Cathryn Constable was so impressed with a book she received for Christmas that it changed her whole life and started her fascination with Russia. Her debut novel The Wolf Princess came out in 2012, but a new book titled The White Tower will be coming out in January 2017 and although I don’t really know what it’s about, I have a guess that everything happens in Russia.
The Wolf Princess tells us about three girls who go on a school trip from London to St Petersburg. But once they arrive, they get swept away from their plans and schedules and put on a train that goes to the mystical Wolf Castle which is ruled by Princess Anna. Soon they find out that Princess has a lot more secrets that she wishes to reveal… she has summoned the girls in order to get information only they know.
If you remember, I bought this book, because I was on a craze to buy snowy books. Besides I hoped on bits of magic and touch of Russian warmth and soul. Only after reading this book, at last I dug up an interview with the author to make sure that she is not Russian, which I was already convinced about while reading the story. Yes, that was that obvious to me.
This book wasn’t written bad, the writing seemed quite mediocre and actually that seems to be equivalent to good in modern times, when most of the popular books have pretty bad writing. But the story was terrible. At the beginning I was somewhat interested, I managed to ignore unbelievable things and plot holes, because it was interesting enough. But by the middle the story turned to be so bad, so, so bad, that I wanted to facepalm a lot. I don’t think that there was a major plot twist that I didn’t predict in the whole book. Can you imagine that?
All the major characters were predictable and a bit stupid, the whole plot was pretty bad and it seems like I really don’t have anything good to say about this book, except that, it was a quick read.
Based on the interview I saw, Mrs Constable put all her feelings about Russia into her character – Sophie – and well, I kind of didn’t believe that character’s feelings. It really does say something, if you pretty much describe your thoughts and feelings, yet the reader doesn’t believe you.
I can’t hide the disappointment about this book, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, because it seems even too lame for the school to which I usually donate books in English.
See, I don’t know, if it is a problem or an actual good thing, but I know a few things about Russia and well… the way of its people? And this book seemed to try, but not succeed in showing their warmth, friendliness… it seemed more like a skim over the true nature of Russian people. The unnecessary mentioning of words in Russian seemed so, so much. It didn’t add to the atmosphere, it just was annoying (I understand Russian, but those who don’t would need to check the back page of the book for translations of all the words and phrases used in this book and honestly, it seemed like there was one in each other page).
Besides at the beginning everything happens in London and I live in London and what was written there just didn’t seem true to me (like most things written about London, do I have pink glasses?). I don’t know why every single person seems to be thinking that London is always rainy, grey and ugly.
This book might not be so bad, if the reader is still a kid, but I don’t think that young adults would enjoy this book that much really. I gave this book one star on my goodreads page.
Let me know, if you have had the author’s new book on the radar, I would like to know, what she’s been up to and if any progress has been made! But for now – cheerio!