07 February 2011
Post 317: Two Moon Princess
So, this book did something a little different with the "tomboy princess" trope. Rather than Andrea wanting to a knight through the entirety of the novel, we find that really she just doesn't want to be a "lady." She has only chosen to be and trained as a page because in her world it would have given her more opportunities to contribute. Once she crosses over into our world, she sees that there is another option available and that all she has to do is escape to another world in order to have the freedom she desires.
In some ways there are problems with this, and in other ways it is completely understandable. Here's the thing: by leaving her world the way it is in order to improve her own lot in life, Andrea doesn't even consider that maybe she could have stayed on her world and tried to improve the lives of every woman. Perhaps she could not have accomplished much in her lifetime, but at least she could have stayed long enough to ensure that her history was recorded accurately. She was heavily involved with the peace efforts between her kingdom and uh, that other kingdom that I learned almost nothing about. I think if I had been that involved I would want my efforts to be recognized. At least this way women and young girls might have an example to follow. Then again I guess they didn't really teach girls much history on Xaren-Ra, so perhaps it doesn't matter after all.
The point is, yay for Andrea, but it might have been nice to have her at least think about the conditions of other women on her planet. Instead, we see her go through only as much character growth as is necessary for her to get what she wants. Sounds to me like she's still stuck in princess mode, only now she can have even more of what she wants without really having had to work for it. She didn't even struggle with learning the language because her people have "amazing" memory capabilities. This is great and all, but actually freeing yourself from repression takes a lot of work and I think Andrea might have appreciated her freedom a bit more had she actually realized how much our world struggled to get where it is today, and how much further it has to go.
But as I mentioned earlier, it was nice to see that Andrea realized that she didn't so much want to be a knight, as she wanted the option to be more than a marital bargaining chip and embroiderer. This is a good touch because too often in this trope traditional femininity is sneered at and looked down upon. Of course, it still happened in Two Moon Princess, but it felt by the end of the novel that Andrea didn't have a problem with it so much as she just really didn't want to be associated with a group of people who didn't do anything. I think if she had stayed longer in her world she might have come to the conclusion that it wasn't because they didn't want to contribute, so much as they were not allowed to. Unfortunately, Andrea had some big old blinders on and they never really came off.
My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free review copy received from Publisher's booth at ALA 2010