March 28, 2010

Book Review- Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

BOOK #: 14
CHALLENGES: 100+, Young Adult, Year of the Historical, TwentyTen, Support Your Local Library, YA Through Decades, New Authors
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
GENRE: Historical Fiction, YA
FORMAT/PAGES: Hardcover/308
RATING: 3.5 Stars

Hush is based on an Icelandic tale and is about an Irish princess named Melkorka who is captured and taken aboard a slave ship.  She is thrown into a vastly different world- one where she must learn the rules, learn the new languages, and learn how to survive.  Melkorka does have one trick up her sleeve- she takes a vow of silence- which fascinates her captors and masters.  She realizes her silence is a source of power and quickly learns to use it to the fullest advantage.

The characters are well-defined and the descriptions are such that you can clearly see the world of Melkorka.  At first I thought she was a complete snob, but she grows to become more than that and becomes a stronger person than she was as a princess. 

The story didn't take any twists and turns that I didn't see coming.  In fact, I saw one of the big surprises at the end of the book about 100 pages before it was revealed.  However, I did enjoy Melkorka's determination and resilience in the face of trauma. 

I think this is a good book for a light, quick read.  But since it didn't have any surprises or true twists, I personally can't give it a higher rating.


  1. This probably isn't for me, but my sister just might like it.

  2. I have the same problem with Napoli's books--they don't really seem to tell a story very much, and don't have any surprises. Even Sirena, which I somewhat liked but not exactly, was more of a character study than anything else. If it had been any longer, I would have quit reading it.


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