Book Review: The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette

12 Jan

Image**This review is based on a NetGalley e-reader copy of the book, which I received for free in exchange for an honest review.

The queen is dead. The king has been assassinated. The princess disappeared. Now, the knights have taken over the streets, oppressing the people, while the new king hides in Bosc Castle. Some are determined to set it right, and Mally Biddle, a local farm girl, agrees to spy on the King of Lenzar and his evil band of knights. Along the way, she discovers a whole new family.

The Tale of Mally Biddle has a pretty interesting plot. Perhaps not entirely fresh, as it is reminiscent of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty at its heart, but it’s still different and interesting. The characters are charming, Mally was fun, and in those respects this was a book worth reading.

That said, I wasn’t transported. The worldbuilding just wasn’t there. Once again, the dialogue was too modern. The motives weren’t laid down. How the people in this world lived wasn’t really clear. A few other complaints: there were quite a few characters, so many names, and we didn’t meet the title one until 10% of the way through, which seemed too long to wait. I became invested in some of the other characters before that point who ended up not being as important later.

Lack of worldbuilding has been a recurring theme in my reviews lately, and so I thought I should give examples of what I mean by sound worldbuilding and appropriate dialogue. The authors who do consistently do this well are Tamora Pierce, Patricia C. Wrede, and Kristin Cashore. I’m talking Crown Duel, His Dark Materials, East, A Brief History of Montmaray, Seraphina, Scarlet. Books that transport you. Books that wrap you up in their magic and mystery and don’t let you go until you’ve read the last page. Books that take place in other worlds that feel like they could be real. Not stories told in the here and now, which just feel like stories.

The Tale of Mally Biddle just felt like a story. That said, it’s a pretty interesting story with some fun characters, and if you’re looking for a story to entertain you and don’t have any hang-ups on worldbuilding like I do, then you’ll probably enjoy it. As for myself, I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. I felt like it could have been so much more with a bit more attention and detail.

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One Response to “Book Review: The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette”

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  1. 2014: A Year of Reading in Review | More Than One Page - December 31, 2014

    […] The Tale of Mally Biddle by M.L. LeGette * […]

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