Reading Level: Children’s/Middle Grade
Size: 240 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date: May 7, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Castle Glower series
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for giving me the chance to review this book. Last year I read Tuesdays at the Castle and really enjoyed it. This sequel to that book was a fun read but not as magical as the first book.
Things start going strange in Castle Glower. First Celie finds a strange orange egg in a tower that’s never been there before and she needs to figure out what it is. Bran, the new Royal Wizard, is in on the secret but is swamped with identifying a bunch of magical armor and weapons that showed up in a new armor room. Meanwhile a visiting wizard stops by to help Bran and he seems to have a hidden agenda all of his own. Adding to all of this is the Castle’s increasingly erratic temperament; rooms no one has ever seen before are appearing left and right.
This was a fun continuation of the Castle Glower series. Not as magical and whimsical as the first book in the series, but still a fun read. The biggest downfall to this book is that it ends on a horrible cliffhanger and reads more like half of a book than a full book; I felt like half of the story was missing.
Celie and her siblings are fun to read about. They are all very agreeable characters and they work together well. It is always fun to see how well Celie’s family gets along together and how well they work together to solve problems. It makes for a light and uplifting read.
I enjoyed that the storyline is expanding here, we finally get some explanation as to why Castle Glower is how it is. We also learn a lot of history behind the castle itself. The additon of some mystical creatures made the story even more fun.
I did feel like the story was missing some of the whimsy, surprise, and delightful magical feel of the first book though. Part of that is just because we’ve already been introduced to this castle and nothing is as surprising this time around. I also felt like maybe Celie and family were just dealing with too many different problems at once, so the story was a bit bogged down and not as light-hearted and magical as the first book.
The absolultey biggest drawback to this book for me was the horrible cliffhangers. Oh, Miss Jessica why did you have to do that? I hate cliffhanger endings, it really drops my opinion of the book a lot. I hate it when author’s depend on a cliffhanger to force readers into continuing a series rather than just providing a good story and world that makes readers want to come back for more because the author writes well.
Overall a fun continuation of this series. Great for all ages. I enjoyed the magical creatures, the nice family dynamic, and finally learning about the why behind Castle Glower. I absolutely hated the horrible cliffhanger ending; this actually made me not want to read more of this series because I hate it when authors do that. This book wasn’t as magical as the first one, not as much full of wonder and fun. Still I recommend to those who enjoyed the first book in the series and to those who are looking for a good children’s fantasy read that is light and fun.