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The 10th Kingdom (Hallmark Entertainment Books) (edition 2000)

by Kathryn Wesley

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5081920,141 (3.67)14
Member:silvercloverv
Title:The 10th Kingdom (Hallmark Entertainment Books)
Authors:Kathryn Wesley
Info:Kensington (2000), Edition: illustrated edition, Paperback, 479 pages
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10th Kingdom by Kathryn Wesley

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English (18)  German (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Being a fan of the miniseries of which this book was the novelization, I was excited to find a used copy, hoping that the book might contain additional depth, deleted scenes, all of those little extras. What I found was a shallow, surface approach to the source material, which reminded me why I don't usually read novelizations.

The book felt as if it had been adapted directly from the shooting script, with bare description and dialogue tags added to construct a narrative. In places where it would have made sense to explore character motivations further, to give each character a distinct narrative voice, there was simply a depressing sameness. It was inoffensive and functional, but lacking in artistry.

That being said, the story itself had all the strength of the original--as well as its flaws. In sheer execution, the book probably doesn't deserve the two and a half stars I gave it, but my goodwill towards the story wouldn't allow me to rank it any lower.

Recommendation: For diehard fans of the miniseries, although a young reader who never saw it might find much to enjoy in the book. ( )
  shabacus | May 23, 2013 |
Easy, fun read. Unfortunately, I don't remember much more about it than that. Something else I might revisit, given my (rekindled?) interest in fairytales, retellings, and making new things out of old cloth. (Putting new wine in old bottles -- isn't that how someone puts it? Maybe Angela Carter?) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Fabulous companion to the mini-series I love so dearly. ( )
  leftik | Apr 3, 2013 |
Leaves out a lot of the great parts of the movie, butchers personalities, and is poorly written. I don't think I'll be touching anything by Ms. Wesley again in a long time. ( )
  benuathanasia | Sep 9, 2012 |
[Contains one or two spoilers.]

I picked this up in a second hand bookshop because friends had been saying what a great series it was. The novelisation was by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch (under the single pseudonym Kathryn Wesley - if you've heard of them, you'd probably immediately realise that's who it was, as I did, when you saw that name). I've read one book by Kristine Kathryn Rusch before which I really liked, The Changeling, so I was expecting pretty high quality writing, even though it was a TV adaptation (this can be done very well indeed - Neverwhere is a case in point).

However, the writing wasn't that strong. I'm going to put it down to the fact that they tried to keep it as close as possible to the original (early draft) script they were working from, and it kind of doesn't work so well. It's not terrible, and it's quite readable, but you can really see where something would have worked very well on TV, but not so much in a book. Some things came across as a bit cliched, drawn out, or contrived in the book which I think would have been fine on TV, since it's so much more visual. I guess it was a bit like reading a screen play. It was also a bit lacking in character depth - it was more superficial, like a TV show (where you're watching the surface, but don't know what's inside their heads unless they include a disembodied narration voice, which hardly any director does because it's really cheesy). Neverwhere worked better, probably because it was written as a novel in it's own right, not just as a straight lift from the series - it includes more detail and depth, while retaining the same plot.

Aside from my issues with it being a step-by-step adaptation of a script or screenplay, it was quite good. Not fantastic, but an enjoyable light read. Nothing much to think about or get my head into, but pleasant enough. It took more than three quarters of the book to actual care about Virginia and Wolf, which I found interesting. Usually an author makes a lot of effort to get you to care about the lead characeters. Tony and Prince were vaguely amusing, but they were just there - I wasn't really bothered about them. Wolf was probably the best character, and yet at the same time very shallowly written.

One thing that bothered me more than the above points though, was the level of violence and emotional trauma in a number of places which was just shrugged off, like, "That was unfortunate! Oh well, never mind!" The characters really didn't seem to care when awful things happened to themselves or people they loved - things that would be heartbreaking or unberable in reality. I think the problem was again the lack of depth in the writing, particularly the writing of the characters and their emotions (or lack thereof, as it turns out). For example, the bit where Tony is lying with a broken back and Virginia is like, "Oh no, Dad's back is broken and he's going to die! I'd better leave him and go on then." There was no emotional impact at all. If that was me and my Dad, it would destroy me. She just completely shrugs it off. Or earlier, Tony undergoes a horrendous time in prison, but it doesn't affect him at all, other than realising he doesn't much like being in prison. It spoils the story, the lack of even a vaguely realistic reaction to events from the characters. Perhaps it's deliberately in the fairyrtale style, whereby awful things happen but characters just float on through. But if that's what the author was aiming for, it doesn't work, because they are real people, even if they are in a fairytale world.

I both do and don't want to see it, having now got my own image of the characters in my head... ( )
  nimoloth | Aug 25, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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For Paul.
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Virginia rested her elbows on the windowsill and leaned into the breeze.
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blurb:Romance, deceit, heroism, lies, adventure, and true love - just another day in the Big Apple? No way. Welcome to the 10th Kingdom.
Suppose you were on your way to work. Not a great job, just one that pays the bills. And suddenly you are in the middle of a fantastic adventure and running for your life.
You don’t believe it could happen? Well, it could, and in the 10th Kingdom, it does.
Embark on an odyssey that will grip your imagination, steal your heart - and leave you spellbound as only the very best story can.

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