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Judy Silverman (Children's Literature)
Two cultures, two abilities, two different ways of life--and both intolerant to a fault. Princess Lenora has the ability to change reality to fit her fantasies. Everyone in Gepeth can do the same thing, but no one does; it's against the law. Prince Coren is from Andilla, and he can read minds. The two are scheduled to marry, but they have just met and they can't stand each other. Adventures follow as they find they must join forces to save both groups from destruction. The story is fast-moving and exciting, and the dialogue is terrific. 1995, Point Fantasy/Scholastic, $16.00 and $4.50. Ages 12 to 15.
Harriet Zaidman (CM Magazine, June 18, 1999 (Vol. V, No. 21))
The imaginative mind of Princess Lenora sweeps the reader into the action in Of Two Minds. From the beginning, it is a constant challenge to figure out where the action is taking place, what is real and what isn't. Princess Lenora lives in a world where everyone can create what they want through imagination. But Lenora's powers are far stronger than any others, and the boredom she feels at her cloistered life leads her to develop her imagination in ways that have negative effects on others, especially her royal parents. Lately, she has been seeing things she didn't plan, and she fears their consequences. But, when her parents announce that she has no choice but to marry a mind-reading prince from another kingdom, Lenora eschews all risks and plunges into the unknown. What she doesn't expect is that Coren, the prince, plunges with her. The two experience an entirely new world and, through great difficulty and danger, overcome a great malevolent ruler. In restoring the rights and peace of another kingdom, Lenora and Coren each realize their own faults, figure out how to deal with each other and gain mutual respect. By working with Coren, instead of being headstrong, Lenora realizes that others have something to offer, and Coren learns that adventure can be interesting and that a challenge is more fun than being safe all the time. Of Two Minds is an interesting fantasy tale with modern overtones. The story could easily be one of two contemporary teenagers whose parents have plotted their marriage for economic reasons. The personalities of Lenora and Coren are developed adequately so that their responses to the action make sense. Lenora's initial scorn for knights in shining armor becomes admiration, as Coren, hardly a knight and certainly not dressed in shining armor, shows his depth of thought and courage. The novel also provides readers with many ideas about cooperation between cultures and peoples, the power of imagination, and the strength and growth that can be found in working together. It is a good book to have on hand for casual reading, or it can be used in the classroom to promote thought within a unit on fantasy or fairy tales. It contains light humour and will keep young readers wondering what will happen in the next chapter. Highly Recommended. Rating: **** /4. Grades 5-7. 1998, Scholastic Canada, 200 pp., pbk., $4.99. Ages 10 to 12.
Gail E. Roberts (KLIATT Review, September 1998 (Vol. 32, No. 5))
Princess Lenora has the ability to make whatever she imagines real, even though her parents and the laws of her land forbid it. She is promised in marriage to Prince Coren, who reads minds like the rest of his family, a talent he resents and tries not to use. Lenora uses her talent to escape from the marriage, only to find Coren beside her. They have escaped to a land controlled by Hevak, who has Lenora enthralled, but would like to kill Coren. Coren is thrown into the dungeon to starve. When Lenora confesses that she can see some small people in the palace, Hevak has her thrown down there, too. The small people are the original natives of Gepeth, and Hevak knows that only his enemies can see them. Lenora and Coren escape, and help the little people rescue the other native peoples, including elves and trolls. This first book of the series is a fine fantasy that should be popular with the Animorph/Diadem crowd. It has been eagerly received by middle-schoolers of my acquaintance. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1995, Scholastic/Point Fantasy, 200p. 18cm, $4.50. Ages 13 to 18.
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1995)
A strong joint effort by Matas (The Burning Time, 1994, etc.) and Nodelman (The Same Place But Different, p. 784, etc.). Headstrong, independent Lenora is endowed with the gift of giving life to her imaginings, but somehow she is unable to imagine away her arranged marriage to staid mind-reader Coren When she spies a fantasy land beckoning to her on her wedding day, she recklessly jumps in--unaware that Coren is right behind her. The two end up without their powers in a brave new world ruled over by the charismatic (and devastatingly handsome) Hevak. At first Lenora seems perfectly content with the loss of her powers--more than made up for by Hevak's attentions--but when she finally asserts herself, Hevak has her thrown into the dungeons, where she is reunited with Coren. Together, Lenora and Coren destroy Hevak--whose true identity provides a neat twist--and return to their own world where they decide to postpone the wedding and just date. The collaboration offers no added dimension to the book; the authors' voices meld coherently and well. The result is a solid fantasy about thinking for oneself, thinking other people's thoughts, and the power of imagination. 1995, Simon & Schuster, $16.00. © 1995 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
In this pair of surreal fantasies, a psychic prince joins forces with a princess who can make whatever she imagines become reality. Together they combat an evil tyrant in the first book and a marauding giant in the second. Ages 11-up. (June)
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0590394681 (pbk) : $6.50