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Sunlight and Shadow (Once Upon a Time) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2004

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Sunlight and Shadow (Once Upon a Time) + The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of "The Arabian Nights" (Once upon a Time) + Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid" (Once upon a Time)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–A reworking of the Mozart opera "The Magic Flute." On her 16th birthday, Mina, the daughter of Pamina, the Queen of the Night, and Sarastro, the Mage of the Day, is to be taken to live with the father she hardly knows until he can choose a suitable husband for her. When he arrives early to sweep her away, Pamina seeks revenge by enlisting Lapin, a local boy, to play his enchanted bells and call Mina's true love to her. Tern, a prince, hears the bells and, unable to resist their call, arrives with his magic flute, with which he is able to play the music of his heart. Mina and Tern fall in love, and an angry Sarastro sets a deadly trial for Tern to complete in order to have his daughter's hand. Mina, refusing to stand by and have her life decided for her, accompanies Tern so that they may face the challenge together. The telling alternates among four points of view: Mina, Tern, Lapin, and Gayna, an orphan girl whom Sarastro has raised and who mostly gives readers insight into his way of thinking. The setting is otherworldly but the voices are modern, making it easy for teens to relate to the narrators. The strong female characters and the blend of fantasy and romance make this a great light read.–Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
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About the Author

Cameron Dokey is the author of nearly thirty young adult novels. Her other fairy tales include, The Storyteller’s Daughter, Sunlight and Shadow, and Golden. She has also written the #1 bestselling How Not to Spend Your Senior Year. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and four cats.

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Product Details

  • Series: Once Upon a Time
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689869991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689869990
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By freefallingstar on July 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW by Cameron Dokey is the latest retold fairy tale in the ONCE UPON A TIME series from Simon Pulse. It tells the story of Mina, the daughter of the Queen of Night (Pamina) and the Mage of the Day (Sarastro). Mina has lived with her mother for almost sixteen years, but, on the day before she was supposed to be returned to her father so he could choose her husband, he steals her away ahead of schedule. He wants to force her to wed the man of his choosing, when all she wants to do is follow her heart.
The story swtiches viewpoint sometimes by chapter and sometimes by paragraph. Cameron Dokey does a good job of giving the characters distinct voices, so that I only got confused about the point of view once. The POV switches between:
Mina: The daughter who wants the freedom to choose her husband, and to stay with him once she has done so,
Lapin: Mina's best friend and the Queen of Night's faithful servant,
Tern: the prince who follows Lapin's bells to his true love and faces trials to win her,
Statos: Sarastro's right hand man and Mina's intended husband, and
Gayna: the orphan girl that Sarastro raised as his own daughter and who now has to face the fact that she will always be second in his affections.
Dokey weaves an enchanting spell around the reader. Her writing is as engaging as always, sometimes tongue-in-cheek funny, sometimes serious, always magical. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales. The only fault I can find with it, is that it is too short, and I think a few things are rushed. Still, it's a must-read book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kotori on November 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I loved the two previous fantasy titles by this author (Beauty Sleep, & Storyteller's Daughter)it was with much anticipation that I cracked open the first pages. A consecrated moment!

Once again Cameron Dokey has served up a delightful mélange of fantasy, myth & fable as a fresh story. Inspired by Mozart's `Die Zauberflote' (The magic flute), she has crafted a newly emerging world, and a warring dynasty. Title of first chapter: A House Divided.

The fantasy sweeps you away whilst the touches of whimsy and quick humor remind that this is a book for young people, a book to grin at, before moving on in the grand adventure.

The first chapters dwelling on details of Mina's life, growing with a companion, beautifully described & fleshed out `Lapin', her relations with her mother (Queen of the Night). Sarastro, (Mage of the Day - dad) has raised another girl in his palace and Mina feels very displaced in his affections.
When she is untimely wrenched away by the father she has never seen or known one is able to properly experience with her the high emotions which rage.

In a brilliant departure from the standard, the man who ought to be the "villain" of the piece, Sastro, who in the original story was a Moor & evil, Dokey has given him compassion, and humor, and an ability to see his own flaws, and in the end; redemption.

Occasionally the humor jarred, but on the whole it was a welcome addition and helped on to feel that the hero wasn't such a dull character.
The biggest plus is the authors ability to write every detail, every nuance or happening so evocatively that one is swept away by the majesty of her words.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Bechaz on May 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, I'm going to declare my cultural ignorance right here and now by saying that I know NOTHING about the opera 'The Magic Flute', upon which this book is apparently based. But I DO know a thing or two about good book writing, though, enough to say that this is a compelling, well written book.

If you're the type of person who'd rather drink a bucket of goo than have anything to do with opera, then don't worry. This book is nothing like an opera. There's no fat lady singing, no foreign languages to try to interpret, and no rich women sitting in the dress circle wearing hideous fur coats. Nor will it cost you a month's wages to view it. Rather, this book is unpretentious and accessible to anyone and everyone, young or old.

The author takes a bold chance on this story, by writing each chapter from the viewpoint of a different character, even the bad guy. In lesser hands it might not have worked. But here it works very well indeed, once you get used to it.

This is Mina's story, even though she only writes some of the chapters. Her parents are literally night and day, and don't get along. Her father wishes her to marry someone of his choosing, someone she doesn't like. So in true storybook heroine fashion, she leaves home to follow the song of her heart, and find her own true love.

Of course, she finds him...but as always, the path to true love does not run smoothly, and the two lovers literally have to go to hell and back to prove their love for one another.

This book is like a bag of mixed lollies--sugary, tasty, full of variety and highly addictive! Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous Chick on November 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The plot was a little rushed in this book, I thought, but it was still quite good.

Mina is a girl who has grown up withher mother, the enchantress of the night. She has never even met her father, the mage of the day, since birth. One night, just before her 16th birthday, her father steals her away. Meanwhile, her mother, desperate to save Mina, asks the servant Lapin to use the magic bells. Lapin plays the enchanted bells, and a prince from a faraway kingdom hears and answers the call. Unfortunately for Mina, her father intends her to wed the man of her father's choosing: a handsome, but conceited prince.

Most of the characters had depth and believability, especially the fight between Mina's father and mother. The ending was satisfying, though a little rushed.

Overall, pretty good book. Worthy of all five stars.

Note: If you liked this book, I would also recommend The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, as well as Spindle's End, also by Robin McKinley.
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