When I was growing up, many young girls might have envied the life of Princess Andrea, the heroine of Two Moon Princess. She lives in a castle in a world resembling medieval Spain. Horses, servants, beautiful scenery--what's not to like? But for Andrea, a headstrong young woman, that life is stifling. She'd rather train to be a knight, but her fourteenth birthday is only months away, and she must become a "lady." That means staying inside the castle, learning to curtsy and smile and do needlework ad nauseam. No more hunting in the woods.
One day, in the midst of this unwanted transition, Andrea is accidentally transported to modern California. Now we're talking! Andrea is awed by the freedom of the teenagers she meets on a beach. Here as well, she sees her uncle, and is taken to his beautiful home. He travels freely between the two worlds by entering a forbidden cave on the night of a full moon, and tells Andrea she must return to her father's kingdom the next month. But knowing Andrea as we do, it won't be that easy.
Unfortunately, her plans don't work out, and her return to the Kingdom of Zeltia is accidental. She brings back a California boy who falls in love with the lore and swordplay of Zeltia and puts his life at risk.
The relationships between Andrea and her parents, her sister, and the young men she is attracted to in both worlds, are expertly drawn. These are no two-dimensional characters. The author skillfully exposes the motivations of everyone who plays a role in Andrea's burgeoning adolescence. We see both the good and bad sides of people who have the heroine's best interests at heart.
Andrea matures during the course of the story, traveling from her world, which has two moons, to California and back again. She gets into more than a few hair-raising predicaments along the way, but this is no "damsel in distress" story. Andrea keeps busy saving a life or two on her own, learns to accept help, and never gives up trying for the best outcome for everyone in her parallel lives.
This is a princess story to keep a young adult reader turning the pages until the end. Even after the last word, though, you'll wonder what happens to Andrea next. Lucky for us, the author has written a sequel called The King In the Stone for the same publisher.
by Linda Wisniewski