T's Reviews > Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale

Hush by Donna Jo Napoli
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-historical-fiction, iceland, vikings
Read on November 28, 2011

This is how historical fiction should be done. Whenever I picked up this book to continue where I left off, I found myself transported back to Medieval Europe. The sites, the smells, the experiences were all there.

This is probably the next best thing to time travel itself.

One of the two drawbacks to this book was that through the first half-dozen or so chapters, I found myself annoyed by the main character, Melkorka. Perhaps it was that Spoiled Princess Syndrome of hers I found myself put off by. However, as soon as the drama and action shifted to her being held captive on the Russian Slave Trader's ship, I found myself starting to become more and more sympathetic towards her, and, eventually, liking her a lot.

The best character, however, in my opinion, was Maeve. I found myself at times wanting to shout at Melkorka to open *her* mouth to ask Maeve just how the heck she knew what she knew. Of course, I'm sure it was probably just a narration device put in place by the author because if there wasn't a character such as Maeve, you wouldn't know where (roughly) the ship was sailing to, the various people groups they were coming in contact with, or the belief systems of these people.

The other drawback to this book was how Höskuldr, her eventual 'master' (and baby daddy) was portrayed. He seemed to be, at best, a secondary character without much flesh on him (as it were).

This book was based on characters found in the Icelandic Saga Laxdæla saga. While it has been years since I read that particular saga, I now find myself wanting to go back and re-read it for comparison's sake; not to mention the fact that even though in that particular saga, Melkorka had a minor, minor role, the picture Ms. Napoli painted with her words were so vibrant, I now feel as though I can fully imagine the world in which that saga took place.

Highly recommended.


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11/28/2011 page 329

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