Monday, May 27, 2013

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
By Barry Deutsch
144 pages

Mirka is spunky, often fantasizing about dragons and swords.  She lives with her family, does her chores (not always with a smile), and tries to learn how to knit.  Life seems pretty boring and sometimes useless.

But then Mirka eats a grape.  But not just any grape, a giant grape from a pig's garden.  The pig is extremely upset that she has taken one of his grapes, and chases her down until he gets an apology.  This starts a string of strange events, involving the pig who talks, a witch and even a troll.  But how is she going to defeat a troll?  And why should her mother know how?

So, I thought this book as alright, but not spectacular.  The story is interesting, but not absorbing.  The characters seemed a little flat and don't change or grow throughout the story much.  The illustrations were alright, but I dislike the monochromatic nature.  I did like the change between the orange and purple for various parts of the story, but the orange strained my eyes and is not my favorite color to read.

I did like that this explained various phrases and and customs unique to the Orthodox Jews.  Gave a little insight to the culture in an unexpected format.  While not entirely a "study" of their culture, added a little depth to the setting of the story.

Overall, good, but not great.  I did like how Mirka overcame obstacles she faced, from bullies and witches to ogres!  Definitely not your typical heroine, but still fun.  Not sure who to recommend this too, as it is just different enough from many standard genres- not what I would really call fantasy, but more magic than realistic fiction.  Okay book, not terrible, just not my favorite.

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