Emily's Reviews > Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute

Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey
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's review
Jun 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, fairytales
Read on June 15, 2012 , read count: 1

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 remove and give power to her parents. So her parents made a pact that, for the first sixteen years of her life, Mina would live in the darkness with her mother; on the day of her sixteenth birthday, she would be given to her father and he would select a husband.

But when Mina's father breaks his oath, it takes all of Mina's strength, and the help of some friends, to find her heart's desire.

My Impressions

I have never encountered The Magic Flute, so I am not sure how closely/loosely this story follows the original. I liked this story for that fact, since it had familiar feel of a fairy tale but was at the same time new, even though some of the plot was predictable.

The thing that I had the hardest time with in this book was the switching perspectives. There are a total of five narrators for this story, and each one tells the story from a first-person perspective. Though I really liked seeing inside the heads of various characters, the shifts are not clearly marked in the book, so it often took me a couple sentences before I realized that a different person was "speaking."


I think this book is a great fairy tale, even though it isn't a retelling of one of the traditionally known stories.

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