Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #168: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Tuesdays-at-the-Castle-by-Jessica-Day-GeorgeA castle with a life, and mind, of its own? Sign me up, I said. Having completed it, I can now say that basically all Tuesdays at the Castle had (of note) was that one good idea. George, it seems, couldn’t quite come up with a story to match the creativity of the idea at its core.

It’s been weeks since I read it, and the ever-changing castle and the oddly human motivations behind those changes are all that have continued to stick with me all this time later. It, I feel, was the only character of particular interest.

Besides it, there’s Princess Celie, dumbly soldiering on with a map of a castle that’s adding and removing rooms daily, King and Queen Glower, absent (and presumed dead) for most of the book, and Celie’s two brothers, one presumed dead along with his parents and the other forced to assume the throne before his parents have even been confirmed dead.

Nobody else made much of an impression on me. I remember there was a foreigner who tries to use the King and Queen’s absence as an in to the throne; however, the deck is always too stacked against him, the castle coming to the Glowers aid at every pivotal moment, that I never saw him as a threat in the least.

All that kept me reading, then, was the unpredictability of the castle itself. Yes, it helped serve the powers of good, working to help them keep those powers, as I mentioned above, except it didn’t often do so in the most straightforward fashion. There was a language barrier between the castle and its residents, if you will, and it was up to Celie and her brother to figure out the castle’s true intents.

Since, initially, when it could probably have spit this foreigner right back out, quite literally, it appears to hold its ground and show no signs of disapproval. It takes a while before Celie is able to see that the tower is in their favor after all, and that there is hope for her parents (and brother) still.

Not that I was surprised to hear her parents maybe weren’t suddenly murdered; that seemed a smidge too dark for George’s intended age group. I just enjoyed puzzling out the castle’s seemingly roundabout ways along with Celie. Enough, in fact, to continue on to the sequel, Wednesdays in the Tower, hoping George could build a worthwhile story around that castle of hers on her second try. In all honesty, I should’ve just kept to Tuesdays at the Castle.