Penny for Your Debts by Zoe E. Whitten: Frodo’s Review
Penny for Your Debts
Summary From Goodreads:
When eight-year-old Penny Sterling becomes the child bride of Nicholas Rumpelstilts, she expects the worst. Instead, she’s free to go to school, to have friends, even to see the mother who gave her to Nicholas before her birth–and her new husband never lays a hand on her. But however pleasant the cage, she’s still a prisoner.
As Penny grows, she learns why Nicholas may want her: she’s a witch. She must hide her abilities or risk the world’s fear and hatred. Penny always thought Nicholas was the monster, but when a real monster leaves her scarred emotionally and physically he is the one who offers safety and comfort in a world where she’s likely to find neither.
When Nicholas disappears in dangerous circumstances, Penny faces a hard choice: take her freedom, or search for a captor she’s come to love.
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
Penny for Your Debts was an interesting read for me. The book is designed to be thought provoking as it examines issues like Stockholm Syndrome and child brides. In this Penny for Your Debts is a complete success. Is it better for Penny to have a choice over her fate even if the possibilities each have major downsides? If she never found out about her true identity would she have been better off? How real are the effects of Stockholm Syndrome in this case, were Penny’s feelings her own and is Nicholas a monster or not? Penny for Your Debts forces you to answer all of these questions and more and I give major credit to Whitten for being able to pack all of those discussion points into one piece.
As for the story itself it was pretty good. The magical elements were well incorporated and the variety of supernatural creatures made for a rich and intriguing world that I would love to learn more about. There were cool power displays, daring rescues and awesome battles that kept the balance between action and thought provoking story even and the pacing smooth.
My only major complaint was with Penny’s character. It is important to remember that despite seeing her character grow and mature as the story goes on that she does start off as a child of eight. The issue I had was she simply did not think or speak like you would think someone at her age would. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t exceptions to any age group, and perhaps she is just exceptionally bright, but there were many, many parts in the story where the thoughts she had seemed far too advanced. Penny was reading people and understanding the meaning of their feelings and then trying to react in a way that would best appease them and while that may seem natural on the surface it was the level that she appeared to understand them that was just odd. I don’t know how else to explain it except to say that the thought processes she had at eight or nine were often just as advanced as those in her teenage years which doesn’t add up. She is either incredibly bright, insanely perceptive or just flawed in being realistic. I’m favoring the latter as the most likely.
Overall Penny for Your Debts was a pretty solid read. The issue with Penny’s character being believable at times was irritating but the other elements in the book (pun intended) allowed me to overlook those flaws most of the time. The magical and supernatural aspects really worked well and the transition Whitten made and the world she created were wonderful. I loved the ending, I wouldn’t mind a sequel one bit though that seems to be out of the question given this was written in 2011. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a thought provoking read set in a magical world. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^