Rating: 4 1/2 stars
“Tuesdays in the Castle” by Jessica Day George is a big hit with middle grade readers, and they will enjoy “Wednesdays in the Tower” just as much. The second in the series has Celie, the youngest princess in the royal Glower family (and the castle’s favorite) finding an unusual egg in a newly-created tower only she can access.
What happens with the bright orange, pumpkin-sized, super hot egg will enchant middle grade readers and adults alike. The ending of the first book leads into this plot line perfectly. The characters from the first book continue to grow in depth and breadth.
Lulath especially is a fascinating character and a perfect example of George’s ability to create distinctive, multi-faceted people for her stories. A prince from a neighboring country, he seems foppish with his long hair and flowing clothing. He also has four yippy, tiny dogs he lavishes attention upon who accompany him everywhere. However, when danger threatens, Lulath becomes an admirable character and a force to be reckoned with.
The castle is acting peculiarly and Celie wants to discover why. Her brother Bran, the Royal Wizard, asks for the help of an experienced wizard. But the wizard he requested the help from doesn’t show up; another rather sinister wizard does.
In the meantime, Celie and her siblings have been collecting everything with references to griffins (perhaps because of the egg) from all around the castle. Why is there a legend about griffins arriving and eating the unicorns that used to be all around? Is it based on fact or complete fantasy? Celie is determined to find out.
And how she gets her answers, or some of the answers, is all part of this adventure.
While the story is fast-paced and intriguing, the ending is very much a cliffhanger. It’s too bad that George couldn’t have figured out some way to have some resolution to this story so that it doesn’t feel like the first half of the story. While young adult books often do have one book in a series be a cliffhanger, younger readers (middle grade readers) aren’t used to waiting for the endings. And they will definitely want to know how this ends.
They will be able to read the ending in “Thursdays with the Crown.”
Please note: This review is based on the final paperback book provided by the publisher, Bloomsbury Press, for review purposes.