Friday, March 16, 2012
Tuesdays at the Castle
From Goodreads: Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. This delightful book from a fan- and bookseller-favorite kicks off a brand-new series sure to become a modern classic.
This book is so charming. I love Jessica Day George's writing and have enjoyed all of her books so far, and this is no exception. The whole idea of a castle with personality isn't totally original (hello Hogwarts) but the castle plays a much bigger role in the plot so it doesn't feel like too much of a repeat.
And I loved the castle. I want it. I want secret passageways and towers and miraculously appearing rooms. I'm still trying to figure out how I can (really and truly) build a secret passageway in my house (hooray for a supportive husband!) and so stories with a setting with this kind of atmosphere always click with me. I liked the characters as well. Celie was funny and her siblings felt real and not canned.
I'll admit that I had a hard time logically with some of the ways the story wrapped up. It was a really sudden ending and there were a lot of questions I had left unanswered and I was worried that the book would end on a cliff-hanger as I got closer and closer to the end and things still weren't wrapping up. Now, though, I kind of think I would have preferred a cliff-hanger to all the hastily tied ends I ended up with.
One last minor beef. It took me several pages to figure out how to pronounce Celie's name and that bothered me. Every time I came across it my reading groove was thrown off as I tried out several pronounciations. It wasn't until I figured out that her real name was Cecelia that I figured I'd just pronounce it "See-Lee" because it seemed the most logical shortened version of Cecelia. Does an uncertain character name bother you? I usually just decide on a pronounciation so I can get on with things. I know that I pronounced Hermione's name wrong until the fourth HP book where she explained to Viktor Krum how to pronounce it right. *embarrassing*
One more thing - this book is even more fun to read aloud! As I was reading it, my 7 year-old kept asking me questions about it. She thought it sounded so fun that I decided to read it out loud to her. I worried it might be a little old for her, but I was wrong. She LOVES it! This is the kind of book that kids love, I've decided. Sometimes I read children's books that I think are more for adults than kids, but this one really is a kid pleaser.
Highly recommended! And while you're at it, pick up Jessica Day George's Dragon Slippers trilogy, and her fairy tale retellings: Princess of the Midnight Ball; Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow; and Princess of Glass. Oooh! And just discovered a new one coming out November 13th this year: Princess of the Silver Woods.