Thursday, September 8, 2011

ARC Review: Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Wisdom's Kiss
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Publication: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)

Description: Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious, extraordinary tale by the author of the Dairy Queen trilogy and Princess Ben.

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.

My Thoughts: This fairy tale-like story is told in a unique and humorous way. The story is pretty simple. A boy - Tips - and girl - Trudy - are each other's only friends. The boy has a chance to go out into the larger world and writes back to the girl. They grow up with the girl believing that one day the boy will come back to her. She gets a chance to go where the boy now is and finds that he has fallen in love with another - Princess Wisdom. Complicating matters is the fact the Wisdom is on her way to be married to a Duke and is accompanied by her grandmother and her grandmother's cat. Added to that we have a plot by an evil Duchess to take over Wisdom's kingdom by marrying her to his son and conniving a way to get her sister off the throne.

What makes this story extraordinary is the style. This story is told from a variety of viewpoints. We have Princess Wisdom's stream of consciousness diary. We have the Encyclopedia of Lax. We have letters from the Princess's Grandmother back home to the Queen who is Wisdom's sister. We have Tip's letters home to Trudy. We have the memoirs of Felis El Gato who is the one who took the boy away and filters the subsequent events through his own self-centeredness and vanity. We have a play written to immortalize the story. We have Trudy's biography as told to her daughter. We have notes from the evil Duchess. All of these threads wind together to make up the whole story.

The book is filled with humorous word play and is a treat to read. Each voice is so distinct and so different and does so much to illuminate each character. I recommend it, not so much for the story, but for the style of the book. I think anyone with a quirky sense of humor will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
All her life Trudy had longed for a grandmother. Not the fairy version found in stories, but a real old lady who would praise and treasure her. At last she had chanced upon this marvelous species of human, and while Nonna Ben, to be sure, was not her grandmother, nonetheless she rejoiced in the woman's presence as a sunflower, turning its head to follow the path of the sun across the sky, absorbs every warming ray.
I received this eARC from NetGalley for review. You can get your copy here.


  1. it sounds nice ! Now I'm vey curious about this book ! Thanks for your review !


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity. Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!