Monday, October 8, 2012

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars: By Katherine Marsh




Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born?

Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands?

Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.

He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in a luxurious prison: Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them; but it breaks Jepp’s heart to see his friend Lia suffer.

After Jepp and Lia attempt a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe in a kidnapper’s carriage, Jepp fears where his unfortunate stars may lead him. But he can't even begin to imagine the brilliant and eccentric new master—a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars—who awaits him. Or the girl who will help him mend his heart and unearth the long-buried secrets of his past.


Rarely do I read a book that is written with such advanced skill as to evoke images of great poetry, while at the same time possessing a level of ease allowing even the most reluctant of reader to be swept into the story.

All of this leaves only one word to describe Jepp, Who Defied the Stars.


Now because you probably want more from a review than just one word I’ll say a bit more about the book. Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is one of the best written books I’ve read in a long while. It is full of beautiful written scenery and descriptions, yet gripping. It is filled with three dimensional characters that you see the faults in, yet still understand there decisions, as they’ve been built as humans not stick figured characters. And it moves at a startlingly quick pace for a book that spends so much time describing the surrounding world and characters in such in-depth detail.

Jepp is a fantastic character. He is smart, likable, and fallible. Of course this ability to make mistakes and be swayed by emotion is one of the reasons readers will love Jepp, as they will commiserate with his journey and growth, getting chocked up at the low points and feeling elated at the high. He is a well crafted character who is just a kid learning as he’s forced into impossible situations away from home.

Of course, besides making Jepp a wonderful character, Marsh also does a fantastic job recreating the world and situations of the 15 and 1600s. My personal favorite fact based location/character was Tycho and Uraniborg, which I found fascinating, reading as Tycho mapped the stars with nothing more than math they discovered and rudimentary materials. Absolutely fascinating.

As you can probably tell I very much Enjoyed Jepp, Who Defied the Stars. I thought it was well written, gripping, original, and balanced story building with plot development very well. All in all I would easily recommend this book to ANYONE I happen to come across, adult or teen. Go buy it. 


Publisher: Hyperion Book CH

Published: October 9, 2012

Price: $16.99

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