Friday, November 4, 2011
Tuesdays at the Castle
Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2011
Middle-Grade; Fairy Tale
Source: Received an ARC through Amazon's Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
I've enjoyed previous Jessica Day George books so I felt confident requesting this book and I was right! This is a fun book with a great heroine and lots of magical happenings. It is set in the Land of Sleyne inside the Castle Glower, under the reign of King Glower the Seventy-Ninth and a magical castle that changes at will and seems to possess its own mind about how thing should be.
The current King Glower and his wife have four children. The youngest is Celie, aged 11, and she is the main character with a special affinity for the castle. She is delightful with a deep love for the castle. Unfortunately tragedy soon strikes. While her parents and eldest brother are away from home, they are ambushed and declared dead, leaving the other three children to defend Castle Glower from rapacious foreign princes.
Celie and her siblings Lilah and Rolf rise to the occasion, using every trick and aid of the castle to oust the invaders, with many amusing instances. There are also their loyal friends and the villainous Kletch, who made me think of a Gail Carson Levine character; high praise indeed! Although not everyone is well-developed, they served their purpose and I hope all of the good characters will return for more adventures around the magnificent Castle Glower.
I was pretty sure the parents were not dead because what a brutal book this would have been! I hope sequels come with more about the parents. It looks as if Celie could get into plenty of mischief with or without her parents around to supervise or interfere.
I was a bit disappointed with the ending. The castle seems to be dead, or perhaps just sleeping, until it all of a sudden comes back; not sure if it's Celie's profession of belief or the danger she is in that brings the castle back to life but it was a little too easy for me. Not too big of a deal.
Overall: A delightful journey through an amazing setting with sweet characters; excited about future books!