Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Review: Two Moon Princess

Media Type: Book
Title: Two Moon Princess
Author: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Pages: Paperback; 324
Release Date: June 16, 2010
Source: Publisher/TBS
Intended Reading Group:
Middle Grade/Young Adult

Content Screening:
Mild language; Mild violence (wars)

HDB Rating:
2 Keys to My Heart

In this coming-of-age story set in a medieval kingdom, Andrea is a head strong princess longing to be a knight who finds her way to modern-day California. But her accidental return to her family's kingdom and a disastrous romance brings war, along with her discovery of some dark family secrets. Readers will love this mix of traditional fantasy elements with unique twists and will identify with Andrea and her difficult choices between duty and desire.

What breaks my heart about this book is that I went into it really wanting to fall in love with. When I read the synopsis and saw that it contained time travel, fantasy elements, and even some coming of age difficulty, I really thought that this would be something I loved. Unfortunately, Two Moon Princess just didn't hold my attention the way I'd hoped. 

First of all I find it necessary to open with a commendation. Despite everything else, I applaud Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban's world building abilities. The medieval world that Andrea is growing up in is truly beautiful. The descriptive language that is used to share the beauty of her lands, and the wild openness around her is like a painting. It's almost as though I found myself transported there. Even when she ends up in modern-day California, you can almost see her surroundings. It's pretty amazing.

Sadly, I wasn't able to fall in love with any of the characters, and anyone who has been reading my blog for any amount of time knows I'm a character girl. Andrea and her sisters were really tough to like. What really bothered me though was Andrea's constant changing of attitude. At first she is the princess who'd rather be a squire, and then she morphs into something entirely different and not quite herself. On top of that her immature attitude was slightly off-putting, especially when things she would say just didn't fit with what I thought her character was. In terms of supporting characters, I didn't feel that I was able to get to know them as much as I would have liked. Even John, who ends up as the apple of Andrea's eye, isn't that fleshed out as a character. It was wholly frustrating to me.

Plot wise, the story is solid! It does jump a bit, especially when Andrea travels from one world to another, but overall it is interesting. The second half of the story really held my attention much more than the rest, but of course there was a war brewing and scandal. I'm drawn to that sort of thing, I shan't lie! This is another aspect that kept me reading on.

Two Moon Princess is classified as a Middle Grade novel, but I'm not sure that's the best place for it to fit. The beginning of the story, in an effort to build up the world setting, is very slow. Perhaps readers who are drawn in by historical fiction might find something to love! However I know that many of the younger aged children I work with wouldn't be able to make it through the first few pages. As I said, it truly saddens me. I loved the setting and the plot, I only wish I could have fallen in love with the characters more. I'd definitely recommend that lovers of historical fiction, and of fantasy, give this a try. You might love it.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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