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Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of "The Magic Flute" (Once Upon a Time)
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Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of "The Magic Flute" (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  3,886 ratings  ·  288 reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 184 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 2004)
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Aug 27, 2009 Ash rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ash by: Valerie
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 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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 ...more
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
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
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
This book was a mess. If it had like 50 more pages, it might have been better. More developed, better pacing, character growth... or we could have had a couple more POVs tacked onto the FIVE already present.

It took me years to read this book. It had a slow start, and a boring main character (At least I think she's the main character) in Mina. Mina starts things off by her back story in a tone like she's talking to the reader. That's all well and good, if she didn't sound like some perfect know-i
Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall
A delightful retelling of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. Excepting the sexism, racism, and elsewise disagreeable elements of that...

The Mage of the Sky and the Queen of the Night have a daughter. Estranged, they rule their times at opposite sides of a mountain's summit. Their daughter, the namesake of the Queen Pamina, is raised by a family miles away. (Now this was where I was a titch confuzzled. Lapin & cohorts were the ones to raise Mina? And yet it seems at the beginning like she has be
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 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.
Mina is the child of the Queen of the Night and the Mage of the Day. They’ve married to complete the world and join light and dark forever. Mina spent the first sixteen years of her life with her mother before being abducted by her father to marry a man of his choosing, due to a prophesy he overheard. Mina’s mother enlists the help of Mina’s childhood friend, Lapin, and a prince, Tern, to save Mina. Together, Mina and Tern must face deadly trials to prove their love and wisdom.

This book is part
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.
"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."
Kind of a fun story, but...

It wasn't put together well. In fact, it was downright hard to read. Playing around with point-of-view ought to be done very carefully, y'all.

Another thing that brought my suspension of disbelief crashing down was the insertion of modern beliefs about "equality". Give me a break. It's a fairy tale, for crying out loud. Let's have a little chivalry and some good old heirarchy! It fits the genre so much better. Modern mores just clash and jangle.

The story has potential..
Review Posted at Rachael Turns Pages

I had the original cover of this novel, but the new cover is so beautiful so that is the one I will use. I usually do not enjoy covers with people on them, but I have to say I imagine Mina exactly like this except with lighter hair since she was said to look like her father. I also think the cover brings to much foreshadow to the book. I think it is a creative cover for the novel.

In a time when the Earth was young Pamina, The Queen of the Night, and Sarastro
This was such a charming little fairytale story. That said, you need to read it as one. Don't expect much in the way of character development, or explanations as to why things are the way they are in the story. What you get is a fairytale, one beautifully told, with both improbable and impossible happenings. Which is not to say that all of the flaws should be glossed over because it is a fairytale, but I think it's important to keep in mind what the story was going for.

There's a lot of jumping a
There are two main reasons why finishing this book was more painful than it should have been. Firstly, this "retelling" is actually completely removed from the original opera which it is based upon. This is my fault, though, since I assumed it would closely follow the opera and would be an interesting, shorter rendition that would be easy-to-follow and serve as a tool to re-familiarize myself with the piece. I was not previously familiar with Cameron Dokey's work, and had I been, I'm sure I woul ...more
This retelling was based off a opera and not a fairy tale, but oh it was so good. It tells the story of Mina, the daughter of the Queen of Night (Pamina) and the Mage of the Day (Sarastro). Mina has lived with her mother for almost sixteen years, but, on the day before she was supposed to be returned to her father so he could choose her husband, something happens.
The story swtiches viewpoint sometimes by chapter and sometimes by paragraph. Cameron Dokey does a good job of giving the characters d
This fairy tale retelling of "The Magic Flue" is better than the plot of the actual operetta on which it is based. Of course, the opera has the magic of Mozart's music to cover up a less than stellar plot. But I loved Dokey's story about truth and love told in both a classical high-minded noble romance of Mina and Tern and the humorous, realistic romance of the sidekick character, Lapin with Gayla. But what made it a five-star book were the wonderful ideas and apt comments that swelled my heart ...more
First off, I want to say that when I saw the opera over 10 years ago, I remember loving the experience. (I don't, however, remember much beyond the talent, good music, supertitles, and the Queen of the Night's amazing solo because of some personal things occurring in my life at the time.) So I had to remind myself of the story, and as I read the synopsis I thought, "Oh, yes. I do remember it being a weird story." Thus, I wondered what Dokey would do with this retelling.

Fabulous. For me. I absolu
This is the second book I’ve read by Cameron Dokey. The first one was Beauty Sleep, a book my sister gave me one year for Christmas in a collection of Sleeping Beauty adaptations. I wasn’t terribly impressed with Beauty Sleep, but when I saw that Cameron Dokey has written a whole series of fairy tale inspired books, I wanted to try another one. She calls them the “Happily Ever After Series.” I'm a sucker for things like that.

Sunlight and Shadow is actually a retelling of The Magic Flute. I’ve ne
Cameron Dokey is masterful writer. Seriously. I may not always enjoy her plots or characters but her writing is almost always breathtaking. And readable. There is something about the way she plays words together that makes you want to keep reading, no matter how cheesy the plot may be. There is something weird, powerful, and lyrical about her writing. It sucks you in and keeps you going. Though I've started this particular book several times, I'd never before managed to get past the first page. ...more
Okay just so you know I haven't even finished this yet. I'm only on chapter 4. But this is definitely not a boring story. I mean, with Belle, it was good, but it took a few minutes to get into the actual plot. Sunlight and Shadow is interesting from the very first page. There is immediate action. I love how the narration switches between characters. This is a retelling of "The Magic Flute", which in my opinion is a really great story, and I can't wait to see how the retelling plays out. I love h ...more
"The Magic Flute" is an opera that was written by Mozart and is apparently a favorite of Cameron Dokey's. Frankly, I had never even heard of it until now. And she wrote in a way that was perfect for the setting and story.

Mina is the daughter of the mystical Sarastro, Mage of the Day, and Pamina, Queen of the Night. Unfortunately, Mina has only lived with her mother her whole life, and has rarely seen her father. The marriage of Sarastro and Pamina was arranged to join light and dark together, bu
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
"Sunlight and Shadow" is, according to Cameron Dokey, an adaptation of one of her favorite operas by Mozart, "Die Zauberflote" ("The Magic Flute"). So it's not a fairytale as I thought it was. The book is about the daughter of Night and Day, Mina. She lives with her mother, but on her sixteenth birthday, her father takes her away before the agreed upon time. Her father wants to marry her off to a man of his choosing, but of course, Mina does not want that. Mina is also jealous of Gayna, a girl w ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 12:20PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 01:01PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 07, 2014 03:46PM  
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Cameron Dokey is an American author living in Seattle, Washington. She has a collection of over 50 old sci-fi and horror films. Cameron was born in the Central Valley of California. Cameron grew up reading classical literature and mythology, perhaps due to her father, Richard, being a teacher of Philosophy, Creative Writing, and Western Literature.

Cameron has one husband and three cats, and is th
More about Cameron Dokey...

Other Books in the Series

Once Upon A Time Fairytales (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Storyteller's Daughter (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Once Upon A Time)
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Scarlet Moon (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Spirited (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)
  • The Night Dance (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Golden (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)
  • Water Song: A Retelling of "The Frog Prince" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
The Storyteller's Daughter (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales) Golden (Once Upon A Time Fairytales) Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)

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“Darkness may cover light, but that is not the same thing as putting it out. Whereas, to overcome darkness, all light need do is to exist.” 45 likes
“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 there would be in the world.” 14 likes
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