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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kandide and the Secret of the Mists By Diana S. Zimmerman

Meet Kandide, the faery princess who is heir to the throne of Calabiyau—and also a completely self-centered, vain girl. She’d really rather be admiring her reflection and perfecting her looks in front of a mirror than anything else—except for a quick game or archery practice. Her sister, Tara, is the complete opposite—a bit boyish but an exceptional healer, she is caring and patient, unlike her selfish older sister. Their younger brother, Teren, is a mischievous faery aspiring to be a magi, or one who wields magic.

Her father is one of the most beloved kings of Calabiyau, with a council to help him make decisions. He was the one to unite the different faery clans of Calabiyau and each clan has a seat on his council. But now he has fallen ill, and he must pass on the Gift to Kandide so she can bring the Frost and preserve nature’s cycle of birth and rebirth, as well as rule the people of Calabiyau well.

But for one who was spoiled and is utterly self-centered, can Kandide rule her future people well? Or will she be too caught up in herself? Not one to listen to advice, Kandide decides to go to the meadows instead of performing her coronation and queenly duties to go have fun and pick pomegranates with her sister. Ignoring her sister’s advice to return home since the weather is taking a turn for the worse, Kandide ends up crushed under a tree branch struck by lightning, barely clinging onto life. Her sister rushes her home, but the healers cannot manage to heal her damaged wing completely, even though the save her life.

Heartbroken and enraged, Kandide feels less than perfect and vows to hide her imperfection, since crumplewinged and other imperfect faeries are cast out in her society. But when she is accidentally exposed, the council is shocked and her mother sends her away, and lets Tara be crowned queen.

Lost and afraid, Kandide wanders around in a dark forest as Tara is a rather unhappy and unprepared queen back in Calabiyau. But Kandide happens upon a place beyond the mysterious Mists her father was rumored to have created, and meets new people that dispel her old prejudices. Her life changes forever as she goes on a journey to learn acceptance of others, to learn to be more selfless, and to learn that outer beauty is far from everything, and that physical perfection does not guarantee inner perfection.

Can Kandide learn how to accept her own ‘imperfections’ as well other’s? Or will she revert to the same selfish old Kandide before her accident? Can she solve the trouble and treachery brewing at home? Or will her own reflection hold more of her attention? Can she fulfill her father’s last instructions to unite her country and bring peace and understanding, or will she let it fall to the overly ambitious and sinister individuals?

Diana Zimmerman wove an enchanting tale that especially younger audiences will enjoy! The message that inner beauty is what truly matters rings true in this novel that will have young readers wanting to read more of Kandide’s adventures!

9.450 (out of 10)

P.S. Thanks for the feedback on my new rating system. I actually just finished watching the ladies' & men's US Olympics trials for gymnastics today and I think I'm going to continue this rating system a litle longer & see how it goes. Concerning gymnastics itself, I kind of still like the old rating system, even though the new one (out of 17, now) does make sense with the level of difficulty/starting value and the execution scores added together. Anyone watching the track trials that are coming up?? I'm not sure what other US Olympics trials are coming up, but I'll try to keep up with the actual Olympics when the come! I'm sure the Olympic Games will be very exciting :)


Lenore Appelhans said...

I love watching gymnastics and I prefer the old system.

Erin said...

DOMINIQUE! I saw your comment on Enna Isilee's blog and clicked on your profile and YES it WAS the Dominique I was thinking of, from YABC. You probably don't remember me, but I'm mimagirl from the YABC forum. I haven't been on the forum in a loooong time, but I have my own blog, too. Anyway...HI! *waves*

LisaMM said...

Great review! My book club will read Kandide this fall because one of our members is a friend of the author. I'm glad to hear it's good!

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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