Thursday, August 1, 2013
Book Review: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
The kingdom of Glower is an unusual place, one where the rulers are chosen not by their lineage but by the kingdom's castle which allocates rooms and room space based on how much it likes people and has been known to eject the undesirable all together. It's a peaceful place, generally, but now it is running into trouble: The king and queen have been attacked and are assumed dead. The castle, though it appears to still care for the princes and princesses, can't or won't eject the royals and advisers from other kingdoms who have come to "help" run the kingdom while Rolf, the heir apparent, is in his minority. Worse, the royal children find that even their own councilors aren't to be trusted.
I love eccentric, sentient buildings, and the castle of Glower is an excellent eccentric. It never speaks (I'd probably find that creepy), but displays its preferences by providing for those it likes and stinting those it doesn't. It also provides the children with hints and nudges through the supplies it gives them (a phrase book, for example, so they can understand enough to know what their enemies are plotting) and by providing them with a hidden room to hide when their enemies want to use them as hostages. It generally acts as a sort of beneficent, if occasionally baffling, guard and guide, up until the point where it ends up in trouble itself and needs Celie, Rolf, and Lilah to help it.
The Glower children and their castle-aided plans to keep their kingdom were great, and I enjoyed their sibling relationships. They have a good, loving bond, but can also irritate each other, even when the kingdom is in danger, and I found that quite believable. Celie, the youngest, and the castle's special favorite, was especially endearing: She's spunky, inquisitive, and clever, but not so much so that she's unbelievable.
The castle itself is the star though: I'd have loved a few more chapters of ordinary, non-threatened life just to see how it thinks. I'm definitely going to read Wednesdays in the Tower now.
Charlotte's Library. I read Tuesdays at the Castle because of her, in fact.
Reviews found through the book search:
Jen Robinson's Book Page
A Patchwork of Books
More through Fyrefly's book blog search.
Other links of interest:
http://www.jessicadaygeorge.com/ The author's home page.
Jessica Day George on Facebook.
Tuesadays at the Castle on Amazon.