Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hush: an Irish Princess Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

I was much more impressed with this kidnap/survival story than I thought I would be. Melkorka, Irish princess in the 900s, has been raised in semi-secluded privilege. Due to a series of events for which she blames herself, Mel is kidnapped by Russian slave traders, along with her young sister and several Irish serfs. Mel finds she must learn to think as a captive and use any tools she can to survive. By staying mute, Mel is able to carve out her own place among those on the ship, especially when the traders reveal that they think she is enchanted.
I fully expected this to be a "Young Royals" type of princess story. Napoli makes the characters much fuller and human, does not shy away from the violence slaves faced, and brings the story to a satisfactory conclusion that stays true to its ancient Icelandic saga roots. Yay.


At December 11, 2007 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Kara Fredericks said...

I found it refreshing to read something more original than some of the other books I have read from the list. I liked that this book would be good for anyone in our age group. I give it a YAY

At January 5, 2008 at 4:47 PM , Blogger Kip said...

Well written make an authentic voice for the narrator make it quite good Historical Fiction. YAY.

At January 13, 2008 at 10:48 AM , Blogger kathy said...

Similar theme to Rover by Jackie French except Melkorka is a princess (Hekja was from a simple seaside village) and Mel doesn't start out as a smart, strong-willed female character, but draws from her sister's will and wit. Good historical fiction, like Rover, based on oral history considerably fleshed out by the author through research and imagination. Survival, slavery, submission, rape, and personal relationships combine in this absorbing historical fiction tale. YAY


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