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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wildwing by Emily Whitman

Wildwing by Emily Whitman 5 of 5 stars.

Addy knows there's so much more to life than what she has. She must be destined for more than being a maid to an eccentric elderly man. And so when she finds a mysterious contraption in the gentleman's study, of course she steps inside. Of course she bumps into the wrong button. Suddenly Addy is in medieval England, mistaken for the young woman betrothed to the lord of the nearby manor. It's destiny. But is it home? And will she ever find her way back to her own time? Will she want to, once she's met the shy, handsome falconer's apprentice? (Book blurb)

Addy is tired of being ridiculed, tired of listening to the other girls calling her a bastard for a mistake her mother made years ago. More than anything she is tired of swallowing her pride and apologizing for losing her temper when it was never her fault to begin with. When her mother takes her out of school and forces her to get started working as a maid for a "crazy" old man who has been grieving for the last sixteen years, it is that same quick wit and daring behavior that saves her time and again.

Working for Mr. Greenwood is better than Addy could have ever expected. She has easy hours, good company, and a library full of books. But something is missing. When after stumbling across one of Crazy Mr. Greenwood's "inventions" and taking a walk in the past, Addy's mother decides its time to send her away as a live-in.  The thought is almost too much to bear, but when Addy decided to go back in time to medieval England in hope of living a better life she didn't quite know what she was getting herself into.

Wildwing is a coming-of-age story full of love and hardship, joy and grief. Emily Whitman's writing flies off the page drawing us all into both Victorian times as well as the Middle Ages. The story follows a young girl hoping to break away from a life without the bonds of servitude and submission but soon finds herself becoming much more entangled in far heavier chains.

Addy was one of those characters I couldn't decide whether to love or hate. In the beginning she seemed like a fiery young woman who was tired of being put down by girls who thought she was better than them. Shortly after, all I saw in her was greed and selfishness. But I guess that's what made the book so satisfying in the end. I got to watch her grow and be shaped by the things happening around her.

The plot is well shaped with equal parts predictability and surprise. The smaller side characters in the story were probably my favorites. And the romance between Addy and Will was adorable. In the end I found myself close to tears.

The story was well-written for the most part, though some places in the book were better than others. My favorite scenes though (as far as writing goes) where the ones where Addy was hawking. Emily Whitman described it beautifully, and I truly wish I could see it myself.

Overall, Wildwing was an enjoyable read, perfect for curling up with on a cold winter day. I've seen plenty of not-so-great reviews on this book, so I suggest you check a few more out before deciding whether you want to read it or not. But if you like medieval/Victorian fairytale-type stories I think you would like it just as much as I did.

Many thanks to HarperTEEN for sending me a copy to review!

To order Wildwing from Amazon.com, please click here.

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