BOOK REVIEWS

Tuesdays at the Castle Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-01-11 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 263 user ratings
ISBN:1681192187
LANGUAGE:English

"I love books with sentient buildings, and Castle Glower is a wonderful example. It adds, removes, and changes rooms, sometimes at a whim, other times for very good reasons - like imprisoning enemy spies, or making it obvious who it wants to be the next king. The Castle's preferences are why it's the King's second son that's the Crown Prince (the eldest is training to be a wizard instead). But its favourite is the youngest of the King's children, Princess Celie - who loves it in return, and knows the ways around it better than anyone else.

And this partnership of Celie and the Castle becomes crucial when the King, Queen and eldest son are set upon by bandits and the Crown Prince finds himself surrounded by a Council that doesn't seem to quite have his - or the Kingdom's - best interests at heart.

A lively story with engaging characters; I'm so glad it's the first of a series!
" said.

"Reminded me a lot of Half Magic - and I love that the castle is as much a character as the people!

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4th grade booktalk
Ever wish you could change something about your house? That your house could read your mind and give you, in house or room form, whatever you need? For those of you who are Harry Potter-familiar, think the Room of Requirement. Well – Castle Glower, where Princess Celie and her Royal Family live, does just that. On Tuesdays, anyway.
For example: the castle once removed the doors to a guest’s room. The King was really angry about it – but then he learned that that particular guest was there to spy on him – so, handy the castle knew, eh? The castle also chooses the kings of the kingdom. So when King Glower and Queen Celina disappear on their way to a neighboring kingdom for a meeting, and the castle doesn’t redecorate their rooms, Celie knows they aren’t dead. If they were, the Castle would change the decoration in their rooms!
Unfortunately, everyone else seems to think that the king and queen are dead – so how can Celie convince them to send a search party? As long as the Castle seems to think her parents are alive, Celie will too… but how long will that be? And what really did happen to the King and Queen?
Read the first book in the Castle Glower series to find out…
" said.

" This is really good and with far more plot than the the cover would lead you to expect. Celie is a bit of a nerd for a princess drawing maps and reading books, she also plots and tricks to get things done. I like stories with girls who save themselves. " said.

" Friends, I LOVE it when setting is a character and Tuesdays At The Castle by Jessica Day George just fuels this love. When King and Queen Glower disappear and are considered to be dead, a few opportunists try to shove out Celie and her siblings Lilah and heir Rolf. Celie, however, turns to Castle Glower in her time of need.Read the rest of my review here " said.

"I was genuinely surprised at how much I liked this one. I did it for the PopSugar reading challenge (book with a day/month in the title, obviously) and I wasn't hugely looking forward to it, but it was really, really fun.

The adventures that the royal kids get up to are engaging and while the book ultimately stuck to its MG basis, I was also surprised at how serious things got. This book could easily have been some kind of psychological horror if Jessica Day George had let it go YA or New Adult or something, what with having your actual home murdered (kind of) and being trapped inside. (Like a reverse haunted house? Where the house is the thing being haunted? It was a creepy situation, I don't know.)

The ending wobbled - it was too short, and everything settled itself too nicely, too easily. I was really hoping the mystery would go on through the next book, at least, if not through both of the next ones. It was disappointing, so why do I still feel like this books deserves four stars? I'm not usually so generous. But... come on. The siblings are so cute. I really couldn't guess where the plot was going, which is rare in MG. Prince Lulath was wonderful. Princess Celie is the first 11-yo protagonist that I've really loved for a long time.

It's just a fun book, last 5 pages notwithstanding. It's just a fun book.
" said.

"Disappointingly juvenile, this doesn't have a lot of adult appeal. Fair enough I guess, the main character is eleven. I feel like the reading age might be more like 7-8.

Instead of the fantasy adventure I was expecting, the royal children save the day by playing pranks on the bad guys, Home Alone in a medieval castle. No kidding: there is supposed to be a serious, dangerous assassination plot against their family going on and they decide to solve it by smearing poop on the perpetrator's shoes and damaging their robes.

The villain, Khelsh, is as flat as a board in his plot to take over the kingdom, and in an attempt to convey his poor English - sorry, Sleynth - he talks like Yoda: "The wizards must lying be... my best assassins did I send."

Did the great King Glower not notice that his entire council was so desperate to oust him that they'd rather see a previously unknown foreigner on the throne? Why do the council want Khelsh anyway? I know these things are not the point, and I'm supposed to focus on the story's best feature, the castle that thinks for itself, changing and creating rooms as it will and of course favouring main character Celie. The castle is a pretty great feature - who wouldn't want to live there? - but I guess it just wasn't quite enough for me this time.
" said.

"Oh friends, you know I am a sucker for setting as character and never has it been so strongly present as in Tuesdays at the Castle. Castle Glower is a main character in this book as assuredly as the royal children themselves. The rearranged and suddenly appearing rooms (that always seems as if they were really there all along) reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones’ House of Many Ways, though Castle Glower edges it out in my heart with its temperament. If the castle likes you your rooms will be lavish and cozy, however, if it doesn’t like you you’ll be lucky to hold onto a chamber pot. In our story, Princess Celie is the person in the kingdom with the greatest affinity for Castle Glower, and her unending faith in the building she loves helps her and her siblings to outwit and outmaneuver the most nefarious plots of adults and usurpers.

Simply stated, I adored this book. It has all of the makings of a classic children’s story while still obviously being new and fresh. Jessica Day George weaves her mystery and scandal in a way that is unraveled by us as readers in tandem with the Glower children themselves. She doesn’t spoon feed, she doesn’t hold hands, and–like Castle Glower–she makes the children work for themselves in order to achieve their full potential. It is a story steeped in political machinations of the type that will make future fantasy and historical fiction fans of its readers, wrapping them in a web of intrigue and covert danger.

Tuesdays at the Castle is a story of siblings coming together in the face of potential tragedy, highlighting one of my favorite aspects of middle grade–family. I love that each of the Glower children is very different, with their strengths highlighted regardless of sex or birth order as one might expect of a royal family. The eldest brother is not chosen as the heir, but rather finds his talents in wizardry while the second son, Rolph, is groomed for the throne. Celie acts as somewhat of a liaison with the castle as she strives to map it, and her sister, Lilah, though a more traditional and practical princess remains down to earth and willing to work. The Glower children never have any questions of loyalties or trust with one another and wisely use their beloved castle to its best advantage when disaster strikes. If some of their plotting is laughable and adorably naive to us adult readers, it is understandably diabolical by kid standards.

Narrator Suzy Jackson couldn’t have been more perfect for the role as she brings Castle Glower and its inhabitants to life. Yes I’m a sucker for a British accent (particularly when paired with adorable middle grade titles), but Jackson’s voice also held that perfectly balanced inflection and tenor that makes for good narration of young characters without making them sound babyish or out of place. I know without a doubt that I will be looking to listen to the rest of this series as it releases, as I do tend to latch onto the audio format of any series whose production I adore.

Though Tuesdays at the Castle is the first in a series, it can be read as a stand alone–thank you, Jessica Day George! It is charming, optimistic, and all together fun in a way that will make it beloved by both children and adults for years to come. It is quirky and unique, and a beautifully crafted tale of magic, family, and hope. I highly recommend the audio as a fun family listen!

Review originally appeared at Bunbury in the Stacks.
" said.

" Perhaps a little young for me, but I'll probably totally enjoy it anyway and proudly admit it. :D " said.

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