Review Blog

Feb 10 2012

Wisdom's kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781742379265.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, sets off on a journey to wed Duke Roger. She is athletic, likes to take risks and longs for adventure. Accompanied by Queen Mother Ben, her travels are interrupted when her entourage falls ill at a country inn where Fortitude, known as Trudy, works. Trudy agrees to accompany the party as a lady-in-waiting because she hopes to find Tips, the soldier that she is in love with. Dizzy, Trudy and Tips, with the help of a magical cat, will have many adventures while trying to find true love and save the kingdom of Montagne.
Murdock has combined elements of the traditional fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to make up a highly original and very funny tale. Using eight different voices to flesh out the tale, each with a fairly short entry, Murdock brings this story to life. The reader hears it from diary entries, plays, letters and encyclopedia texts, each one written with the appropriate voice and giving a different view point to what is happening.
Fans of the book, Princess Ben, by Murdock, will enjoy seeing Ben as an elderly, scheming woman, but newcomers to the series will be able to happily read this as a stand alone. The incidents are often hilarious, especially those involving the Circus Primus and the master swordsman, Felis El Gato. Play on words, humorous dialogue and unconventional events make for a story that I really enjoyed. Murdock has the knack of bringing to life strong women, who, even with many flaws, are determined to go their own way.
People who like fairy tales retold and the authors Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George will enjoy Wisdom's kiss.
Pat Pledger

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