|AUTHOR: Cathryn Constable|
PUBLISHER: Chicken House
PUBLICATION DATE: September 24, 2013
SOURCE: publisher's ARC
GENRE: fairy tale
GIVE IT TO: MS girls
WHAT I LIKED: When I think back to this book months or even years from now, I probably will not remember much about the characters or the plot. For me, the crisp, wintry setting ruled this book. The once-beautiful ice palace that has fallen into disrepair, the lonely white wolves howling in the dark, the gorgeous images of fresh, untrod snow sparkling under a cold winter moon. These are the things I will remember most. Beautiful, haunting, desolate, cold, white, crisp. That setting is just...breathtaking.
Constable's writing style has an old-fashioned feel to it that many readers will love. The writing has a new-classic feel that reminds me of Birdsall's The Penderwicks and Kelly's The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. With a nearly all-female cast, The Wolf Princess will appeal more to girls than it will to boys.
The Russian history and use of Russian language are a nice touch. The fairytale feel and haunting wintry setting reminds me of Disney's Anastasia.
I love saying "Volkonskaya." Can I please change my last name to that?
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: So sloooowwww. This book took me about two weeks to finish, and that was only by skimming a lot of the last half. Before that two-week reading period, I had started reading it once before and put it down to read something else. Stuff happens in the story, but the action shots are slim-pickins until nearly the end. Even then, the final confrontation with the antagonist felt a bit anticlimactic.
I fell asleep reading this one pretty much every time I sat down to read it (hence, the two-week finish time). For what it's worth, I fell asleep with Calpurnia Tate and The Penderwicks as well. The old-fashioned feel to these books just isn't my thing, I guess.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Read it for the gorgeous Russian setting and old-fashioned fairytale feel if you are into that. Despite my boredom, I think I would have loved this book when I was in fifth or sixth grade. I'm too impatient now!
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. It may not be my favorite book, but there are plenty of girls in my library who will love it.
READALIKES: Rump (Shurtliff); The Fairest Beauty (Dickerson), Towering (Flinn)
- Overall: 3/5
- Creativity: 4/5
- Characters: 3/5
- Engrossing: 1/5
- Writing: 4/5
- Appeal to teens: 3/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 3/5
- Language: none
- Sexuality: none
- Violence: mild; some fairytale violence, story of young prince murdered while trying to protect his family, person falls through ice and dies
- Drugs/Alcohol: none
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