Thursday, September 01, 2011

Wisdom's Kiss


Title: Wisdom's Kiss
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Pub Date: 09/15/2011
Reviewed from: egalley received from publisher

Ok, so, I just realized while finding the Goodreads link that the author of this book ALSO wrote Princess Ben which I've heard of but never read. HA! That's also on the cover! That's the trouble with reading ebooks on my phone. The screen is plenty large enough to do the actual reading but apparently I miss important details on the cover. Seeing as how the dowager Queen in this book is Queen Ben I'm assuming this is a sequel to that. (insert frantic Novelisting here) Hmm - well nothing is saying sequel but same country, one character the same. WHATEVER - the point of this tangent* is that you don't have to read Princess Ben in order enjoy Wisdom's Kiss. I'm thinking that a couple of things Queen Ben alluded to would be more fleshed out and now when I read Princess Ben** I'm going to know that she ends up alive and a Queen. But knowing the Fantasy genre I don't think that was ever in doubt. So. Read Princess Ben first if you want to or go straight to Wisdom's Kiss if you want to. I don't think I am missing out on anything doing it this way.

*is it considered a tangent if this is how I begin my review? Does this make the rest of the review a tangent? WHY DOES ANYONE EVER READ THIS WEBSITE? Questions for the ages.

**The audiobook is currently waiting for me on the hold shelf when I get to work tonight but I'm wondering - I would not have been able to follow Wisdom's Kiss in an audiobook.  The formatting and different POVs would have confused me?  Whatever - I'll try it.OK! REVIEW, LP! STOP TANGENTING!

This book was, in a word, fantastic. I try not to read other people's reviews before I write mine but I accidentally read a blog's "twitter style" review of this the other day and they didn't like it. Lack of characterization, they said. What? The characters were the best part of this - and that is saying a lot since I loved the plot, the format, and the writing style as well. BUT the characters! You've got these great characters - Princess Wisdom (who is just way to exuberant and impetuous to ever be a solid ruler but oh she's wonderful), Trudy (who has the gift of foresight but is somewhat terrified of it and is desperately in love with her childhood friend Tips), and Tips (who left Trudy to "be a soldier" but he has a secret and there may be trouble in his future).  I fell in love with them all.  I loved how they grew and changed and learned to live with what new things life threw at them.  LOVE them.

I loved the format.  Letters, journal entries, a memoir, an encyclopedia, and a play.

Basically if you love fantasy and strong women (oh the strong women) and great plot lines, don't dismiss this.

On a last feminist note, I love that (super huge spoiler here so stop now) neither Trudy nor Queen Temperance end up with love interests in order to be happy.  I mean there's a follow up encyclopedia entry that mentions their later lives and a husband and children for one but the actual story ends with them finding happiness through friendship and their jobs and lives.  LOVE that.  LOVE LOVE LOVE that.

1 comment:

rockinlibrarian said...

I "read" the Playaway of Princess Ben-- read by the author-- and I've actually wondered if I would have enjoyed the paper version more, too. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the book, but there were so many times I felt like, "If I was reading this on paper I would be reading back over this part or that part, just to relish the way it fits together/just the way it goes," and then the ending felt rushed and sudden to me, and I wondered if THAT had something to do with me listening rather than reading, too, since I didn't have the cue of how many pages were left to alert me to Maybe The Ending Is Coming Up Soon. But since you already know what will happen years in the future, perhaps the ending won't really feel like an ending to you at all!

But it's not told from multiple viewpoints, so THAT part won't be a problem.