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Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute (Once Upon A Time, #6)
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Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute (Once Upon a Time #6)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  4,632 Ratings  ·  342 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
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 2004)
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Aug 18, 2009 Ash rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2009 Cara rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
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
Oct 04, 2008 Suzanna rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2009 Valerie rated it liked it
Shelves: retellings, fantasy
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
May 01, 2010 Mimi rated it liked it
Shelves: older-children
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
Jul 07, 2008 Esther rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Jul 17, 2009 Laurie rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 02, 2016 Sabrina rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jan 22, 2009 ⓘsⓐbεℓℓⓐ rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 01, 2013 Tiffany rated it really liked it
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
Feb 03, 2010 Janell rated it it was ok
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
Dec 01, 2008 Janis rated it really liked it
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
Susan Phelan
Dec 13, 2008 Susan Phelan rated it it was ok
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.
Feb 24, 2009 Patrice rated it really liked 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.
Feb 11, 2009 Erin rated it liked it
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.
Jun 03, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it
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.
Ali Toland
Dec 21, 2015 Ali Toland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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.
Sep 15, 2009 Lucy rated it it was amazing
"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."
Sep 24, 2011 Bronwyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Full review at

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
Simone Sylvester


F - *AHEM!*

Oh right sorry.

Um... I never read the magic flute..... Is it the same as the Pied Piper? ....No? Is it a play? or something...?

I dunno, but most of the book was spent with our characters trying to get our attention and holding our interest, (fail) until suddenly Ms. Dokey took a few dozen lines (I'm not sure how many you need to get this crazy, I'm just trying to make a joke that she wasn't in her senses.... I'll see myself out....) and started writing every other thing that
May 01, 2014 Camille rated it it was ok
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
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
Mar 09, 2013 Rachael rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 04, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
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
Vivian Chen (Vivian's Book Pavilion)
I had written a spinoff story about Phantom of the Opera, which is, Memory. Wait…why are you mentioning this? Ah! That’s because this is an opera retelling! Not a once upon a time! The story itself is quite similar to the original opera, except that we no longer had a silly princess, which I suppose that’s Mozart’s mind of princess, and a Queen of the Night, who destined to be evil. No, the story has two loveable females! Wait, no, that’s three…I almost forget Papagina. (Is that how it spells? ...more
A.R. Collins
Nov 03, 2013 A.R. Collins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I found this story engaging. Dokey's works in the Once Upon a Time series are consistently light and entertaining, and driven by likeable characters. In this case, I found Lapin particularly engaging, and the heroine Mina was good too (though both these characters were extremely similar to those in Dokey's other retellings). I was interested to see where the story went, which is why I feel that this book isn't worth fewer than three stars.

It does, however, have some problems that I can't overloo
Liv Fisher

I hate not finishing a book, but I particularly hated to do it to this.

A retelling of The Magic Flute, Cameron Dokey's Sunlight & Shadow had so much potential. And as the story started out, I thought it might be a new favourite. But with each new chapter and each new point-of-view, my interest declined.

Sarastro was too dramatic. Lapin talked too much. There was quite the overdose of random, unnecessary backstory. Tern put too m
Feb 19, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
I have always had a love for retellings of myths and fairytales, so the Once Upon a Time series, and with it this book, have been on my "to read" list for a while.


This is a young adult fantasy novel that is a retelling of The Magic Flute, an opera by Mozart. It is also the story of a romance.


Mina is the daughter of Pamina, the Queen of the Night, and Sarastro, the Mage of the Day. With her birth, a prophecy was given that her marriage would change the world in a way that would remov
Devz Milady
Oct 21, 2015 Devz Milady rated it liked it
The only negative and it is somewhat major negative is the romance aspect of this book.

This is best suited for kids below age of 13 I think.
Cos I dont think anyone above that age would believe or would want to believe in insta-love. Which is all this novel is about.

And in a very sad way, it takes out the depth of the characters in this book.

Mina is the daughter of Day and Night and she has the eyes and hair to prove it. Though she doesnt seem to have any powers - which is weird considering her
Jul 20, 2010 Mary-Beth rated it it was ok
I would like to give this retelling of The Magic Flute more stars, because, although I am not up on my operas, it seems like it was probably a nice retelling. I liked the story and the changes in point of view between characters was well done in my opinion. It was a good sort of story to get many perspectives of.

What I didn't like and what ultimately leads to the low rating is the way the characters kept addressing the reader. It was weird and annoying and it led to a lot of snark I could do wi
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 09:20PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 10:01PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 08, 2014 12:46AM  
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  • Mira, Mirror
  • Cinders
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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 (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights (Once Upon a Time #1)
  • Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty (Once Upon A Time, #2)
  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Once Upon A Time, #3)
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid (Once Upon A Time, #4)
  • Scarlet Moon: A Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (Once Upon A Time, #5)
  • Spirited:  A Retelling of The Last of the Mohicans and Beauty and the Beast (Once Upon A Time, #7)
  • The Night Dance:  A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Once Upon A Time, #8)
  • Golden:  A Retelling of Rapunzel (Once Upon A Time, #9)
  • Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince (Once Upon a Time, #10)
  • Before Midnight: A Retelling of Cinderella (Once Upon a Time, #11)

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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.” 50 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.” 15 likes
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