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Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute

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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 t 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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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 t 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....

30 review for Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    I figured out about half way through the book that the story is based on an opera by Mozart called "The Magical Flute". I vaguely remembered hearing the storyline, but for the most part this was new to me. Like the rest of the books in this series it's short and nothing is taken into to great depth, but I still seem to like them. About half of the book is a just a series of histories of the characters to put up a picture of how things came about. The book kept me fairly interested from the begi I figured out about half way through the book that the story is based on an opera by Mozart called "The Magical Flute". I vaguely remembered hearing the storyline, but for the most part this was new to me. Like the rest of the books in this series it's short and nothing is taken into to great depth, but I still seem to like them. About half of the book is a just a series of histories of the characters to put up a picture of how things came about. The book kept me fairly interested from the beginning though. The bells that can bring you your one true love, the Queen of the Night and the Mage of the Day, the making of the flute, all these elements of the story interested me and I like how they all came together at the end. The viewpoint changes from one character to another throughout the book(although I think most of it is told by Mina). I thought that it would bother me, but it doesn't take too long to know who's telling the story. The characters were smart and funny, which I think is hard to do with a book like this. Sometimes humor can feel out of place or forced in writing like this, but it was done perfectly. Lapin(who by the way is a guy. When he first introduced himself I wasn't completely sure) and Tern(the prince) have a believable humor that I actually laughed at. Some things that did bother me though was just how incredibly beautiful everyone was. Is it too much to ask for just one plain person? Also, I thought that Mina and Tern fall in love too fast. At least it's not because the other has "the most beautiful..."(fill in the blank with a feature such as face, eyes, hair, etc. You get the picture), which is usually the reason for people falling in love in fairy tales. But like I said it's suppose to be a fairy tale and those are filled with people who have "the most beautiful..." and fall in love at first sight(which is not what technically happens in this story). Mostly I have the same complaint I have about the rest in the series; that it's too short. I still manage to enjoy it though and it reads like an original tale.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cara

    I was totally unfamiliar to the tale of The Magical Flute, so I went into the story without any background. Later when I finished the book I found out that the author based if off an opera of the tale, which I found interesting. I'm guessing it works better in that form than in a novel. You'll see what I mean later. This is the story of a girl named Pamina (shortened to Mina) who is the daughter of the night and day. Didn't that catch your attention? Well it worked for me; I was hooked. The begin I was totally unfamiliar to the tale of The Magical Flute, so I went into the story without any background. Later when I finished the book I found out that the author based if off an opera of the tale, which I found interesting. I'm guessing it works better in that form than in a novel. You'll see what I mean later. This is the story of a girl named Pamina (shortened to Mina) who is the daughter of the night and day. Didn't that catch your attention? Well it worked for me; I was hooked. The beginning is mostly made up of background. Telling us what the significance of Mina's marriage means to the world, how the bells came about, and of course how the flute came to be. Later is when the real "action" starts. One thing that did stand out was how Statos (the one that Mina's father planned to marry her off to) isn't depicted as a total villain. He is a complex person, and I think personally he was a bit robbed of a good ending. It was still neat to see how everything worked out in the end, even if I was expecting more. I loved the whole concept, but there is the problem of the length of the book. I'm not usually picky about that, but I would have like to have seen the story more fleshed out. The love between Mina and Tern is suppose to be a kind of love at first sight thing, but more so doing with sound than sight. The relationship between the two love birds didn't build itself enough. They could fall in love quickly (that almost always happens in fairly tales) but it would have been more realistic to see them struggle more. I do like Dokey's style though. It's unique and the changing of narrators didn't bother me one bit. At first I had to think about it, but it never took me very long. Like I said earlier a wonderful concept, but the book should have been longer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suzanna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I might get some hate mail for this but I really had a hard time with this book. It really bothered me that the narrator kept changing between chapters and you had to read a few sentences or paragraphs to figure out which person was narrating. Secondly, this book was supposed to be a remake of The Magic Flute but I thought it was more about the bells than the flute. Maybe this is truly the story of The Magic Flute- it's one I'm not entirely familiar with- but I just didn't think the story really I might get some hate mail for this but I really had a hard time with this book. It really bothered me that the narrator kept changing between chapters and you had to read a few sentences or paragraphs to figure out which person was narrating. Secondly, this book was supposed to be a remake of The Magic Flute but I thought it was more about the bells than the flute. Maybe this is truly the story of The Magic Flute- it's one I'm not entirely familiar with- but I just didn't think the story really flowed very well. Thirdly, I'm not sure why Lapin was able to summon Mina's true love by playing the bells just because he was thinking about her... that was weird to me because that's not how the bells ever worked in the past. Oh, and I'm surprised that the two trials at the end of the book only took one chapter to write when that was sort of the climax of the whole thing, and then how Lord Sarastro just concedes so easily. Call me crazy but this was hard for me to finish because I was so bored/confused half the time about who was speaking.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    I think I am beginning to tire of this author's style a little or the set up of this series. I still thought some of the writing was beautiful and liked the new details and development of the story but her endings never have as much development as the beginnings of her stories. This seems to be due more to the series wanting to keep the stories short than the author. In this book towards the end the main character finally meets her prince and after a couple hour acquantaince they declare their un I think I am beginning to tire of this author's style a little or the set up of this series. I still thought some of the writing was beautiful and liked the new details and development of the story but her endings never have as much development as the beginnings of her stories. This seems to be due more to the series wanting to keep the stories short than the author. In this book towards the end the main character finally meets her prince and after a couple hour acquantaince they declare their undying love for each other. This is immediately put to the test to see if each are willing to die for it. It turns out their couple hours of true love is strong enough and has been of long enough duration to make a magical song that overcomes death and hell. I'm not usually a cynic but I felt like one while reading this book. Sometimes I have a hard time buying into storylines like this but that is just the way fairy tales are, I know. I also wanted to know more about Statos and what happens to him. I feel for him more than almost anyone else in the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Here is the thing; I liked it. Its a happy, hopeful, and fun. I like that the main girl was brave, smart and all that. What I didn't like about her was that she was beautiful, now I know how that sounds but hear me out. I can take beautiful people being the main characters, and I can take other characters being beautiful too, but its mentioned how beautiful everyone is all the time. If Dokey would've eased off a bit it wouldn't have annoyed me so much. The love in the story I thought left somethi Here is the thing; I liked it. Its a happy, hopeful, and fun. I like that the main girl was brave, smart and all that. What I didn't like about her was that she was beautiful, now I know how that sounds but hear me out. I can take beautiful people being the main characters, and I can take other characters being beautiful too, but its mentioned how beautiful everyone is all the time. If Dokey would've eased off a bit it wouldn't have annoyed me so much. The love in the story I thought left something to be desired. It seemed like "Oh yes I love you(Period)." Could I ask WHY? But that wasn't what bothered me so much as -again- how often the author mentioned it. I've never seen the words "love" and "heart" put so many times down in one little book. Now that I'm done rambling I should say what the good parts were. Like I said earlier the protagonist ,Mina, is smart and brave. Tern is honorable and chivalric. What I like the most was the love of the mother and daughter. I like the story in general and how it all turns out in the end. Its predictable but that didn't bother me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    I enjoyed this book as I have with all of Cameron Dokey's books. This one is a bit different in that it is based off of an opera by Mozart rather than a fairy tale. It is a bit far fetched that within a few hours love could be formed that could withstand the challenges of hell, but I don't think we read fairy tales or listen to operas for their realism. :) It is certainly more about escapism and entertainment, I believe. I enjoyed the book and recommend it. My only criticism is that I would have I enjoyed this book as I have with all of Cameron Dokey's books. This one is a bit different in that it is based off of an opera by Mozart rather than a fairy tale. It is a bit far fetched that within a few hours love could be formed that could withstand the challenges of hell, but I don't think we read fairy tales or listen to operas for their realism. :) It is certainly more about escapism and entertainment, I believe. I enjoyed the book and recommend it. My only criticism is that I would have liked another hundred pages or so. There were characters that I was interested in and story lines that were not pursued. I imagine this is more due to staying close to the opera's plot line than anything else. I do like this line from the end, "But I think the truth is that neither Tern nor I needs a fixed place, as other people do, for the true place of each is in the heart of the other." I think that is a good description for marriage, its love and commitment, which should overpower pretty much everything else in your life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I really, really enjoyed this book! I'm not familiar with the story of the Magical Flute but this was fantastic! The story is told from several of the main characters POV which was a really fun twist on storytelling in general. I've read several reviews where people didn't like that and/or had a hard time knowing who was speaking next. For me it made the story a little exciting. I liked not knowing who was going to continue the story in the next chapter. FUN! It's well developed with charming, w I really, really enjoyed this book! I'm not familiar with the story of the Magical Flute but this was fantastic! The story is told from several of the main characters POV which was a really fun twist on storytelling in general. I've read several reviews where people didn't like that and/or had a hard time knowing who was speaking next. For me it made the story a little exciting. I liked not knowing who was going to continue the story in the next chapter. FUN! It's well developed with charming, witty characters and an unbelievably quick read. It took me on a magical, lyrical journey. I loved it. So far my favorite in the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Neufer

    As I’m slowly making my way through this series, it’s very easy to say the books are either a hit or a miss. This one was definitely a hit! I had to read the plot summary for “The Magic Flute” before reading the book so I could do a proper compare and contrast. Although quick, it doesn’t leave out any important plot points or fee rushed in a lot of places. It’s a good steady pacing that doesn’t get boring during any parts either. The way the story was changed to adapt to Dokey’s version worked w As I’m slowly making my way through this series, it’s very easy to say the books are either a hit or a miss. This one was definitely a hit! I had to read the plot summary for “The Magic Flute” before reading the book so I could do a proper compare and contrast. Although quick, it doesn’t leave out any important plot points or fee rushed in a lot of places. It’s a good steady pacing that doesn’t get boring during any parts either. The way the story was changed to adapt to Dokey’s version worked wonderfully. And I think made a great fairy tale adaption since it’s actually an opera, not a story it’s based on. There was only one thing that I didn’t like but then again, wasn’t too bad and easy to figure out. As much as I liked the narration being switched from different characters to see different points of view, it was a little frustrating that you’d have to get a paragraph or two in before you knew who was talking, as there no other indication otherwise. However, it was quickly picked up and not too much of a bother. Very well done and definitely one of the best ones in the series so far.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Way way to many changes to POV all without telling you who is speaking, sometime it changes from paragraph to paragraph. All the characters are uninspired and with all the changes I didn't care about any of them. Also for being a retelling of the Magic FLUTE there was surprisingly little flute action, it was all about some bells. The logic in this book went out the window within the first chapter or two as well. Apparently anything goes in this land. Also the dialogue, very poorly done. Are we i Way way to many changes to POV all without telling you who is speaking, sometime it changes from paragraph to paragraph. All the characters are uninspired and with all the changes I didn't care about any of them. Also for being a retelling of the Magic FLUTE there was surprisingly little flute action, it was all about some bells. The logic in this book went out the window within the first chapter or two as well. Apparently anything goes in this land. Also the dialogue, very poorly done. Are we in ancient times or modern, pick a speak pattern and stay with it. One of the characters was written in the style of a bratty teen from this decade who if I met in real life I would have given a solid wack or two for talking to me like that. Also I get that this is a fairy tale series but all this instalove has got to stop or at least slow down. A song of the heart calls you to someone (you are 16 and know yourself so well that you are set for life, mus be nice). You see an image of this person, not the person just the image and know that you will love this person forever and do anything for them. Meet person and risk death, get happy ever after. I am kinda sorry I wasted my time on this story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    2020 It was definitely a cute story, but it doesn't go very much into depth in the story at all (which, is understandable since it's less than 200 pages long). I've enjoyed other stories in this series more, but I've had more of a background on those stories. For instance. Her Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast story was obviously about Beauty and the Beast and I have read/watched hundreds of hours worth of that particular tale, so I didn't need much depth to the story itself. Unfortu 2020 It was definitely a cute story, but it doesn't go very much into depth in the story at all (which, is understandable since it's less than 200 pages long). I've enjoyed other stories in this series more, but I've had more of a background on those stories. For instance. Her Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast story was obviously about Beauty and the Beast and I have read/watched hundreds of hours worth of that particular tale, so I didn't need much depth to the story itself. Unfortunately for me, I have absolutely no reference in mind about the opera this was based off of. However, even without that, I did enjoy the story. I just think I would have liked it more if I had understood a little bit more about it, the characters, the motivations.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ⓘsⓐbεℓℓⓐ

    This Tale is like no other! You will need to be smart to understand the story, but I don't think I need to worry about you! The story will make you believe in other magics of the world. What happened when light joined with darkness? As you might discover, when the world was still young and all the whys and whats of this planet was still being decided, darkness was joined by light. This was a time when dicorce was not even considered. Makeing these two unseperatable. Pamina and Mage of the Day This Tale is like no other! You will need to be smart to understand the story, but I don't think I need to worry about you! The story will make you believe in other magics of the world. What happened when light joined with darkness? As you might discover, when the world was still young and all the whys and whats of this planet was still being decided, darkness was joined by light. This was a time when dicorce was not even considered. Makeing these two unseperatable. Pamina and Mage of the Day made a child together, who would have more on her tiny shoulders than any sixteen year old. For a prophecy for told that the daughter of the darkness and light will decide the outcome of the world. Who ever she decides to merry will make the earth surounded wih wither darkness or light. Now, which one do you think the Earth will be surrounded my?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janell

    As with other Once Upon a Time books, this was an interesting take on this story. Since this is YF and the series is very simplistic, I didn't expect great character or plot development, but this one seemed even weaker in these areas than expected. Plus, the writing style drove me crazy. The book is written in first-person narrative but the narrator changed almost every chapter and sometimes even in the middle of the chapter. I counted at least five different narrators. Often I felt like I was l As with other Once Upon a Time books, this was an interesting take on this story. Since this is YF and the series is very simplistic, I didn't expect great character or plot development, but this one seemed even weaker in these areas than expected. Plus, the writing style drove me crazy. The book is written in first-person narrative but the narrator changed almost every chapter and sometimes even in the middle of the chapter. I counted at least five different narrators. Often I felt like I was listening to a group of teenagers arguing! Since I got enough of that as a mother, it was certainly not enjoyable to experience it again in a book. And it was constantly necessary to pause and figure out who was talking which interfered with the continuity of the story. Very annoying, to say the least.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Like her other books, this was another first person narrative; however, the point of view kept changing between the different characters. One character would pick up telling the story where the other character left off. It was a fun change, but a bit confusing at times, especially at one particular point in the story when a new character began narrating. Well, from the beginning of the chapter I had envisioned this person as being female until I came to the sentence, "Selfish, foolish boy." I wa Like her other books, this was another first person narrative; however, the point of view kept changing between the different characters. One character would pick up telling the story where the other character left off. It was a fun change, but a bit confusing at times, especially at one particular point in the story when a new character began narrating. Well, from the beginning of the chapter I had envisioned this person as being female until I came to the sentence, "Selfish, foolish boy." I was a bit confused ("Boy? What boy?) until I realized the person I had for 15 pages mentally pictured being a girl was actually a boy, which as you can imagine was quite startling. But luckily I figured it all out before the story took any type of romantic turn. That would have been startling indeed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janis

    I really like Cameron Dokey's writing style. I also really like this book because it is based on the opera, 'The Magic Flute,' by Mozart, which is probably the only opera I've ever really liked. It's got all the magic, love and drama you could want in a fairytale-like story. My only complaint was the jumping around of narrator from character to character and trying to figure out who it was each time. It probably would have been easier not to have it from a narrator's point of view at all, but th I really like Cameron Dokey's writing style. I also really like this book because it is based on the opera, 'The Magic Flute,' by Mozart, which is probably the only opera I've ever really liked. It's got all the magic, love and drama you could want in a fairytale-like story. My only complaint was the jumping around of narrator from character to character and trying to figure out who it was each time. It probably would have been easier not to have it from a narrator's point of view at all, but then it wouldn't have been as clever, I think. Still, a great story and a nice quick read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan Phelan

    This is a reworking of "The Magic Flute" told from a number of viewpoints as a narrator directly to the reader. I found the POV switches very annoying. Most of the time I didn't know who was speaking until the bottom of the first page of a chapter, keeping me disoriented. And the constant switching left little time to know or care about any of the characters. It did bring up some very interesting things to think about on marriage and life and was an easy read. This is a reworking of "The Magic Flute" told from a number of viewpoints as a narrator directly to the reader. I found the POV switches very annoying. Most of the time I didn't know who was speaking until the bottom of the first page of a chapter, keeping me disoriented. And the constant switching left little time to know or care about any of the characters. It did bring up some very interesting things to think about on marriage and life and was an easy read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This is a fun book. I liked the storyline and the characters were interesting. Three stars because it was a little hard for me to get into and I didn't like the way the perspective changed so often. It made it too confusing for me, especially because I have to stop reading every few paragraphs to go help my kids. It would have been easier to read if it was written in third person. Or if the voice change only happened at the start of a new chapter. This is a fun book. I liked the storyline and the characters were interesting. Three stars because it was a little hard for me to get into and I didn't like the way the perspective changed so often. It made it too confusing for me, especially because I have to stop reading every few paragraphs to go help my kids. It would have been easier to read if it was written in third person. Or if the voice change only happened at the start of a new chapter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patrice

    I think it's a little campy when the author's characters directly address the reader in fiction. I did,however, like that the story was told in first person from several different characters. It was a unique way to experience each character in depth and provided a variety of interpretations on the events. I think this story is a fresh, reinterpretation of The Magic Flute and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read it. I think it's a little campy when the author's characters directly address the reader in fiction. I did,however, like that the story was told in first person from several different characters. It was a unique way to experience each character in depth and provided a variety of interpretations on the events. I think this story is a fresh, reinterpretation of The Magic Flute and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    "Darkness may cover light, but that is not the same as putting it out. Wheras, to overcome darkness, all light need do is to exist." "They say opposites attract.... the trouble is between attraction and understanding there can be a very great distance." "Darkness may cover light, but that is not the same as putting it out. Wheras, to overcome darkness, all light need do is to exist." "They say opposites attract.... the trouble is between attraction and understanding there can be a very great distance."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I've never heard the story of the magic flute before. It was interesting and engaging. Perhaps because I didn't know the story I didn't feel like it was too short/abrupt as I've felt about the other books in this series. I've never heard the story of the magic flute before. It was interesting and engaging. Perhaps because I didn't know the story I didn't feel like it was too short/abrupt as I've felt about the other books in this series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ali Toland

    I enjoyed this book but it was slightly hard to follow, it jumped between characters every chapter and at some points I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to remember who was narrating. The story was very good but if it was written in a more cohesive manner I would have enjoyed it more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Clara P

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book I read was Sunlight and Shadow, it was written by Cameron Dokey. With the Queen of the Night and The Sage of the Day fight for their daughter, or will she choose her own path. The main character in this book is Mina her parents are Queen of the Night and The Sage of the Day. The Queen of the Night watched over all in the night and the Sage of the day watches over all that the sun touches. Minas parents made a deal when she was born that her mother would keep her until her sixteenth birt The book I read was Sunlight and Shadow, it was written by Cameron Dokey. With the Queen of the Night and The Sage of the Day fight for their daughter, or will she choose her own path. The main character in this book is Mina her parents are Queen of the Night and The Sage of the Day. The Queen of the Night watched over all in the night and the Sage of the day watches over all that the sun touches. Minas parents made a deal when she was born that her mother would keep her until her sixteenth birthday then her father would have choice of who she marries. Before it was time for Minas father to take Mina away her father came in the night and took her. Mina finds a way to run away and find her true love. This book is a romance book. This book is so thrilling I love it. This book is a fairytale book. This is valuable to me because I admire these people they find the true meanings of life. They find what their purpose is what they are here for. tHey find their true love. They go on daring journeys they explore. They find a way to love everything around them. They are happy loving people who like to show their love on the outside. They are independant, brave, strong, amazing people. These books help me to think more happy and love my neighbors more. I loved everything about this book. In this book Mina is traded with her parents I would not like that. To not know her father for all her life until it is time for her to get married. Mina’s father doesn't care if Mina doesn't love the boy he chooses for her marriage, he wants to control the world through the man that Mina will marry. Mina doesn't really have a chose in this at all. I love this books It makes me happy. When I start reading I can’t put it down. In this book to be able for Mina to marry her true love they both had to walk through Hell and not be harmed. “Hell was close. The turn of the very next corner brought an end to the passage. Here, in spite of all my joy, all my desire to be brave, I stopped short. Before us, a great lake of rippling flame spread out. So vast, it completely filled my vision, even when I turned my head from side to side. It had no end, this lake of flame. This is the worst thing about hell, I thought. Not the heat, and not the pain, though these were horrible enough. But most horrible of all was that it had no end. Once hell takes you, you are there forever. There is no way out.” This was the part that was so thrilling I thought because they explored new, dangerous things. This book really makes me think about my life and they blessings that i have been granted in all my life time. Mina doesn't have a father for all her lifetime than when t is at the age for her to get married he wants her to come live with him. I thought that that was crazy. That would be heartbreaking if I was in Mina’s place. I wouldn’t be able to stand next to me father in that situation and not slap him in the face. I love this book. I love thes kind of books it makes me think about people that don’t have everything that I have.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Devan

    I enjoyed Dokey's retelling of the 1001 Arabian Nights and I've always liked The Magic Flute, so when my friend recommended this book, I bought it right away. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for a while, but I finally pulled it out to read. Unfortunately, it fell through. The plot itself was interesting and I was excited to see how it would play out. I also have a soft spot for multiple pov's, although they're hard to pull off. However, the characters were all one dimensional and two much insta I enjoyed Dokey's retelling of the 1001 Arabian Nights and I've always liked The Magic Flute, so when my friend recommended this book, I bought it right away. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for a while, but I finally pulled it out to read. Unfortunately, it fell through. The plot itself was interesting and I was excited to see how it would play out. I also have a soft spot for multiple pov's, although they're hard to pull off. However, the characters were all one dimensional and two much insta-love. Now, insta-love is usually "oh we saw each other and were immediately attracted and we kissed within a couple chapters." That is already rather irritating, but in this story, Dokey took it even further. At her first sight of Tern, Mina says, "I think that you love me." (It might be a couple words off, because I put the book away before I wrote this review whoops) And Tern proceeds to agree and ask if she does. Thankfully, she didn't say yes, but she does say that she "might" and that she "loves the color of (his) eyes." Oh God, want to know what happens next? They have an entire discussion about their eyes. Tern's are apparently "all the colors of the world" or something and Mina's are "of the heavens." While I do understand "the magic bells" are supposed to draw your true love, it was just too much for a first meeting. Lappin (my bunny of a spirit animal) sees this and leaves to "give them some space." And he plays his loneliness on those bells and brings Gayna to him. Well. Alright. Everything just happened so quickly. The trial? One chapter. One. Bloody. Chapter. Apparently hellfire can be beaten down by birds and Death just smiles at you and moves to the side if you play a song that expresses your knowledge that it's inevitable. Honestly, I was going to give this two stars, but after writing this review, I realized there really wasn't anything I liked about this book. The writing was "pretty," but it felt kind of cheap against the plot and character development. One last complaint I had: Why give Satto a single chapter in his point of view to present him as just a boy who wanted to "love and be loved"? If anything, I would rather have had the chapter in which he rejects the trial and feels betrayed in his view than Lappin's. I mean, Dokey gave him the chance to introduce himself as something other than a plain villain, but then when his most controversial action takes place, I have no idea what his thoughts are. Just a bit disappointing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Blythe Penland

    I thought that Sunlight and Shadow was a strange mix of joy, sorrow, and overall befuddlement. I have never before heard the story of The Magic Flute, but I definitely understand how it is an opera. I mostly liked the story, but there was so much drama, so many twists and "terns" (Haha, see what I did there? ;P) that I was often left sadly empty. I was okay with the first chapter; it made sense. Lady Mina is the daughter of night and day, and he father kidnaps her (therefore breaking a promise), I thought that Sunlight and Shadow was a strange mix of joy, sorrow, and overall befuddlement. I have never before heard the story of The Magic Flute, but I definitely understand how it is an opera. I mostly liked the story, but there was so much drama, so many twists and "terns" (Haha, see what I did there? ;P) that I was often left sadly empty. I was okay with the first chapter; it made sense. Lady Mina is the daughter of night and day, and he father kidnaps her (therefore breaking a promise), and now Mina has to marry Lord Sarastro's apprentice. The next chapter reveals another character, named Lapin, whose family plays bells to find their true love and there's a long story that shows how he met the Lady Mina when he was eight, and how they were "in love" apparently, but her father was already picking out a suitor (Statos), so they just had to stay friends and let their feelings marinate. (That part made no sense to me.) Then there's this other dude named Tern who's a prince and he follows his heart's desire to Lady Mina using a flute that he carved himself. (And also bells.) Also, Lord Sarastro has another adoptive "daughter" who is in love with Statos. Gayna helps Mina escape from her father, Statos refuses Gayna, Mina meets and falls in love with Tern, Lapin goes off to play a sad song on the bells, and this attracts Gayna, so now apparently that's a thing. I disliked the book because I couldn't ship anything. By the next chapter, the ship wrecked and I was left squandering. That was another thing I didn't like, the way that the book moved so fast. Not to mention the fact that the point of view kept switching between all the characters, so I never got attached to anybody. Lord Sarastro's soldiers find Mina and Tern, take them to the grove where Statos and Mina are to be married, Tern and Mina agree to prove their worthiness by going through the trials of hell, triumph, and the Queen of the Night shows up. Statos is given the flute and leaves, Gayna ends up with Lapin, Mina and Tern live happily ever after, and the night and the day are forever changed, in a good way. All in all, it was nice, but the story wasn't my favorite.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This is my least favourite of Dokey's retellings. It suffers from all the issues with her other retellings - insta love and a too quick resolution - and adds in a messy structure, making it so that you don't get to know the characters or feel as though you're getting a complete story. There are several povs in this book, and they all do the annoying thing of not telling you who they are straight off, or they tell you what you assume about them. That gets old pretty fast, particularly when you're This is my least favourite of Dokey's retellings. It suffers from all the issues with her other retellings - insta love and a too quick resolution - and adds in a messy structure, making it so that you don't get to know the characters or feel as though you're getting a complete story. There are several povs in this book, and they all do the annoying thing of not telling you who they are straight off, or they tell you what you assume about them. That gets old pretty fast, particularly when you're having trouble following the story. This isn't a fairy tale retelling, like the other Dokey books I've read: it retells an opera called The Magic Flute, which I knew very nothing about going in. So the multiple povs were confusing to me. I thought perhaps that Dokey was following a similar story telling structure to the opera, but I think with a story that's less familiar to her readers, she might have been better off sticking to one narrator, as in her other retellings. Usually, with Dokey, you get a fairly decent set up. You get the family background for the heroine, get to know her pretty well. It's usually the end of her retellings that suffer from being rushed. Here, because of all the different narrators, the entire story is rushed. You don't get to know anyone properly. The weakest parts of Dokey's stories are her conclusions, and particularly the love stories. This one is particularly weak. This is insta love to the nth degree. Really, just...ugh. Was not impressed. Sometimes, you encounter writers whose plots are mostly just the same. Dokey is one such writer. Once you've read a couple, the stories begin to get less interesting. This one is not only less interesting, but it's also a mess structurally. Definitely would not recommend.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Gregory

    What a different kind of story! There were times I wasn't sure who was talking because all of the characters talked in the first person in their chapter. We got the story through the eyes of several of the characters, not just our hero and heroine. The Magic Flute sounded so familiar to me, but it wasn't until the end that I realized it was an Opera! I don't know if there were magic bells in The Magic Flute, but there were magic bells in this story and the bells and the flute led the players to What a different kind of story! There were times I wasn't sure who was talking because all of the characters talked in the first person in their chapter. We got the story through the eyes of several of the characters, not just our hero and heroine. The Magic Flute sounded so familiar to me, but it wasn't until the end that I realized it was an Opera! I don't know if there were magic bells in The Magic Flute, but there were magic bells in this story and the bells and the flute led the players to the one who held their heart, or the heart of the one who was on your mind as you played. I loved the spunk of (Oh boy, I can remember Tern and Lapin, but I can't remember the girls name) the heroine. The King's Tree was a great scene too. I wasn't sure where she was going with that, but I loved how Tern read the situation and followed his heart. That's what this story is about, following your heart. Clean read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jaycee Limutau

    So I’d probably rate this book 4.5 but it was so refreshing and new and left me so happy I raised it to a full five star! Never heard of the magic flute story (maybe I’m the only one ?) but I really loved it. And even though it was the length of a short story I didn’t feel like it was incredibly rushed. The pacing felt natural. The writing style was different but it was fun feeling like the whole story being told was from a group of friends in stead of one person. This and Dokeys “Golden” are my So I’d probably rate this book 4.5 but it was so refreshing and new and left me so happy I raised it to a full five star! Never heard of the magic flute story (maybe I’m the only one ?) but I really loved it. And even though it was the length of a short story I didn’t feel like it was incredibly rushed. The pacing felt natural. The writing style was different but it was fun feeling like the whole story being told was from a group of friends in stead of one person. This and Dokeys “Golden” are my favorites. The insights into lasting relationships and deep meaningful love were inspiring. A lot of little gems of wisdom if you’re paying attention. Wonderful read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Violet Perry

    Ok, from this book, i was expecting a lot more. I feel like the whole center of this book was "finding your true love" and the whole thing was kind of pathetic. Also, the whole switching POV (points of view) was REALLY confusing. Just when you thought one person was talking, you get to the mext chapter, and you have to decipher who's talking, since there wasn't really clarafication about who's POV it is. My rating would have been higher, but all the "love" and POV stuff really sunk it down. Ok, from this book, i was expecting a lot more. I feel like the whole center of this book was "finding your true love" and the whole thing was kind of pathetic. Also, the whole switching POV (points of view) was REALLY confusing. Just when you thought one person was talking, you get to the mext chapter, and you have to decipher who's talking, since there wasn't really clarafication about who's POV it is. My rating would have been higher, but all the "love" and POV stuff really sunk it down.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

    At first I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book, but the more I read, the more I enjoyed it. I came to love the characters and the writing style. I thought it was enchanting how the author portrayed the story and switched to all the different perspectives of different characters. It was short and sweet. At first I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book, but the more I read, the more I enjoyed it. I came to love the characters and the writing style. I thought it was enchanting how the author portrayed the story and switched to all the different perspectives of different characters. It was short and sweet.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bronwyn Lok

    Full review at http://bronzelock619.blogspot.com/2011/01/sunlight-and-shadow-retelling-of-magic.html. I haven't even heard of The Magic Flute before, and no wonder, because it's not even a fairy-tale. At least, not in the traditional sense. It is a German opera, Die Zauberflöte, that has both singing and spoken dialog. But I suppose an opera can be counted as a fairy-tale too if it involves magic and the passing-down of a particular story through the generations, like the Nutcracker, perhaps. Bas Full review at http://bronzelock619.blogspot.com/2011/01/sunlight-and-shadow-retelling-of-magic.html. I haven't even heard of The Magic Flute before, and no wonder, because it's not even a fairy-tale. At least, not in the traditional sense. It is a German opera, Die Zauberflöte, that has both singing and spoken dialog. But I suppose an opera can be counted as a fairy-tale too if it involves magic and the passing-down of a particular story through the generations, like the Nutcracker, perhaps. Basically, the plot of the opera is what the title of this story, Sunlight and Shadow, implies, which is a battle between the day and the night with a prince and the daughter of the Queen of Night wedged in between. I didn't like this cover, though. It followed the style of the other version of covers of the ones I read in this series. I think the series of covers I love were the republished ones. At the beginning of time, Sarastro, Mage of the Day, married Pamina, the Queen of the Night (or die Königin der Nacht, and I'm pretty sure it's German). When their daughter, Mina, was born, it was exactly as Sarastro feared, because Mina exactly inherited her mother's name and nature. So Mina's parents had an agreement. Mina will be raised by her mother until sixteen, then her father will take her and find her a suitable husband of his choosing because it had been prophesied that Mina's marriage will change the powers of the Night and Day. Unfortunately, her father never trusted her mother to hand her over when the time comes, so the night before her 16th birthday, Sarastro took her away by force. Lapin the bird catcher had a set of magical bells that had been in his family for generations. When played exactly in the tune of one's heart, it will call to one's true love. But not only can the bells call to the player's true love, but it sometimes can be played to call to the heart of animals. For Lapin, it was birds. When he was eight, his song summoned the Queen of the Night's nightingale that she used to sing her baby daughter to sleep. Without the nightingale's song, the baby would be restless and will not sleep. Since the nightingale would not leave Lapin's side, the Queen of the Night took him in with her as her servant in her house. And that was how Lapin and the Lady Mina became the best of friends. When Lady Mina was taken by her father, Lord Sarastro, the Queen of the Night asked Lapin for his help - to play the melody to Mina's heart so as to summon her true love to come and save her. Prince Tern (which was the name of a seagull, by the way. I think this book is quickly becoming a story of people who were named after weird things) had his destiny changed at the night of the storm. As the eldest son to the king, he was supposed to be his successor. But when a lightning from the storm sliced an old tree in half and Prince Tern made a flute from it, he found out that being the king was not his destiny. When he heard the calling of Lapin's bells, he traveled to find the source of the bells, which was how he met the Queen of the Night. Prince Tern was appointed journey to Lord Sarastro's dwelling with Lapin to rescue Lady Mina. It was during this quest that Prince Tern found out that the flute he carved out was magical (which goes by the title of the original story: magic flute). Together with Lapin's bells, those things will help Prince Tern to save Lady Mina and to face the challenges Lord Sarastro had in mind for him. My favourite character is not Lady Mina or Tern, but actually Lapin. He has a lot of sense of humour. He contributed most of my favourite quotes in the story, which are: (Prince Tern) I thrust the sword in his direction. "Now wait just a minute!" Lapin protested. "I'm just the sidekick around here, remember? Besides, I'm no good with anything sharp. I always end up cutting something I'm not supposed to, usually some portion of myself." (Lady Mina) "I love the color of your eyes." (Prince Tern) At this, he smiled. "What color do you see?" he asked. "One that has no one name," I replied. "For it is comprised of too many things to be called by only one. Your eyes hold all the colors in the world, I think." "And yours, of the heavens." "Oh, for pity's sake!" Lapin exclaimed. "Why don't you just give each other a kiss and be done with it? I'm not sure how much longer I can stand this soulful carrying-on. I'll just leave you alone for a while, shall I?" (Lapin) "That's very brave of you," I said. "Not to mention foolhardy and terrifying." (Gayna) "All right, let's hear your plan," she said. "What makes you think I've got one?" "In that case, I think you should just shut up about mine," she said. "What do you mean yours?" I asked. "You haven't got one either!" Prince Tern and Lady Mina's were love at first sight, while Lapin and Gayna's were more of a gradual thing. In fact, I didn't see anything in them until the end of the story other than the fact that Lapin's bells summoned her. As always, I loved this retelling, especially now that Lapin was not some bird-people creature that lacked brains. Not my favourite of this series, but sure was wonderful, even though it took me more than a month to finish it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    The blurb on this edition is not at all how the story goes. It was a little confusing for me when the narrator changed. If she had labelled each section by the narrator it would have been better than just plunging into a different narrator and then taking a while to make it clear who it is.

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