Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunlight and Shadow

Sunlight and Shadow
by: Cameron Dokey
Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of "The Magic Flute" (Once Upon a Time)
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.

Some of my favorite fairy-tale retellings comes from this series, the Once Upon A Time series. Sunlight and Shadow wasn't actually based off of a fairy-tale but rather an opera. This one was really great, partially because I didn't know where it was going as I didn't already know the story. Cameron Dokey kept the style that she has had through all the other books in the series, which is fine by me as it is perfectly fairy-taley (is that a word? no? well, now it is).
This book made sure to follow the typical style of fairy-tales and yet still revert expectations. There was love-at-first-sight, but it was more like love-at-first-hear. And there were villain and heroes, but the heroes weren't always fearless and the villains weren't always evil. The "damsel in distress" was a true heroine who could save herself, but didn't begrudge a little help. That's the wonder of fairy-tale retellings. The feel of fairy-tales, but modernized. It gives the author plenty of room to change them to better reflect life now.
That's really all I have to say about this book. It was a pleasant read and a great way to spend a couple hours (as well as helpful in getting me over my reading hangover and mourning period I'm in since reading The Lumatere Chronicles).
"The trouble is, between attraction and understanding there can be a very great distance. Too great for any one individual, no matter how strong and powerful, to cross on her or his own. It is a distance which must be crossed by both, together. How long this takes is not important. What matters is that the journey commences in the first place, that the parties involved move steadily toward one another until, at long last, each is safe in the other's outstretched arms."
"...and he was unlucky in love. This is hardly an unusual circumstance. And, when it does occur, the disappointed party is generally considered to have to options. He can pull in his breath and expel it in a laugh, thereby ensuring that his heart will mend and his life will go on. Or he can pull in a breath and expel it in a sigh, a signal that his heart will remain broken for as long as it continues to function."
"For if she could make a wish, even if it was the opposite of anything I wished for, then she was not so very different from me, after all."
"How much easier my life would be if I did not love you! I thought. How much less painful, but how much plainer. How much less color would there be in the world."
"'s precisely the same as falling in love. For, to do this, your whole being must accept something new, a thing that starts out as foreign, but ends up so much a part of you that your imagination, which is pretty good, fails utterly when trying to imagine life without it."
"I imagine that great explorers have this same look, upon finally sighting the new land for which they've spent their whole lives searching. A look of discovery and recognition, all at once.
"Without fear? the lord asked softly.
"Of course not," I replied."But fear is no fit means to measure anyone, for fools have no fear, or so I've heard it said."

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