Monday, August 29, 2011

review: Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

pub date: September 12, 2011
publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
pages: 314
source: NetGalley 
appeals: fantasy, fairy tale-ish, romance, adventure
content: clean

I am a huge fan of Murdock's Dairy Queen series. I love DJ Schwenk and her adventures in Red Bend Wisconsin. However, I'm not such a fan of Murdock's fantasy books.

I read Princess Ben when it came out a few years ago, and it was okay, but I didn't love it. I read Wisdom's Kiss because I wanted to give Murdock's fantasy another go because I love her realistic fiction so much. However, I have to say the I felt the same about Wisdom's Kiss as I did for Princess Ben. It was okay. Not my type of fantasy.

I say not my type of fantasy because the fantasy I enjoy delves into characters and relationships and has solid world building and a well-set forth magical system. I didn't get that with this book. I felt like the story just skimmed the surface, and I wanted depth.
I didn't really feel attached to any of the characters. They were fun or evil or woeful or hopeful, but none of them I felt like I knew. They never came alive for me. Trudy was my favorite but there wasn't enough of her, or any of them really, to love.

The plot had moments of surprise and fun, but it wasn't suspenseful. I didn't feel the urgent need to know what was going to happen next. I felt more of a need to finish the book so that I was finished.

I thought Murdock's story telling style was very creative. Told from (I think) 8 different points of view in (I think) 8 different styles, it was fun to read. Though I did skip the encyclopedia entries near the end. The story might have made more sense if I hadn't done so.

I really hope Murdock writes more contemporary, realistic fiction. I will definitely read it when she does. But I think not any more of her fantasy books. Just not my kind of fantasy.

Readalikes would be Jessica Day George's books or Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore. And if you liked Princess Ben, you'll enjoy this one.

Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, longs for a life of adventure far beyond the staid old kingdom of Montagne.

Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true life secret from his family.

Fortitude, an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips.

These three passionate souls might just attain their dreams while preserving Montagne from certain destruction, if only they can tolerate each other long enough to come up with a plan. Tough to save the world when you can't even be in the same room together.

Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious, extraordinary tale by the author of Dairy Queen and Princess Ben. An incredibly creative tale told with diaries, memoirs, encyclopedia entries, letters, biographies, even a stage play, all woven together into a grand adventure.


Rachel Brooks said...

Great review! It's too bad you didn't enjoy this book more though.

Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)

Elizabeth said...

NEW your pink theme.

Stop by my blog if you like...I have three giveaways going on.