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Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Juvenile, Juvenile Fiction

Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Later generation novel of Princess Ben
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult (12+)
Grade Range: Grades 7+
Pages: 304 Jacketed Hardcover
Date Publisher: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A Thrilling and Romantic Adventure
Incorporating Magic, Villiany, and a Cat

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.

Read from September 10 to 16, 2011 — I own a copy

It all started in the spring of 2008 while in the library I discovered a gorgeous cover on a novel in the New Releases section entitled Princess Ben. I was not necessarily looking for a young adult, or teen girl read, but the cover was awesome and gorgeous so I decided to check it out. A week later, I ordered myself a copy and convinced my sister she needed one as well. Princess Ben was my first introduction to Catherine Gilbert Murdock and will not be my last! When a few weeks ago I discovered there was a new Fantasy Historical (she also write contemporary novels – Catherine Gilbert Murdock) I was ecstatic and could not wait to get my hands on Wisdom’s Kiss. I have been waiting for this for years!

While Princess Ben was completely amazing. Wisdom’s Kiss was different. It still has the narrative voice and humor that I came to love and without fail I completely recommend it to your teens, and anyone else to read as well. Princess Wisdom is a granddaughter of Princess Benevolent and as the Queen Mother Nonna Ben she is a returning character as well that brought a smile to my face. While you can definitely read this one as a stand alone, I hope it will make you want to go back to journey on Princess Ben’s adventure too.

This is a different kind of novel. It a story told from eight different perspectives in the form of diaries, letters, encyclopedia entries and more. I think it would be a great example of what different sources would be on a historical tale for a student by the way. This is an adventure that takes you and stalls you until you find out the full details of what all went on. It was exciting, heart breaking and romantic at the same time. While I do not love it quite as much as Princess Ben. I love it all the same.


*Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy for review.*

VIDEO – Use this link to see a book trailer.

The cast of characters includes but is not contained to…

  • Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, who yearns for a life of adventure beyond the staid old kingdom of Montagne
  • Tips, a solider, who is desperate to keep his true identity a secret
  • Fortitude, an orphaned maid, who longs only for Tips
  • Nonna Ben, the Queen Mother of Montagne, a doting and wise grandmother who seeks to keep her kingdom and granddaughters secure
  • Wilhelmina, the conniving and avaricious Dowager Duchess of Farina

Catherine Gilbert Murdock is the author of popular teen fiction including DAIRY QUEEN, THE OFF SEASON, PRINCESS BEN, and the upcoming book FRONT AND CENTER.

Catherine Gilbert Murdock burst on to the scene of young adult literature with her debut novel, Dairy Queen, winner of Borders’ Original Voices Award, the 2007 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and the 2007 Great Lakes Booksellers Children’s Literature Award. Reviewers, booksellers, and readers from across the country embraced Murdock’s main character, D.J. Schwenk, rejoicing in her refreshing honesty, wit, and, most of all, determination to do something different. Dairy Queen’s sequel, The Off Season, soon followed and met with the same success, prompting e-mails from teens celebrating the return of D.J. and thanking Murdock for creating someone to whom they could relate. In October 2009, Front and Center, Catherine Murdock’s final installment in the DJ Schwenk trilogy will be released. In a different vein, Ms Murdock created Princess Ben (May 2008), a refreshing new fractured fairy tale that was welcomed by fantasy lovers everywhere.

Catherine Gilbert Murdock and her sister, the best-selling novelist Elizabeth Gilbert, grew up on a tiny farm in Connecticut. She now lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two children, where she has just completed the third book starring D.J. Schwenk. Please visit Ms. Murdock’s website, www.catherinemurdock.com, for more information about the author, including glimpses of her work in progress, discussion questions for readers, an up-to-date appearance schedule, and playlists of songs that kept her going while writing!



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Books — those sturdy and beautiful volumes of paper and ink — have been a foundation of civilization for millennia. One could argue, in fact, that they ARE civilization: how else would we know our culture, our past, our universe?

This said, technology has a thing or two to contribute. Just as cinema in the twentieth century transformed how we see the world — in fact, how we conceptualize it — so too do electronics alter our perception today. With an ebook, narrative no longer need begin at the beginning and end at the end; instead with the click of a link, a reader can move through a novel, a history, a science text, or a picture book non-linearly, probing material more deeply, discovering backstory, skimming. The act of reading becomes interactive, even proactive. Sometimes this interaction is unnecessary: many stories do quite well, thank you, with a simple beginning, a middle and an end, in that order. But other tales cry out for such enhancement.

Wisdom’s Kiss cried out, thunderously — and ended up with enhancements in aces and spades. The enhanced e-book edition of Wisdom’s Kiss includes over 50,000 words (another whole book!) of bonus fiction, commentary, questions, excerpts and recipes, not to mention the full first act of Queen of All the Heavens. Below is a selection of the electronic enhancements from Wisdom’s Kiss:
Original prose

•  The mock fairy tale “Cat Whiskers” >>

•  Elephantine Stiltdancers, with author commentary >>

•  the lyrics to “Pass the Bucket, Queenie!” >>

A Gazetteer of place names, with pronunciations >>

Author commentary

•  the title and cover of Wisdom’s Kiss >>

•  styles of address (or, “what to call a duke”) >>

•  castles in Wisdom’s Kiss, in fairy tales and in history >>

•  the Globe d’Or, with illustrations >>

Recipes including author commentary

•  Cuthbert en croute >>

•  pumpkin breakfast pudding >>

Questions for readers >>


Poke around if you’re so inclined; you may find it enlightening or amusing, or — optimally — both at once. Cheers!

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About CherryBlossomMJ

The Creative Madness Mama also known as Margaret is a Christian Stay-at-home Mama, married to the Enginerd, Quilter, avid reader and book-a-holic. A book blogger for bunches of different publicists. She loves to share the latest and greatest about books coming out as well as her quilt and other crafty projects with some pictures of her eight-year-old AppleBlossom, three-year-old Almond Blossom (the Rascal boy!), six-year-old OrangeBlossom (the Princess), and newborn Mermaid Warrior in between. Plotting to be a homeschooler, she's a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, list making mama full of a little creative and a lot of madness.