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Once Upon Two Kingdoms (A Royal Romance) Paperback – January 30, 2015
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About the Author
Anna was born in the extreme South along some famous beaches. She is the third child and twins with her sister Elena. She grew up with four other siblings being placed in the middle. Her mother died when she was six years old and her father never married again. The green eyed, brown haired author found a mother in her husband’s mother and loves her dearly. She accredits her mother-in-law with teaching her many things in life. The author loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. Once married she was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected, which collections she still retains. They were the ones who wet her appetite. A few years ago she was introduced to Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring’s and to J. K. Rowling’s writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music that she listens to every day, plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding.) She likes her clothes to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorites. “I am afraid that I do not follow fashions,” she was heard to say. “I wear what I like.” Early on in her life she showed an affinity for sewing and took classes that rewarded her with the opportunities of taking care of the costumes for the cast of four different plays, which she enjoyed immensely. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands some Portuguese. At twenty-one she moved north to marry Rodney and has resided in Utah since then. Her husband, a native of Idaho, met her in her hometown. They fell in love and she came to Utah on Christmas Eve to be married two weeks later. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has have the opportunity of traveling to many of the states in USA, most of them camping, and to three other countries, something she enjoys very much. Soon, she would like to visit the castles in Germany and other European countries. Anna possesses a great mind and imagination, which, with the encouragement of her husband, she set to writing. The creation of her two series of books is the result of many years of daydreaming and now, her own laptop.
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Top customer reviews
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Patrick is an intriguing character. It's hard not to fall in love with him as you read how he relates to Elizabeth. I loved how he was a gentleman, but it didn't take away from her independence. There were times, however, that I wanted to strangle them both.
The story is set in the midst of two neighboring kingdoms who are friendly. But when the Kings get together and plan the futures of their children you know problems will arise. As the story unfolds more and more obstacles are placed in Elizabeth and Patrick's path, guaranteeing a war or worse. Elizabeth, bound by duty and a respect for her parents, is loathe to marry a total stranger. Patrick wants the freedom to choose his wife. In a strange twist of events they meet and their lives are changed forever in ways that they can't even fathom.
There were some elements of the story that appeared to be very predictable, but the plot twists and turns we met with along the way, balanced everything out. Anna del C. Dye has created a wonderful fantasy world with lovable and relatable characters and a setting that any woman would love to fall in love in.
Her book is designed for tweens and pre-tweens and is a storybook romance. It has a very Disney feel! It's like when you get a cupcake with all the beautiful sprinkles. It's fun and lighthearted, with the characters having a Shakespearean charm. The world is an alternative universe but it has a little familiarity in the languages and names. This allows the reader to settle into the story like a brocade pillow on a throne. When the characters encounter what is the most horrible concept in their world, an arranged marriage, the nightmare of their mother's lives becomes clear. Both children realize the reason for all their mothers' unhappiness is that they were forced into marriages with people who would never love them. This was a fate from which both mothers wanted to save their children, and they get their wish, even after they have both passed away.
One of the best things about this book was the complete lack of misogyny and fear. Patrick and Elizabeth ride off into the woods surrounding the border between their kingdoms, leaving their parents behind. The guards go after Elizabeth eventually, not because they fear her getting kidnapped, robbed, or attacked by bandits. It's because her mother is ill, and they know Elizabeth will feel horrible if something happens to the queen and she's not there. The two fathers falling prey to intrigues is a shock to these people because this is not a world where such people thrive. Evil is an uncommon visitor to this world and these lives, illustrating the culture of support and growth. There is no jealousy, envy, or greed save in the villain and his pawn, making them an anomaly. The prince and princess have no idea what to look for because they have never seen such a thing before. Despite having no idea that the villain is blocking all attempts to communicate, and twisting their messages as sovereigns, they are able to bond and through that bond, join forces to defeat the plots against them.
This is a great example of the concept that just because a hero is innocent or naive doesn't make them powerless. That's a very important lesson for young and old alike.
-Tanglwyst de Holloway, aka Tonya Adolfson