Jessica Day George
225 pages of middle grade magic and pluck
“Whenever Castle Glower became bored, it would grow a new room or two.” From the first line you know that Castle Glower is not like any other. But neither is the royal family who resides within it. King Glower the seventy-ninth and Queen Celina are thoughtful rulers. They have four wonderful children – Bran, Liliah, Rolf and Celie, and as they watched them grow they noticed their different talents. They realized Bran, though oldest and technically heir, was not meant to be a king. He was destined for something different. They could see the magic in him and they sent him off to the College of Wizardry. Rolf, though younger, was able to mediate, discuss and decide justly. When the time came, it was decided, he would be king. Certainly that was a long way off, but Rolf would be ready when the time came. Princess Celie was bouncy and energetic, determined and true. She was trying to map the castle and record all its changes in an atlas. Celie knows many of its secrets but not all. She loves the castle and everything about its gentle living magic. She pays very close attention to its shifts and changes. The castle pays close attention to her.
Two weeks ago Bran graduated and the king and queen had gone to the ceremony. They were due back any minute and the prince and princesses were eager for their return. While waiting Celie found a mysterious tower. It had a table, a rope, a tin of biscuits, a book and a spyglass mounted on the windowsill. Looking through the glass she saw something strange – her parents’ carriage with no soldiers or guard. Celie showed Rolf and before they could wonder more, the carriage and a sergeant arrived reporting the terrible news; their family had been ambushed by bandits and murdered. Could this be true? Before they could be certain, Lord Feen declared Rolf, King. He and the other Lords of the Council stepped in to assist. They closed any investigation into the disappearance of the King and Queen and now, Wizard Bran. They invited the neighboring royalty to the castle for a hasty coronation and worked to make certain that Rolf, Lilah and Celie are cared for in their grief. Things were not as they should be. Rolf, though young, knew decisions being made were not correct. Something strange, even sinister, was happening, but what? With the castle on their side Rolf, Lilah and Celie have a chance of clearing away the murky intrigue surrounding them. But what will happen if the Lords succeed in ending the castle magic? What will that mean for all of Glower?
Tuesdays at the Castle is full of great characters, interesting twists and turns ( to say nothing of the tunnels, secret passageways and spy holes) and crafty plots and plans that surprise and satisfy. I was excited to learn that this is a first book in a series. I can’t wait to find out how royal family of Glower changes along with its amazing castle. I’m interested in knowing what happens to Prince Lulath of Grath, Pogue and Rufus. When I visit the castle, I wonder what my room will be like?