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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

Book 50/100: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Tuesdays at the Castle - Jessica Day George

This was going to be a high three stars for me, but the ending really sold me. It was edge-of-your-seat exciting, and also sweet, and also made me choke up just a little bit. And it was enough to tip me into four-star territory.

I LOVE the idea of a sentient castle, which is what drew me to this book in the first place, and Jessica Day George executes it incredibly well. The characters are also lovable and sweet; Celie feels like a real eleven-year-old girl, and I enjoyed the "voices" of the foreign characters. Loved loved loved Prince Lulath. I hope to see him in the sequel.

The plot was Political Intrigue for Kids, and political intrigue isn't my favorite plot type, so that was just sort of there for me. I had two major quibbles, as follows:

1. Although the book is called Tuesdays at the Castle because the Castle supposedly only makes new rooms on Tuesdays, it seems like the castle was changing things all the time, without any attention at all paid to where we were in the week. Maybe the Castle only makes new ROOMS on Tuesdays, but can rearrange itself and modify existing rooms all the time? At any rate, the "Tuesday" didn't end up being as much as a limitation on the castle's powers as the title would imply.
2. At one point, guards are appointed to the royal children to protect them from assassination attempts, but that's dropped as inconvenient pretty early on with no real explanation as to why. And the guards don't follow the royal children into rooms with "only one exit" because supposedly it's enough to guard the door. Which it might be ... in a castle that doesn't change. It seems like the guards would have to be there all the time, or not at all in these circumstances,and I felt dubious of their guarding abilities if they didn't take the castle's magic into account.

Still, this is an enjoyable read, and would make a really delightful read-aloud. I look forward to reading more by Jessica Day George.