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Kandide and The Secret of the Mists: Book One: The Calabiyau Chronicles (Volume 1) Paperback – October 30, 2014
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About the Author
Diana S. Zimmerman Like her novels, Diana’s role in the performing arts as well as the business world transcends the ordinary. She has been a performer, businesswoman, and writer since the age of eight when she invested all of her resources into a small magic trick. With a total capital outlay of 47 cents, Diana parlayed her investment into a spectacular 25-year career as “America’s Foremost Lady Magician.” She has invented magic illusions for David Copperfield and Lance Burton and is a highly respected lecturer, writer, and teacher in the world of magic. She also sponsors a young magicians’ group—an organization she founded with the help of the legendary actor Cary Grant at Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle. Her transition to the corporate world saw the creation of CMS Communications Intl., an award-winning Marketing Communications agency whose clients include many of the Fortune 500. Diana is CEO of CMS. She is a journalist and the author of 7 books, including the Kandide trilogy, Siegfried & Roy: Unique In All The World, Butterly In A Storm, Tactical Abyss, and Why Most Branding Fails. Diana is also an avid collector of faery art. Her collection is one of the largest in the world with pieces dating back to the 1700s.
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First, let me assure you that once you work your way past the daunting list of critical praises that make up a good portion of the front of this book, slog through the encyclopedic history of Kandide's World, and arrive at the map, there is a really good story here midst the ornate descriptions, so stick with it, or skip those parts entirely. The actual story is great and the illustrations will definitely please young readers.
This is a tale that lays bare the falseness of eternally striving to achieve perfect beauty. In true fairytale fashion, this story lays bare the flaw in our own eye. Zimmerman frankly deals with the perception of physical beauty as determining ones worth. Yes, she wraps it up in flowery prose, but she hangs it out there, nonetheless. Vanity, lust for power, the irrational but pervasive fear of people with crippling disabilities, and the callous shunting aside of those less-than-beautiful who live among us forms the core of this tale.
Kandide herself is a little pain in the backside, but don't quit on her. She is dealt a harsh lesson in compassion, learns to love, and sets out to right some wrongs. I enjoyed this tale enough to overlook the sometimes florid style of writing. It doesn't ruin the book, and some readers will like that style.I give this book 4 1/2 stars!
The part of the story that I enjoyed the most happens to be the overall moral. It teaches and shows that physical appearance is a shallow pool compared to what a person is on the inside, which matters most. It gives a great lesson for all who reads this book.
There are some parts where the plot lagged, but, for the most part the plot remained steady. The main characters were deeply defined and each had a rich person, which, is what I look for in books. I love a well detailed plot with characters that a person can identify with and the author came through! The secondary characters, however, could have been a bit more detailed. The dialogue was great and encouraging to all readers, young or old and held no serious violence. With a great plot, believable characters, outstanding dialogue and wonderful life lessons, I would recommend this book to all pre-teens and up if you have an sense of adventure and a sweet tooth for fantasy!
According to my daughter, SECRET OF THE MISTS was action-packed and exciting. The most exciting part was when Kandide, the main character and heroine, arrived at the mists, and was attacked by the Garglan, a vicious, hairy creature with wings, sharp teeth, claws, and a long tail. The Garglan also has creepy red eyes. Kandide needed the help of wolves to escape the Garglan.
This is book one of a fantastical series of books. As of the time of this writing, the author has written three books, and we are hoping for a 4th! My daughter recommends this book highly!