Friday, 27 June 2014

Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

It has been a long time since I've done a book review on my blog! That's mostly because during the school year I mostly read textbooks and a few novels/short stories/poems that I am required to read and don't necessarily feel encouraged to write about since they are mostly classics that everyone has read and heard of and are quite bored with, with a few exceptions (sorry all you nineteenth century writers).

Anyway! I recently went to Chapters and came home with a few books for the first time in ages (I love being able to finally read whatever I want). One of these books was Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I picked this up on a whim because it sounded like an interesting read. It takes place in the time of royalty, kingdoms, knights, etc and that's usually what I enjoy the most. This book was also supposed to be pretty humorous and I thought I could read something funny since the most recent thing I've been reading is George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series.

Murdock's writing style is very different from what I have read in the past. The introduction is part of a memoir of one of the characters as well as a page from a minor character's diary. The first part of the book opens with a play, so I thought that this was going to be a play, but here I was wrong. Murdock uses plays, letters, diaries, notes, and memoirs to pull together the whole novel. It's amazing because you get to see the characters from different points of view It's interesting to see how characters perceive other characters, their inside thoughts, and their motives compared to how they appear to others.

It can be quite odd because sometimes one thing happens to certain characters and a minor character will narrate the events form what that character has heard from other characters or through rumours, so you never really know if you should trust the character that is narrating at that point in time.

The plot itself is quite simple. A young princess becomes engaged to a duke based solely on the promise of adventure; she, as well as several other characters, get tied up in a massive plan that is based on one character wanting to gain the throne to the princess' kingdom; they must all work together or else all will fall; etc, etc, etc. It's the way that Murdock presents the story that makes it so interesting.

The novel was described as "hilarious" but I would describe it as simply entertaining. I didn't laugh out loud or smile or chuckle the way you would at a hilarious book. It simply entertained me and got me through the morning. There were parents that were amusing, but I'm not sure I would go so far as to use the word "hilarious".

The characters themselves seem to be very well rounded and realistic, with realistic troubles and hopes and dreams. I really liked all the characters, except for Wisdom. She seemed to be a rather selfish character to me and I don't think she deserved the guy she ended up with. My favourite character was Trudy, or Fortitude as she is eventually named. She's witty, smart, and very likeable. I love that when her love broke her heart and tried to explain, she tells him that she wanted more and goes off to become someone happy doing her own thing and seeking out her own happiness rather than relying on this boy to bring it to her.

The end was happy for everyone except for the villain, but I wasn't very satisfied. There was this big climax that happened at almost the very end of the novel and then the events that followed it are summarized by a character that wasn't even there.

This novel was a very entertaining read involving romance, magic, adventure, and intrigue, but I think it's something to read if you have a spare moment and just want to have something to do. It's not a serious read and is definitely for teens who are still in high school and just want something to read that isn't Shakespeare or Joseph Conrad.

All in all, I think I would read it again for shits and giggles, but it certainly won't make it into my top five favourites.

Quote of the day: My friend turns up his nose - this cat knows more of cookery than most men. - Catherine Gilbert Murdock