Review: Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Book: Wisdom’s Kiss
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Release date: September 12, 2011
Source: ARC for review from NetGalley

Summary: (from Goodreads) 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.

First impressions: The short chapters and 8 POVs made it easy to get into this book. I was so anxious to see what style was coming next that I breezed through huge chunks of this novel in each sitting.

Lasting impressions: Though the book seemed gimmicky at times, it was a cute story with a fun ending.

Conflicting impressions: Some of the narrative styles made it more difficult to follow the action, and I had to read certain sections a couple of times to know what was happening.

Overall impressions: I’m not usually a middle grade reader, but something about this one drew my eye. I liked the idea of a special cat, and the POV structure appealed to me as well. I wanted to see what Catherine Gilbert Murdock (sister to Eat, Pray, Love‘s Elizabeth Gilbert, by the way) could do with all of the styles – memoir, play, letters, etc.

Unfortunately, the varying styles didn’t always serve the story in the most effective way. The alternating perspectives tended to be a bit jarring with their frequency, even if they made for quick reading. The letters did give us nice glimpses into well developed characters, but the play script, in particular, didn’t tell us much we couldn’t have gotten from other points of view.

The story itself was interesting, with a cute reveal at the end that adds a little something for fairy tale lovers. I enjoyed the characters, but some added backstory would have helped me understand the political games beyond the superficial. I think this is a great book for younger readers looking for a unique narrative and an adventurous plot.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

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4 thoughts on “Review: Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

  1. Hmm, 8 POVs seem like a bit much to me but happy to know it made the read quicker anyway. The alternating writing styles also seem gimmicky but still interesting for the most part!

  2. I agree with Aylee, I think 8 povs would be very daunting for me. It sounds like a cute book though for a middle grade reader.

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