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Monday, September 12, 2011

Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch

Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (304 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Orchid

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

Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true identity a secret.

Fortitude, an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips.

These three souls might possibly attain their dreams while preserving their empire from ruin — if only they can bear one another’s company long enough to come up with a plan.

Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious tale told in diaries, letters, encyclopedia entries, and even a play, all seamlessly stitched together by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and Princess Ben.

The cover of this book has the words “A Thrilling and Romantic Adventure Incorporating Magic, Villainy and a Cat”. These words say it all.

Princess Wisdom (Dizzy) becomes engaged to the man who has arrived to court her sister, Queen of Montagne. She travels with her grandmother (Ben - Queen Mother of Montagne) to her betrothed’s home. Crisis after crisis delays their arrival, eventually stranding them in an inn in Bacio with their ladies-in-waiting suffering from food poisoning.

Trudy, chambermaid at the Bacio inn, has written to her childhood sweetheart Tips for years. She has the ability to see the future or, to be more exact, which is the right path to take for a good future. Unaware of this, the Queen Mother invites her to join them as a lady-in-waiting for their visit to the duchy of Froglock where Dizzy’s intended awaits them at Phraugheloch, the ducal residence.

Although her prescience warns Dizzy is not good for her own future, Trudy is overcome by the knowledge Tips will be in Froglock. Lady Fortitude, the title Ben gives Trudy, arrives in Froglock and chaos erupts. Dizzy’s future mother-in-law intends to get rid of her after the wedding, the Emperor is also in Froglock with his own hidden agenda. Tips and his master have accompanied him. The fairy story takes a dark twist as they all try to achieve their own aims.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a modern fairy tale complete with hero, heroine, villain and various helpful minor characters. Despite the eight points of view it flowed well, carrying the story seamlessly throughout the book.

Both Trudy and Dizzy’s inner thoughts added spice to the story, but still kept it sweet and light. At first I wondered where the author intended to take the storyline but after a few chapters I didn’t care. I was too entranced by what would happen next. If Star Wars is a futuristic Cinderella, then Wisdom’s Kiss is a realistic Cinderella. I say this because the actions and reactions of the characters reflected the way modern misses would react in similar situations.

To get the full flavour of this story the book must be read from cover to cover. Delightful, engaging, captivating. These three words describe my feelings as I read this book. Suitable and entertaining for any reader, young and old.

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