Final review, first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com The adventures of Princess Celie, who lives in a magical castle where rooms appear, shift around and disappear again, continue in Wednesdays in the Tower, Jessica Day George s lively sequel to Tuesdays at the Castle Normally Castle Glower only moves its rooms around on Tuesdays, but one Wednesday Celie, heading up the stairs to go to the schoolroom for lessons, finds herself in a passageway leading to a tower room she has never seen before And in the middle of the tower room is a huge, flame colored egg, as large and orange as a pumpkin.Mysteriously, the castle prevents Celie from sharing her exciting discovery with anyone else in her family the tower room disappears when she tries to show it to others, and interrupts her attempts to tell about the egg Why is the castle hiding the egg from everyone except Celie When the egg hatches, Celie has her hands full, feeding and mothering a ravenous baby griffin an animal that everyone in the kingdom thinks is only a myth As the griffin grows older and much larger, Castle Glower gradually allows Celie to share her new friend with a few others But the castle is behaving very oddly in other ways as well new rooms appear that the royal family has never seen before, doors get blocked off for reasons known only to the castle, and the entire castle is getting much larger and dangerous Could this have anything to do with the appearance of the griffin egg Wednesdays in the Tower is a good, solid follow up to Tuesdays at the Castle, almost certain to please young readers who enjoyed the first book, and likely their parents as well Celie is an empathetic, adventurous girl with a charming personality The scenes with Celie caring for the baby griffin, and later learning to ride on its back as it flies around, are a lot of fun, particularly for readers who like animal stories Some parents might be a little perturbed at the idea of a twelve year old daughter keeping a huge secret from her parents The castle didn t let me tell anyone may or may not be viewed as a sufficient excuse , but I suspect young readers will greet the idea with glee.The mystery of the castle s odd behavior is not as compelling as the griffin plotline, and might be a little complicated for the youngest readers or listeners , but it fits in well with the overall plot An antagonistic wizard arrives to try to resolve the problem, pursuing his own unknown agenda Celie and her siblings don t trust him, but it s not clear whether he s actually a villain, which adds some interest to that part of the plot Wednesdays in the Tower ends on a major cliffhanger essentially it s only the first half of a two volume story So I strongly recommend that readers have the next book in the series ready to start as soon as you are finished with this one I ran down to the library immediately after finishing this to pick up the next book, Thursdays with the Crown, which is a wonderful, fantastical adventure that may be my favorite book in this series yet.3.5 stars.Initial thoughts Me reading this book Ah, so fun a huge flame colored egg Dragon egg Roc egg Oooh It s a griffin And the castle is hiding it Hmmm The castle is doing some very odd shifting here Rooms appear and move around, doors get blocked off, and it s all getting bigger and dangerous I wonder why Sweet Celie gets to ride around on the griffin Aaarrgh Cliffhanger ending Review to come I m on my way to the library to pick up the next book. The sequel to, Tuesdays at the Castle, does world building than the first novel explaining the history of the castle and how it got its powers It is of a setup for the third book with its cliffhanger ending, but I enjoyed the mythical creatures, pacing, and heroine Celie is back with her kind ways and important skills of mapping the castle and communicating with it When she finds a mysterious egg in a new tower, she watches it everyday until it hatches a creature that imprints on her The castle wants her pet kept secret and Celie must learn how to be responsible for raising it without the help of her parents.When a creepy wizard comes to the castle to help her brother, Bran, decipher a storehouse of magical and powerful weapons, the castle starts to change in alarming ways forcing everyone to work together to try and make things right The family decides to trust the wizard, but Celie and Pogue think he is up to something When things reach a crisis it is up to Celie to make the right decision and save her family.While the plot s pacing sputters a bit at the beginning, most of the threads from subplots come together and make for a fast paced ending I enjoyed the world building and explanation of the castle s powers I think this is the strength of this book for it gives a better foundation for the characters I would have liked development of a diverse culture in the alternate world, but it suggests this won t happen until the next book The villain or not it isn t clear is somewhat one dimensional and I would have liked to know about why he was so obstinate in his opinions about what action to take The cliffhanger suggests it is to come On the one hand, I liked the superpower explanation, but on the other I want regarding the alternate world and its culture Bring on book 3 World building is not as important as the characters that drive the story Celie is a likable protagonist She doesn t change internally as much in this book as learn to be responsible for another creature s well being She s good at problem solving and is not a royal snob She doesn t fight with others and usually makes the right decisions If you like flawed characters, Celie is not one It isn t clear if Pogue is interested in Celie as only a friend or romantically She can count on him and while he is called a flirt he isn t one at all in this story A nice fantasy and entertaining read. I gave Tuesdays at the Castle to my nieces, as I enjoyed the bright, resilient young heroine, and her quirky, benevolent old castle Seeing Wednesday in the Tower, I bought it without hesitation, and read it myself as a light treat and am so disappointed that I will actually return it I cannot give this story to my nieces, as it is so poorly written The storyline is an odd combination of breeziness in details and descriptions never explored and complexity George seems to be trying to quickly build a history for the castle, and introduce new creatures, worlds, and aliens Meanwhile, the characters remain sketches, only hinting at possible depth, and the villain is instantly recognized by protagonist and reader alike There are two main reasons that I cannot pass this book on The first is that the plot is forced, with participants jumping to illogical conclusions, leading to inadvisable actions This lack of thought and reactionary, black and white thinking is not something that I want to pass on to my nieces The other is that this book ends not with resolution of the conflicts that it introduces, but with an abrupt cliffhanger which introduces yet distress, and questions.The implication here seems to be that the author was rushed into creating something to publish, and to submit it with no thoughtful editing, while forcing the series into a serialized, read the next installment to find out what happens form which traps the reader into installment payments.What promised to be a fresh and charming approach to the Princess story form has devolved into a cash cow, milked before it was ready, yielding only a thin stream of non nutritive skim milk.I apologize for the heavy metaphor It s just that I am disappointed. I really liked Tuesdays at the Castle, and I think this one is even better, mainly because the nature of Castle Glower is at the heart of the story It s no longer just an eccentric, interesting aspect of the kingdom Celie s adoption of a baby griffin calls into question a lot of things everyone has always assumed about the Castle, particularly the issue of where the rooms actually come from Celie is a really fun protagonist, and I love her interactions with Rufus the griffin I also like Bran, valiantly doing his best to be Royal Wizard despite his youth, and Pogue Parry, who is my favorite character and is developing in interesting ways.My daughter, who is Jessica s biggest fan, insisted that I read this Right Away because she needed someone to talk to about the cliffhanger ending It s a great, exciting ending that makes all the rest of the buildup even better in hindsight I m looking forward to the next book in the series. I liked this book although not as much as I liked the previous one in the series Tuesdays at the Castle Here, the tale of Princess Celie and her family continues They live in a Castle with a personality, a magical Castle which occasionally adds rooms, removes hallways, installs new towers and reroutes corridors without consulting or even informing its human denizens This time, the Castle is on a mission of profound change, and Celie, the Castle s most beloved member of the royal family, is once again the heroine She finds a griffin s egg in one of the newest towers In fact, the tower is so new nobody could see it but Celie Obviously, the Castle is protective of its little griffin and it wants Celie to hatch and raise it without telling anyone, especially not her parents or a visiting wizard A brooding, slightly sinister personage, that wizard, and Celie doesn t like him from the beginning So the griffin becomes their secret Celie s and the Castle s Keeping such a secret is not very hard to do nobody believes in griffins anyway They are a myth, right That griffins are depicted on the kingdom s coat of arms doesn t mean a fig Nobody has ever seen them in nature Of course, as soon as it hatches, Celie does, the first person in several hundred years, and she instantly falls in love with her little not really prot g.The story starts slowly In fact, despite the griffin escapade, I was getting bored and wanted to abandon the book until about 40% in I started and stopped, then continued and stopped again But I remembered the delight of the first book in the series and kept on reading I was rewarded for my persistence The tempo picked up eventually, and I read the rest of this short novel in one sitting As with the previous book, the author s characters are alive and diverse, but she lavishes most of her attention on Celie a charming protagonist, courageous, compassionate and very smart, despite being the youngest Her family cherishes her The griffin considers her his mother And the readers adore her The book would ve been better if it didn t end in a cliffhanger It feels like I only read the first half of the story, and then it was arbitrary cut off at the point where the real adventure starts Maybe that s why it was so slow to start, because the entire book is just the first act, setting the stage for what will happen next Now, I must read the next book. Here I was, happily skipping through the pages, enjoying the sheer fun of hatching a raising, and training, and flying her very own griffin with Celie, occasisionally doing a little research into the history of the castle, and then,the book is just over Huh.I took a brief look at other people s reviews just to be sure it wasn t a fault in the review copy.Huh.I don t much care whether a book is long or short, but I do expect an individual volume to reach some sort of conclusion This is not 2 in a series It doesn t even have the completeness one expects from the short stories many authors produce as X.5 , a little scene between books This is just the first portion of the next book.I hate that I hate it enough that I can feel my rating drop the longer I take to write this.Netgalley copy provided for review. Fun, clean fantasy A Castle That Is Constantly Rearranging Itself, And A Young Royal Family Sworn To Protect It Celie, Rolf, And Their Beloved Castle Glower Are Back In This Exciting SequelStrange Things Are Afoot In Castle Glower New Rooms, Corridors, And Even Stables Keep Arriving, Even When They Aren T Needed Celie S Brother Bran, The New Royal Wizard, Has His Hands Full Cataloguing An Entire Storeroom Full Of Exotic And Highly Dangerous Weapons, While Celie Has Her Hands Full Raising The Creature That Hatches From A Giant Egg She Finds Will They Be Able To Find Out What S Making The Castle Behave This Way In Time Thanks to that book, now I want a griffin. Note I listened to this on audio so please pardon any misspellings that occur, especially of names, because I didn t get to see the words on a page.I listened to the first book in this series earlier this year and enjoyed it so much I decided to try the rest of the series This second book in the series had just as much charm as the first, though perhaps not quite as much excitement or intrigue There is a mystery, however, as Celie is having to figure out why a gryphon egg has appeared in a new tower in the castle and why the castle seems to want her to raise the baby gryphon in secret.Just like in the first book I enjoyed the character s personalities and the teamwork between the children whether siblings or friends I love seeing healthy sibling relationships in books Though certain aspects of the plot once again put much of the responsibility for dealing with the problems on the children, I once again appreciated that the adults were not portrayed as stupid or incompetent and that Celie actually wanted to involve her parents in what was going on, but was simply kept from doing so for by the castle for a while Once the parents were able, they didn t hesitate to try to help.The only mild disappointment was that I wasn t expecting a cliffhanger ending since the first book wrapped itself up so tidily, but a cliffhanger there was Still, it does its job and I will read the next book, so that s not much of a complaint I m excited to see what happens Content Advisory Violence There s a legend that tells of gryphons attacking unicorn and forcing the unicorns to flee to another world entirely in order to survive The attack is not described, but it is clear that it was a terrible attack Brief mention of blood in the context of someone bumping his head and the scratch bleeds a bit Magic Same as the first book, the castle itself is sentient and able to make choices and do things on its own via magical means It seems wizards may have had something to do with why the castle has these abilities As best as I can tell, it seems that the magical abilities of the wizards are inherent, though they can go to school to better learn how to do what they do Celie s own brother Bran is the royal wizard and there is brief mention that the queen could have become a royal wizard, but did not, for reasons unknown Mythical creatures like gryphons and unicorns exist in this world and it seems that they have something magical about them Sexual or a lack thereof A male character is known to be attractive and popular with girls There s a mention or two of flirting and blushing Profanity None.
Jessica Day George likes chocolate, knitting, books, travel, movies, dragons, horses, dogs, and her family These are all things to keep in mind if you ever meet her For instance, you could bring her chocolate to make the meeting go smoothly You could also talk about how adorable her children are, even if you have never seen them You could discuss dog breeds she had a Maltese named Pippin
- 240 pages
- Wednesdays in the Tower
- Jessica Day George
- 05 May 2019 Jessica Day George