The Princess in the Opal Mask

The Princess in the Opal Mask

by Jenny Lundquist

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Overview

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist

Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face—including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762451098
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 973,208
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies with a minor in TESOL at Biola University. Lundquist has published two middle-grade books, Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly. She lives in Rancho Cordova, California, with her husband and two sons. Visit her online at jennylundquist.com and Twitter @Jenny_Lundquist.

Customer Reviews

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The Princess in the Opal Mask 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend and was so pleasantly surprised to find that I couldn't put it down! I liked both girls a great deal and wanted to find out how they were connected. Thrilled to find that book two is already out. I'm buying it now. I'm also excited to find another author who writes entertaining books I can let my thirteen-year-old read. My daughter will eat up this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally enjoyed this book!
Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
I am on some sort of a fantasy kick right now. I don't usually do fantasy. I have problems with name pronunciation and feeling like I can't get my footing in this strange world. That wasn't as hard here. In this book, it was all about princesses and I can completely understand princesses. I really enjoyed getting into this book. I fell in love with this cover when I first saw it so getting it at ALA was a treat. So this book...I really enjoyed the story and the Parent Trap type plot, but I was often frustrated by pausing to sound out some names. Not a big deal, but it is one of the biggest reasons that I avoid fantasy. Once I was able to get past the names, I found myself wanting to pull the book out constantly. I wanted to see what decisions that Wilha and Elara were going to make and how this was going to impact their lives. I liked that they twins weren't too opposite, and that they had some similarities. I want to say that their main differences were that they had different upbringings and that made one of hard and indifferent and the other one a weak woman who needed to find who she was. I actually liked how they slowly discovered who they were meant to be. As I learned about Wilha, I couldn't imagine what it would be like wearing a mask all day. I would understand why she was so submissive after having been forced to wear the mask her whole life not knowing if it was because she was cursed or just very very ugly. I think I would have had the same reaction that Elara did to it. I really enjoyed this book and the background story of with the Opals, and I cannot wait to see what the next book holds. When I initially picked this book up at ALA13, I was intrigued by the plot and the cover, but I was under the impression that this book was simply a stand alone, but finding out that it is part of a series, at the very least, a two book series is wonderful. Be sure to stop by later today to check out my interview with the author!
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist Book One of The Princess in the Opal Mask series Publisher: Running Press Kids Publication Date: October 22, 2013 Rating: 4 stars Source: Review copy sent by the publisher Official Summary: One Legend Determines the Fate of Two Lives In the faraway village of Tulan, sixteen-year-old Elara has spent her entire life as a servant, trying to track down her real name. The name she was given before being orphaned. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Galandria, Princess Wilhamina does not know why her father, the king, makes her wear a mask. Or why she is forbidden to ever show her face. When a new peace treaty between Galandria and Kyrenica is threatened, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face. Told in alternating perspectives, this intricate fairytale pulls both girls toward secrets that have been locked away behind castle doors, while the fate of two opposing kingdoms rests squarely on their untrained shoulders. What I Liked: Oh, how I enjoyed this book! I hoped I would, because I like "high"/"epic" fantasy novels - it's one of my favorite genres. My expectations for this book weren't particularly high, but it was still really nice to be surprised. I'm so glad I got the chance to read this book! And to be on the tour. This book is written in split point of views. Elara is the first of the two girls to be introduced, and then Wilha. Elara is a poor girl who lives on the mercy of a cruel woman and her family. The woman's husband is a drunk and a pushover - he lets his wife walk all over him. The woman is rude and disgusting and horrible to Elara, and only lets her live with them because of the money that the orphanage gives them, to take care of Elara.  The daughter, Serena, is the worst, in my opinion. She is snobby and selfish, and while she acts like she cares about Elara's welfare, she totally doesn't. Not to mention that she spirited away Elara's one best friend (Cordon), and the two of them (Cordon and Serena) decide to get married, when Cordon promised to marry Elara. Yes, it might have been when they were children, but a promise is a promise, no matter what. In my culture, if you say you're going to do something, you had better do it, no excuses. But anyway. The beginning was slow, because it was all about introducing Elara's life, and then introducing Wilha's life. Wilha is a bit spoiled, even though she suffers because she constantly has to wear a mask. Everyone thinks that she is cursed. But Wilha is such a puppet. She does whatever her family wants her to do, and doesn't fight back. She doesn't use her power, or fight for what she wants. Yet she is selfish, because she wouldn't have it any other way. So, that's part one, and how I feel about part one. Part two deals with the two girls going to the land of Wilha's future husband. I'm not going to say more specifically, but I think you can guess the relationship between Wilha and Elara, and why they are both going to the kingdom. I knew right from reading the synopsis, who they were to each other. The plot is AWESOME. It's very unique, considering most "high"/"epic" fantasy plots. It's focused around the mystery of the mask, of the two girls, and an impending war. In most fantasy novels, a war is a huge part of the overall plot of the series. I think we'll see more of that in book two. Elara is my favorite of the two girls. She is assertive and controlled, deceptive yet soft. She and her new love interest (take that, Cordon) are the CUTEST. I really hope everything works out for the two of them, because I LOVE the two of them together. I feel like Wilha was a terrible character - I just didn't like her. I could totally see things from her perspective, but that doesn't mean that I have to like her. See more about Wilha and her character development in the next section. Love triangles... not really. I could see there being one in the future for Wilha, but I could care less. I really hope that Elara and her love interest stay together. KEEP THEM TOGETHER, MS. LUNDQUIST! I liked this book. What I Did Not Like: I thought that the first part of the book was a bit slow. I'm good with slow - I can deal with it - but it still bothers me, when I'm trying to figure out what exactly is going on, and what should be happening. We're introduced to Elara's life first, and then Wilha's life.  In all honesty, the way the author constructed the story - with Elara being introduced first, and Elara being the poor girl, I sort of disliked Wilha. She is definitely too spoiled and puppet-like, beginning and end. In my opinion, her character development is extremely. Even at the end, she is selfish. She tries to tell herself that her entire life, she hasn't been selfish, but, um, she totally has been selfish.  I just don't like her. Elara and I are much more compatible - she's got more verve and spunk and a tiny bit of a temper, I suppose. But it's okay - I can live with Wilha in the story. Would I Recommend It: I most certainly would! I haven't read too many fantasy novels this year - "high"/"epic" fantasy - but this one is a great read! I was totally drawn in by the interesting situation with the masks, the two girls situation, and so on. I didn't think I would like this one as much as I did, but, I did! Rating: 4 stars. An excellent Young Adult fantasy read! I'm so glad I got a chance to read it. Even if you aren't a fan of fantasy, DEFINITELY check out this book! It's a refreshing and intriguing start to a spellbinding series!
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'The Princess in the Opal Mask' is a beautifully told young adult fantasy novel that follows the fate of two girls - Elara and Wilha - who couldn't be more different from each other. Elara was abandoned as a child and sent to live with a foster family, who treats her like a wretched servant that they get paid to keep. Wilha is the Princess of Galandria, but her existence isn't one of mere pleasure. Wilha has had to keep an opal mask on to obscure her face since she was an infant. Nobody is sure of the reason for this - not even Wilha herself - and the people of the kingdom either fear her or worship her. After the treat of an assassination, Wilha and Elara are forced to meet and their lives are changed forever. What they discover will change not only their own lives, but possibly the lives and destiny of their land and the people who live there. This was a spectacular YA fantasy that read like a fairy tale. I was hooked from the very beginning of the novel and was determined to find out why Wilha had to hide behind the mask, along with what Wilha and Elara had in common. The story is told from differing viewpoints - those of the girls, Elara and Wilha. I think that this type of story telling gives the reader a much deeper insight into the characters and their personalities along with how each of them live their lives and respond to all the different occurrences in the novel. I liked getting to know each girl - they both had their own strengths and weaknesses. Elara was raised in a hard life, but she's smart, determined, and strong. Wilha was raised as a princess, but is insecure, afraid of her own face, and cowers beneath the looks and words of all those around her who judge her. They were both realistic and I immediately identified with each of them early in the book. The setting was an interesting one -that of the land of Galandria - and made the story seem all the more like a fairy tale to me. The realm of kingdoms, soldiers, wars between other parts of the kingdom - all of these brought the story into a new light and an interesting landscape for it all to take place. The plot was fascinating, although I guessed from early on what the girls' secret was. I enjoyed watching the plot unfold and to see how each girl would handle the realization and the new lives put into their hands. The writing was fantastic with detailed descriptions and vivid imagery that had me easily immersed in the world that the author created. I can't wait to see what will happen in the next installment of the series! Definitely recommended for fans of YA fantasy and fairy tales! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two-second recap: The Princess in the Opal Mask is a sparkling tale that harkens back to great fantasy/adventure stories like The Man in the Iron Mask and The Prince and the Pauper. Two girls, both on the cusp of adulthood, will come-of-age and learn more about themselves in Jenny Lundquist's first YA novel. *** Full review: I'm a big fan of Jenny Lundquist's MG books - e.g. Seeing Cinderella. They're innovative, fun to read and educational at the same time. So when I found out that she had written a YA novel set in a fantasy location, my reaction was something along the lines of: SIGN ME UP/TAKE MY MONEY. Fortunately for me, Running Press Kids kindly set me an ARC, and I was immediately immersed by the beautiful world that Lundquist had created. It's a beautiful and intriguing one, where two girls will challenge their fates, take on obstacles that they could have never imagined, and find out their true strengths. *** Things that worked: * The characterizations One of my biggest issues with dual-narration novels, is the fact that too often, the two main characters sound exactly alike. There's not enough to differentiate between the two of them. This is not the case with Princess in the Opal Mask. Lundquist has given Elara and Wilha two very distinctive voices and personalities. She establishes their back stories very early on, and uses those foundations to explain why they've developed the personalities that they have. From beginning to end, Lundquist also does a fantastic job of showing how their own personal obstacles, ambitions and journeys eventually lead them on the path of transitioning from being a teenager into an adult. Without giving away too much of the story, I think that readers will absolutely be able to relate to both girls equally. Even though their personalities are fairly distinctive, readers should be able to see a little of themselves in both girls. As for the secondary characters, they rounded out the cast perfectly. Yes, someone of them occasionally veered into typical fantasy molds, but Lundquist's writing is so enjoyable, you don't notice at all. * The plotting The book opens with a prologue on the origins of the a legend in the kingdom of Galandria, which sets the tone for the novel perfectly. From then on out, Lundquist beautifully balances both the day-to-day lives of Elara and Wilha, with the more explosive moments and revelations. I could easily feel the boredom of Wilha, as she struggled to understand why she had to live a life half-hidden, or the anger of Elara, as she tried to struggle with the difficulties of her life. The plotting and the pacing was so superb, I actually didn't anticipate one of the book's many plot twists- and that's normally something I would have seen from miles away. * The writing/world-building With this novel, Lundquist absolutely proves that she has the skill and versatility to write for multiple audiences. The dialogue was true to the age, true to the world, and wholly believable. Same goes for the world-building. I would argue that one of the most difficult aspects of writing fantasy is writing a believable world with your own elements, and Lundquist does that here in spades. * The lack of the romantic angle While romance is hinted at in the book, it doesn't play a significant part. I loved this - this book is clearly the coming-of-age journey of two very different young women, and romance shouldn't play a significant part in self-discovery. *** Things that didn't work: My one very, very minor quibble with the book is that early on, a certain character gets upset with another character, for reasons that are completely out of the second character's hands. I'm not a big fan of the "I'm mad at you because I love you" trope that happens all-too-often in literature, so I was a little annoyed with this character for a couple of pages. However, this is a personal preference, so don't let it bug you. I also think the second character responded to the situation beautifully, and proves later that she has grown in leaps and bounds from that moment. ** Final verdict: Lundquist's first YA novel is a clear throwback to the classic YA books that I grew up with. Fans of The Narnian Chronicles or The Dark Materials trilogy, will absolutely feel at home with The Princess in the Opal Mask. I highly recommend this book for fans of fantasy books, but also for fans who are looking for something different beyond their typical YA book. Read this. You won't regret it. ***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great one by Lundquist! Her first YA book is a must read! I can't believe I have to wait a year to read the next one!