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Two Moon Princess    by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban Amazon.com order for
Two Moon Princess
by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Order:  USA  Can
Tanglewood, 2010 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover

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*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Centuries ago, a portal opened between Earth and another world, allowing a band of Spanish soldiers to escape their pursuers. Over time, those original soldiers became the kings of the new world, slowly overtaking the natives. The portal was lost and talk of another world became a myth. This is the background to Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban.

Princess Andrea de Montemaior dreads turning fourteen because it means she has to stop training as a Page and return to her mother's tutelage to become a Lady. Andrea wants to be a Knight and go to war with her father as he fights other Dons for control of the land. Running away, she is caught by her strangely dressed Tio Ramiro who makes an agreement with her she can be his helper until he must return to patrol in the Forbidden Lands. Andrea submits, but all too soon has to return to learning to be a Lady.

Too free-spirited, Andrea is banned from attending her first ball. While spying on her older sisters, she meets Don Alfonso de Alvar, second son of a rival king. Alfonso speaks of his brother, Julian, wanting to speak to Ramiro about portals to another world. This is the first Andrea has ever heard of such a thing, but she realizes that might have something to do with Tio Ramiro's odd clothing and the unusual gifts he often brings to her.

On the night of the full moon, Andrea follows Ramiro into a cave and finds herself in California. She soon comes to love everything about California, especially John, a grad student studying anthropology under her uncle. One night, a storm forces Andrea and John into the portal cave, and they find themselves back in Andrea's world. Little does she know that by bringing John into her world, she has set the stage for all out war between the de Montemaiors and de Alvars.

Andrea is a strong heroine who learns a lot about herself and the worlds around her, and that is what saves Two Moon Princess. The storyline is rather loose, with pieces that simply drop away for long stretches of time, some never to return. Though the settings are strong, it would be nice to see either a little more of Andrea's life in California or none at all, as this is the part of the story that felt the most disjointed. The romance did feel realistic even if it did not follow the typical formula for a YA novel.

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban expresses some great ideas and sneakily teaches a few excellent lessons in Two Moon Princess. With a little tightening, this could be a splendid romantic fantasy.

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