Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

A Spanish Princess.
An American Boy.

A King set on revenge.

An unrequited love
and a disturbing family secret
bring a World to the brink of War.

In this coming-of-age story set in a medieval kingdom, Andrea is a headstrong 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. (summary from author's website)

I finished Two Moon Princess with mixed feelings, as there were parts to it I really enjoyed and others that I found frustrating. It's concept and romance however kept me reading until the end.

The youngest of four Princesses, Andrea wants nothing more than to be a Knight. However her father and mother are determined she finally learn to become the thing she dreads most - a Lady. Enduring daily lessons with her sisters and the Queen is the worst Andrea believes can happen to her. She feels imprisoned, like she doesn't belong. When Andrea discovers a doorway to a new world - our world - she finally feels at home. Accidentally reopening the doorway after months of freedom, Andrea finds herself back in her world - along with her crush and modern day college student, John - and inadvertently causes war between her kingdom and it's rival. Don Julian, the enemy King, is determined to prove the existence of these doorways and take revenge on Andrea's father for past actions. But who is really the enemy? Caught in the middle - of two kingdoms and two worlds - Andrea must face truths about those around her, try to stop the war, and finally figure out who it is she is meant to be...while also stumbling through the hazards of romance.

There is a lot to Two Moon Princess, certainly more than I originally expected. With so many plot points it has the making of an epic fantasy adventure story but unfortunately falls a little flat. The story is slow to start. Much of the first half felt entirely introductory, and a lot of the time I found myself questioning what the point was, where it was supposed to be heading. The action felt forced, more surface plot than real depth, so I found it hard to connect with the story. It wasn't until the last half of the book that the action picked up and the plot felt like it finally found purpose. I still didn't entirely connect with it however, as some of the writing seemed targeted more towards younger readers, like middle grade. As if readers were being spoon fed rather than making discoveries, if that makes sense?

While I mostly liked Andrea, sometimes I found her very frustrating. I could identify with her feeling lost and wanting to find her place in the world, and I really hated the way so many of the characters treated her, like she was inconsequential or much more childish than she actually was. It was because of this that I didn't connect with many of the other characters. But then at times Andrea would do what felt like a 180 and become what those characters treated her as. I could never quite pin her down. I'm fairly adamant about my dislike for the other characters though. Most felt like background characters, simply playing their part to move the plot. I found Tio Ramiro and Andrea's mother to be the worst - they were so judgmental of Andrea, to the point of hypocrisy, and I felt that out of all of the characters their interactions with her should have held more meaning. Like with the story, I didn't truly feel much of a connection - truthfully, some of their actions and motivations either didn't feel completely developed or just didn't make sense. I did like Don Julian, he at least was well-rounded and didn't leave me feeling like I was missing something.

The thing is though, despite what I've said above, I did enjoy Two Moon Princess. I liked the ideas behind it - the doorways between worlds, that Andrea's ancestors were actually from Spain, Andrea's adventures. The last half really drew me in once the action picked up. What really saved it though was the romance. I am a sucker for romance, and Ferreiro-Esteban surprised me with the romance here. I honestly thought it was going one way but then it completely went another way, and I really liked it. I don't want to say too much as it will spoil it. I will say that it was fun and had me giggling. It's one of those where as readers we can see how they feel about each other but the characters just don't get it, and so there are these tense moments where I just wanted to scream "open your eyes!" I ended this book with a huge, sappy smile on my face thanks to its romance.

Overall, Two Moon Princess was a nice read if you enjoy romance and some old time fantasy. The story could've flowed better and the characters have more depth, however. But by the end it was an enjoyable read.

Rating:

Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Published Date: 16 June 2010
Format: Kindle (e-Galley from NetGalley)

Many thanks to Tanglewood and NetGalley.

1 comment:

  1. I wast sure about it at first, but by the end I liked it too.

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