weyn) is pretty terrible. There is absolutely no flow and the action and romance seems forced. The way she writes is slightly annoying; its a bit like how children books are written -as in for 5 year olds- but yet the material of this book seems to be a little more for the ages of 11-15. I think the story was slightly interesting (even if it wasn't original) but the writing really just killed it. For instance she tries to make the main character seem light-hearted, sweet, and child-like but her writing makes the supposedly 19 year old girl sound very annoying and like she truly is insane with her drastic mood swings from laughing at a campfire to randomly sobbing about how terrible it is that people would want to hurt Anastasia if she is indeed alive. If you're really truly bored and in search of light read then feel free to pick this book up but just to warn you you'll probably end up wondering why you just wasted your money as well as however-many hours of your life you spent reading it
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chocolette on May 15, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this story, determined to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the movie, Anastasia. But the way it is written is very stilted and choppy, with no transitions. The reason why Nadya (Anastasia) decides to join Ivan and Sergei was not convincing - why would a girl with amnesia suddenly decide to trust two people she has never met before, one whom she doesn't even have a good first impression of!

The plot also was very jumpy - one minute they're on a train to Moscow, the next, they're already in Germany with anecdotal descriptions of how Ivan and Nadya suddenly don't dislike each other anymore - musical sequence, anyone?
The whole book was not convincing. It was as if the author assumed that all her readers had already watched the animated movie and did not feel the need to write a fully fleshed out story. Every major plot point seemed like the author simply took the easy way out - oh, the characters have spent enough time on the road, how to get them to civilization? Ah, they're camped out on a friend's land in Germany, who by chance, owes his life to Sergei!

And the villian... The villian was absolutely lame. A word I never use, but in this sense, fits perfectly.

An incredibly fast read, but terribly disappointing writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Manifold on June 25, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not really sure what to say about this book. It was, at best, okay. There was nothing wrong with the book, necessarily, but there was nothing utterly fantastic about it, either. Truth be told, I forgot the book about ten minutes after I put it down, and I couldn't tell if anything I do seem to vaguely recall was in the book or if I'm remembering the cartoon "Anastasia" movie.

There are obviously many similarities between "Anastasia" and "The Diamond Secret." (Note to whomever is in charge of these things: A secret is neither a mystery nor a secret if it's right there in the title.) There are some differences. Most notably, there are no talking bats or smoke demons in the novel. Otherwise, the basic premise and sequence of events was essentially the same. At one point, I started humming the soundtrack to the movie because...why not?

This isn't to say the book was bad. It wasn't. If I had never seen the movie, I would likely have liked it more. However, having seen the movie, I can say that the characters in this book failed to capture my imagination or heart the way Anya and Dimitri did.

This is a fair addition to the series but added nothing really to a story I'd already seen. I won't say I definitely would never re-read the book, as I didn't hate it. However, it would likely be at the very bottom of my pile and would likely only ever make it there due to me forgetting I'd already read it.
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