07 February 2011

Post 317: Two Moon Princess

Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban ISBN: 9781933718279.

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


  1. Yeah I think that would bother me a bit. The whole "got what I want, who cares about others" policy gets on my nerves.

  2. Agreed, Tink.
    I certainly understand that Andrea is only 17 years old, and maybe she will come to realize her actions were somewhat selfish. But I would have found her much more inspiring and a much stronger character if she had stayed in her own world. Not all of us can be so lucky to have another better world we can step into and escape all of our problems.

  3. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for a thorough review.

    First of all, I'm one hundred percent behind you on woman's rights. But in defense of Two Moon Princess I must say it is a novel not a dissertation. I didn't plan to solve woman's issues but to raise questions about them.

    It took many years and a lot of work for the suffragettes to get the vote. For a person alone, even if that person is a Princess, to change her world is a daunting task. One I'm not sure is realistic either. Andrea's society is feudal. To try to impose on it, our XXI century sensibilities and expectations is unrealistic. Andrea didn't like her society. But that didn't mean others didn't. Actually Margarida did. Why should Andrea impose her view on the whole society?

    As for Andrea leaving her world because of a man. That is not accurate. She left because she wanted to live in California. Actually, it is the fact that Andrea wants to stay in CA while "her man" wants to go back to Xaren-Ra what starts the conflict in the sequel to Two Moon Princess.

    Again, thanks for your review. It's obvious you have give it a lot of thought and I appreciate it.


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