Two Moon Princess
by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Two Moon Princess is a 2007 Cybils nominee.
I knew knights did not really fight for us ladies. If they did, they would have the courtesy of asking first whether we want their help.
—Princess Andrea de Montemaior
The fourth daughter of a royal family in the world of Xaren-Ra, Andrea doesn't want to be a princess, she wants to be a knight. But her father, the King, has forbidden her to train as a knight. Now that she's fourteen, she has to give up the things she loves, archery and riding her horse, Flecha, to join her mother's court and train as a lady. Andrea finds court life stifling and difficult, so when she discovers a door to an alternate world, she enters it hoping for a better life. She finds herself in a strange land - California - but with the help of her uncle, who unknown to her is from that land, she quickly adapts to life in California.
She loves living in California - the independence, the friendships, her studies at the University. But when an accident sends her back to Xaren-Ra with a young man she considers a potential boyfriend, the consequences of her return send her kingdom to the brink of war with a neighboring kingdom. Andrea has a plan that just may stop the war, and she sets off on a dangerous mission into enemy territory to try to save her kingdom and her family.
I found this to be quite an engaging book. I was reading it on Thanksgiving, and I was so engrossed in Andrea's adventures that I didn't notice for several minutes that someone was talking to me. Andrea is a likable protagonist: strong-willed, adventurous, and independent, yet sensitive, too; when she comes to understand the death and bloodshed that are the result of war, she questions her ambition to become a knight.
The book is not without romance, either. In some ways the romance seems almost Shakespearean, with mix-ups and misunderstandings and couples switching partners. I wasn't very happy with the men that it seemed initially that she would be partnered with, but Andrea's ultimate romance is very satisfying.
The plotting is a little uneven in places, and some of Andrea's choices and misunderstandings stretch the line of credulity a bit. Overall, however this is a strong title that will appeal to teens who like fantasy with adventure, romance, and strong female protagonists.