Series: Once Upon A Time
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2004)
Paperback (192 pages)
Also by this author: Winter's Child, Wild Orchid
Also in this series: Snow, Water Song, The Night Dance
Reading Challenges: 2015 Color Coded, 2015 Fairytale Retelling, 2015 Re-Reading, Read 2015
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 tear them apart. In other words, in the days in which my parents married, there was no such thing as divorce….
Thus begins the tale of Mina, a girl-child born on the longest night of the darkest month of the year. When her father looked at her, all he saw was what he feared: By birth, by name, by nature, she belonged to the Dark. So when Mina turned sixteen, her father took her away from shadow and brought her into sunlight.
In retaliation, her mother lured a handsome prince into a deadly agreement: If he frees Mina, he can claim her as his bride.
Now Mina and her prince must endure deadly trials — of love and fate and family — before they can truly live happily ever after….
Find the book: Goodreads
This is a retelling of “The Magic Flute.” I haven’t listened to the opera this is based on since I was in grade school (and then it was in German), so I won’t be able to comment on the parallels between as I don’t remember them too clearly.
Pamina, Queen of the Night, and Sarastro, Mage of the Day, have an agreement. Until their daughter Mina is sixteen, she will live with her mother. On her sixteenth birthday Mina will go to live with her father who will choose her husband. Sarastro, however, does not honor that agreement and steals his daughter the night before her birthday.
Mina’s mother asks a man named Lapin for help. Lapin has grown up with Mina and has a set of magical bells that has been in his family for generations. These bells allow the player to call their true love to them if that can play the song of their heart upon the bells. Lapin’s task is to play the bells for Mina to call her true love to rescue her.
Tern is a prince from a distant land. His father sets a task to his sons to carve something from a fallen tree. Tern’s younger brother carves a spear while Tern carves a flute. Tern, sensing that he is meant for something more, gives up his birthright as the eldest son to his younger brother. Tern then follows the sound of bells which he alone hears.
The story is a nice retelling of a relatively unknown story. I enjoyed it and it is a nice, short retelling.
In order to analyze the text and make these connections, there may be some spoilers.
Please do not continue reading unless you have already read the book
or you don’t mind if you read some spoilers.
This story has loyalty in abundance from Lapin. He will do anything for his childhood playmate and only friend, Mina. He doesn’t even begrudge her the chance of finding her true love when he himself has yet to find his own.
Then there is the willingness of Tern to go through any trial for Mina. Even when the trials seem impossible, Tern accepts them. He is most likely to die and yet he is willing to try.
- You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
- Fairytale Retelling Challenge (The Magic Flute)
- Hard-Core Rereading Challenge
- Color Coded Reading Challenge (Yellow)