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Wisdom's Kiss : a thrilling and romantic adventure, incorporating magic, villainy, and a cat
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2011
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* At the start of this delightful fairy tale, Princess Wisdom is betrothed to Duke Roger of Farina. After she and her grandmother set off for her royal marriage ceremony, though, she finds herself falling madly in love with a circus acrobat. Complicating matters, the circus performer has already professed his love to another: Wisdom's lady-in-waiting. Oh, the scandal of it all! This tongue-in-cheek tour de force follows multiple characters; as the book's epigraph states, Truth requires many voices. Included among the captivating cast are Rudy, the forsaken lady-in-waiting; Princess Wisdom, better and appropriately known as Dizzy; Sir Felis el Gato, a master swordsman; Tips, the Circus Primus acrobat; the evil Wilhelmina, Duchess of Farina and mother of the bridegroom; and the Queen Mother Ben and her cat, Escoffier. Readers will find themselves rooting for a happy, if fantastical, ending for all of Murdock's deftly drawn characters, with the exception, of course, of Duchess Wilhelmina, who refreshingly meets her just desserts. Interwoven with the straightforward narration are passages in inventive forms, such as letters and diary entries, a play within a play, and excerpts from The Imperial Encyclopedia of Lax, 8th Edition. Packed with double entendres, humorous dialogue and situations, and a black cat that will capture the reader's imagination, this is a joyful, timeless fantasy that teens will savor.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

From the author of the Dairy Queen series comes this ebullient fairy tale, set in a vaguely Teutonic empire of small baronies, duchies and kingdoms.Charting the adventures of humble orphans Trudy, a kitchen maid, and Tips, a miller's son and object of Trudy's affections, the story's scope soon broadens to include Princess Wisdom and her grandmother, Benevolence, from the female-led ruling family of Montagne, a small kingdom coveted by larger, wealthier Farina (Princess Ben, 2008). All are nominally subjects of Emperor Rdiger IV, whose passion is his grand circus. "Told through seven voices" in diaries, letters, encyclopedia entries, self-published family history and a play, the complicated plot unfolds briskly with panache and humor, braiding imperial ambition and marriages of convenience with true love and longing. Trudy yearns for Tips; Tips yearns for Wisdom; Wisdom yearns for the circus; the Duchess of Farina yearns to absorb Montagne. All work out their destinies with gusto and determination (aided or thwarted by witchcraft courtesy of Montagne's royal family). Only the ending, referencing the story's fairy-tale provenance, fails to thoroughly satisfy.If not quite the sumptuous banquet anticipated, the novel still makes a satisfying, tasty treat. (glossary of terms) (Fantasy. 10 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
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<br> kingdom of Montagne. Tips , a soldier, longs to keep his true identity a secret. Fortitude , an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips.<br> <br> 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.<br>
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